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Summary:

T-Mobile continues to tease us with the first handset that can take full advantage of the carrier’s 21 Mbps mobile broadband network, today introducing the G2 handset. Although no official details of the G2 are available, these three features are likely part of the HSPA+ handset.

t-mobile-g2-logo

T-Mobile continues to tease us with the first handset that can take full advantage of the carrier’s 21 Mbps mobile broadband network, today introducing the G2 handset. Unfortunately, without any handset details — other than support for the fast HSPA+ network speeds — we officially know nothing more about the upcoming G2. For now, we have a name and a generic handset rendering that looks more like a bar of soap than anything else. So what might the G2 shape up to be?

Given that the original G1 was made by HTC, which now makes some of the best Android handsets around, it’s a safe bet that the G2 is another HTC device. If that’s true, we can glean quite a bit of information. HTC has turned to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon CPU to power high-end Android phones, so an HTC-made G2 would probably offer the same. Although Qualcomm has dual core, faster processors coming down the pike, it’s either too early for a faster chip in the G2, or the phone gets a faster processor and doesn’t launch until year-end. My gut says the phone arrives in the next month or so and comes with the now-standard 1 GHz Snapdragon chip.

Support for T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network tells us about the phone capabilities as well. Speedy mobile broadband is great for all activities, but it provides the most bang for buck with large files, such as those used to transport media. Based on my hands-on testing of an HSPA+ data stick, I’m expecting real world download speeds on the G2 to approach 10 Mbps in a best-case scenario. That’s ideal for both streaming video and pulling down media files, but what’s the point of such an advantage if the consumption device is limited to a small screen? The G2 ought to offer a screen size of at least  four inches in diagonal for media consumption over the HSPA+ network. Another reason for a large display is the competition. Based on support for a faster mobile broadband network, T-Mobile’s G2 will be going head to head with Sprint’s 4G handsets: the EVO (see our review here) and the Epic, both of which offer displays of  four inches or better.

HSPA+ isn’t all about the downloads though; it provides reasonably fast upload speeds as well. Activities like sending email, updating social networks or basic web surfing work just fine on today’s 3G networks, so what does HSPA+ bring to the table when it comes to uploads? Again, there’s a big benefit when it comes to media, only this time it’s for media creating and sharing. A faster upload pipe will make it easier for G2 owners to shoot larger video files up to the cloud or live-stream as needed. For that reason, it won’t surprise me to see high-definition, 720p video recording on the G2, which again is becoming common on higher-end smartphones today. A front-facing video camera isn’t beyond the realm of possibilities either, because video chat is another benefactor of a faster wireless network.

T-Mobile might be playing coy with the G2 details, but by touting the phone as the first handset with HSPA+ support, the handset’s capabilities offer some reasonable expectations. Once the phone specifications become official, we’ll see how close — or how off-base — my educated guesses are.

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  1. I would guess a physical keyboard is a lock as well. Since they are calling it the G2, i would expect a G1 form factor with upgrades. I would like to keep my phone in my pocket (not a backpack) so 3.7 inch screen would be perfect IMHO. That size fits well within the rumor mills.

    I actually sent an email to my team telling them that i had to take an extended lunch to buy the $99 Vibrant, but i quickly retracted that email when I seen the G2 email from T-Mobile.

    1. I’ve seen pics across the blogosphere of what seem two or three new T-Mobile phones. One of them clearly has the keyboard, the other two I’m not so sure. I’m mostly done with physical keyboards, so I hope this is more like a Nexus Two. I’m looking for the right phone to finally be free of AT&T.

    2. Sorry shorty but 3.7 inches just won’t due these days. I am looking for 4 to 5 inches of display glory. Don’t really see a problem with these larger smart phones since everyone already carries their iPad with them. I am having some of my pockets enlarged just for convenience in my jackets. Looking forward to a 5″ or 7″ inch iPad, it will hit the sweet spot if you know what i mean.

  2. Raymond Padilla Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    I’m positive that the G2 is the HTC Blaze with an HSPA+ radio.

    1. Could well be, but part of me hopes not given the 3.7-inch display expected on the Blaze. Of course, that would be the perfect size for gadgetmerc (above) and many other people too. :)

  3. I’m inclined to hold out to see what WP7 brings to the table, as we’ve yet to hear anything about a 4G/HSPA+ device running something other than Android.

  4. When you get a phone with everything you want, what will a manufacturer do next? Everything comes in dribbles.

    What interests me is what HSPA+ will do for my G2, the myTouch 3G.

    1. “What interests me is what HSPA+ will do for my G2, the myTouch 3G.”

      Since the myTouch 3G sports a 7.2 Mbps radio, you should see download speeds around 4 Mbps in an area of HSPA+ coverage. That was my experience when using the Nexus One, which has the same capabilities as far as the radio, just like the last 15 or so smartphones that T-Mobile has introduced.

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