I touched the new T-Mobile Google phone (a.k.a. the G1)!

Tmobilegooglephone_lWondering what all the fuss is regarding the G1, the latest mobile phone to be hailed as the "iPhone killer"? We were, too, so we headed to a press conference held yesterday to introduce the much-anticipated device.

First, the facts: What makes the G1 different from other recent iPhone challengers is that it’s powered by Android, a new operating system developed by Google. While iPhones are manufactured exclusively by Apple and (officially) available only to AT&T customers, Android is open-source software, which means anyone can make an Android-powered handset. Which means that customers of a variety of mobile providers could very well own an Android-powered phone in the near future.

Now, onto what gives the G1 "mass appeal," as T-Mobile big-wig Cole Brodman put it this morning (Disclaimer: I am not sure how well these features actually operate—I’m merely reporting what I saw in the nifty introductory video and what I experienced while groping the phone for about two minutes.):

* It has a touch screen, but it also includes a full keyboard that slides out from under it (BlackBerry users, you know you love it!). Also, there’s a trackball on the bottom of the screen for easy one-handed navigation.

* The phone, which is a lot smaller and sleeker in person than it looks in photos, will come in three color options: black, white, or brown. 

* Music can be downloaded directly from the Amazon.com store (the memory card that comes with the phone holds approximately 500 songs, but additional memory is available), but you need to be in an area with a good Wi-Fi connection to do so.

* Instant messaging programs that come built-in from: Google Talk (go figure!), AOL, and Yahoo.

* A YouTube application is also included, as is a 3.1 megapixel camera.

* Like the iPhone, the G1 comes preloaded with a Google Maps app that takes advantage of the unit’s GPS. But the G1 includes Google Maps’ Street View feature with a Compass Mode that allows you to see a 360-degree panoramic view of your surroundings when you move/swing the phone.

* When you click on any address in your phonebook, it plots the location in Google Maps.

* The Internet browser is enabled so that you can open multiple web pages at one time. It also allows you to copy a link from the browser window right into an e-mail just by "hard touching" it (pressing your finger to the screen for about two seconds).

* It’s compatible with almost all e-mail clients (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), but it includes a "push Gmail" app, meaning it delivers any e-mail sent to a Gmail account instantaneously.

* The Android Market is G1’s version of iPhone’s App Store. The major      difference is that Android Market is "open" to anyone who wants to create applications for it (Apple, on the other hand, must approve every program that comes its way). This openness means the sky’s the limit in terms of the kinds of off-the-wall and extremely innovative applications we’ll be seeing down the road.

* Applications already available (for free!) on the G1 include: Ecorio, which tracks your "carbon footprint" for the day, and ShopSavvy, which LISTEN UP PEOPLE!! was by far the most jaw-dropping part of the presentation. This app turns the G1 (well, its camera, really) into a bar code scanner: When you see something you like, photograph the UPC code and the G1 provides a list of nearby stores and what they’re charging for the same merchandise.

* Last but not least, the G1 is priced at $179 (plus tax, with a two-year contract). Current T-Mobile customers can preorder it at http://www.t-mobile.com, with units expected to ship on Oct. 22. The unlimited web/messaging option costs $35 on top of your regular plan.

Well, there you have it, PopWatchers, a quick run down of the much-hyped T-Mobile G1. Google founder Larry Page (yes, he and his billionaire partner Sergey caused quite a stir when they made a cameo at the big launch this morning, so much so that the camera crews attacked them the way paparazzi attack Brangelina!) claimed it’s "as good a computer as you had a few years ago." Now that you’ve gotten the basic info behind it, would you agree? And how many of you out there are planning to buy one? Is this it for the iPhone?

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • Vicky

    “Three color options: black, white, or brown.”
    Remember when the Zune first arrived and one of its colors was brown. I don’t recall anyone ever wanting the brown. People always seemed to just be giving the brown ones away cause they couldn’t sell them at full price.
    But besides that, this looks pretty neat. That ShopSavy app sounds like the coolest thing ever!

  • Kristi

    The Shop app sounds amazing but otherwise i’ll stick with verizon and my blackberry since most of my peeps are “IN”

  • confidential

    T-mobile needs to quite trying to make a comparible devise to what is currently hot in the market and just find a way to sell those phones instead. T-mobile doesn’t deal with Palm nor Apple and those phones are the are pretty cool. The only popular PDAs they have are blackberries. Blackberries are alright (i have one) but I would love a palm or iphone. I wish they would listen to their customers and just sell palms and other known phones.

  • jaime

    I love T-Mobile…Im so glad they are coming out with a cool phone like this… I need an upgrade ill be sure to save for this!

  • Not so much

    I am sorry but it looks cheap. Maybe that’s just the look of the picture, but still..I’ll keep the iphone thank you very much. Obviously many will try to match and or compete with the iphone, but it’s hard to find anything that comes close in my opinion.

  • jason

    ok, its not a bad phone. but i have the samsung omnia and it does almost everything this does. and it has a 5mp camera instead of 3.1. it dosnt have the googles panoramic map feature. but it has everything else except the slide out keyboard but it has 2 types of querty keyboard on screen anyway. sorry google, a good call but i would vote for the omnia over the G1 anyday.

  • sega

    I expected more from G-phone. Seriously, when iPhone hit the market it had so much more to offer compared to the other phones available at a time. This seems just like another tool utilized by Google to promote itself.

  • matt

    The StreetView and compass thing sounds pretty nifty. Might be missing something here, but… It means I can stand in the street and as i turn, while looking at my phone, it orients to show me the street scene for that location and direction. Erm, why don’t i stop looking at my phone and just look at the actual street?

  • aaditya

    It is sad but the g-phone has nothing that would take u by storm like the iphone did a year a go.It is difficult to understand whether google is trying to give competition to apple or create a new product a lot of phones have come to the market like htc diamond etc. but the iphone killer is yet to come, we shall wait for it eagerly but as of now my love is the iphone and if u dont have one go out there and get one… ;-)

  • paul

    First impressions of the G1 and i think its a genuine competitor to the iphone.
    A great site for G1 video reviews & features is http://www.g1tube.com

  • Mr Nicks

    Seems like a major step up from my Sidekick LX as far as GPS, Youtube, & that shopping thing. When I upgrade soon it’ll definitely be a G1. With my current plan at $63.00 a/mo w/ everthing, I wouldn’t mind even more stuff for 5 bucks more!

  • William Lacy

    Google Android, is a super-cool open-source LINUX platform, ready to port a lot of Linux desktop applications to. The OGG multimedia support, will allow it to play OGG/THEORA mobile content, for sites like OGGTV. The launch will help the open-source community, with a cool mobile tool.

  • jason

    Seems like google and Tmobile are finally stepping up to the pda\phone plate. Compared 2 the sidekick and Blackberry, the G1 phone blows them away. I very happy to see such inovation. Lets face it, google is leading the world with inovative web browsing and navigation and even email. Completely changing the way people browse the web. Google stands alone unchallenged ever since the company debuted. Its a matter of time before google steps into the light even further. Seems they are now attacking the operating systems market. Watch out Microsoft and Apple! If google’s past endevors are anything to go by, which they are, this phone is only the beginning of a very big and very great technilogical breakthrew. After all, that’s google!

  • streetman23

    All I have to say is that it kicks the pants of anything that apple has brought out or will bring out. I just need to figure out (as a tmobile user) how to get the phone and stay on my same plan, other then that I am so getting it. Though I have to say I may wait a month cuase if you all remember when the Iphone came out, almost two weeks later it had a major price drop, so I am going to see if the G1 does that to. But heck ya it is worth the money its gonna cost.

  • android 17

    te ang akon lang mahambal sini nga produkto nga pwerte gid ka barato pero waay ko gid sang kwarta para e bakal…so can you make it more cheaper coz its so cheap….

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