T-Mobile, Google, HTC Unveil First Android Phone

We bring you all the relevant details of T-Mobile’s event unveiling the world’s first Android phone.

As was expected, the HTC Dream is the hardware behind the first Android handset. The device, which will be marketed as the G1, features a 3.17-inch 65K touchscreen that runs at 480 x 320 and weighs 5.6 ounces. Black was the only color of the G1 presented on stage, but it will also come in white and brown.

The G1 has a 3.1 megapixel camera, which is expected to be comparable to the rest of the lenses on existing HTC hardware. While not as thin as the iPhone, the G1 still measures slim at 4.60 x 2.16 x 0.62-inches – which is impressive considering that the device slides out sideways to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard.

Being a device so heavily connected to Internet connectivity, the G1 will run on T-Mobile’s 1700 MHz 3G network. It’ll also be a world travelling phone as well, with support for quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G. For those outside of 3G coverage, Wi-Fi will be the logical choice for high-speed surfing.

It’s unknown how much internal memory the G1 will initially ship with, but there is an expandable memory card slot that’ll house a 1 GB microSD preinstalled with the option to go up to 8 GB.

The real draw of the G1, however, is that it’ll be the first to run Google’s Android OS. Predictably, Android will feature tight integration with all the Google services. Gmail is said to be a push technology on the device, which will also support pull with IMAP. Google Talk will provide the obvious instant messaging, while Google Calendar will be the default scheduling tool and YouTube goes without saying. The G1 will come with GPS hardware, which will tie tightly into Google Maps in what appears to be better implementation (with features such as Street View) than what’s currently available on the iPhone.

Matching up against the iTunes App Store for iPod Touch and iPhone, Google is creating the Android Market which will largely be a “wild west” service similar to YouTube. Unlike the App Store, applications for Android do not require approval or certification, making Android appear much more like a PC in philosophy.

As Google doesn’t presently have its own online music solution, Amazon will lend its MP3 store so that users may download DRM-free tracks. Most frustrating for music lovers, however, is that the G1 will not come with a stereo jack, making either custom headphones or clumsy adaptors. Thumbs down on that.

Regardless of the specifications, the real important specification is that it’ll carry a $179 price tag on a two year contract, coming in at $20 below the 8 GB iPhone 3G on AT&T. The unlimited data plan with an unspecified number of text messages will run at $25, while unlimited messaging will bring it to $35. All data plans must be bundled with voice, though it’s unclear if the G1 can be bought without the data component (risky as that may be).

The G1 will launch on the U.S. T-Mobile network on October 22. Hit the video below for a brief demonstration of Android.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • mtyermom
    Mmmm, I want one. I wonder how much it will be without a contract...
  • Ya I agree, the bad part is that it is the first phone with the Andriod OS. I cant wait until more phones come out with it. I really think I am gonna want an Andriod phone in the next year or two. I just hope it kicks the iphones butt so AT&T is willing to sell Andriod phones.