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Meet the G2, a Zippy Phone for T-Mo’s Fast Network

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T-Mobile today officially unveiled the G2 handset, the first smartphone able to fully take advantage of the carrier’s mobile broadband network capable of speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The G2 will ship with the latest version of Android (s goog) — aka Froyo — in the near future, and T-Mobile will begin taking pre-orders later this month. Along with a 3.7-inch multitouch display, the G2 uses a unique sliding hinge for access to a full QWERTY keypad. The device will support Adobe Flash Player (s adbe), high-definition video recording and Google Voice Actions.

On paper, the new G2 is definitely an evolution from the very first Google Android phone, the G1, which T-Mobile debuted in 2008. At that time, when all of its major competitors already offered fast 3G networks, T-Mobile entered the mobile broadband race with its own 3G implementation. It’s fitting then, that the G2 has a radio capable of using T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, which I’ve found to be faster even than Sprint’s (s s) 4G WiMAX offering.

Since the G2 is competing against high-end handsets with so-called 4G network support, such as the HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, it needs some horsepower under the hood. Some may be put off by the 800 MHz CPU that will power this smartphone, but I believe it’s too early to make a judgement call on that. The G2 uses a Qualcomm (s qcom) MSM7230 chip, which is slightly different from the current crop of 1 GHz Snapdragon chips that are used today. This chip was announced after the original Snapdragons and was shown off in February at the Mobile World Congress. Here’s a glimpse of the MSM 7230 powering four simultaneous videos and 3-D gaming at 30 frames per second on reference hardware as an example of the chip’s capabilities.

Aside from the potential of the CPU, there’s little question that the G2 is a contender in the current crop of smartphones. Real-world mobile speeds around 10 Mbps, combined with the features of Google’s newest Android version should be a potent combination. In just two years, Android has helped transform T-Mobile from a mobile broadband also-ran to a carrier that’s taking the lead for fast mobile web connectivity. The G2 is an example of more powerful handsets with access to faster networks that are sure to come.

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10 Responses to “Meet the G2, a Zippy Phone for T-Mo’s Fast Network”

  1. There’s a place for phones with keyboard, and a place for ones without. This is supposed to be the successor to the G1, which had a keyboard. Instead, it has a keyboard missing keys. No brackets, for example, and the shared number/letter row. There’s plenty of phones with no keyboard for the crowd that wants those. This phone misses the boat for those who do.

  2. The CPU/GPU will be great, especially since they don’t have to deal with a custom UI. I could do without the G2’s keyboard, but I’m turned off by the 3.7-inch screen. After using the Evo 4G and Droid X, it’s hard going back to anything that small.

    • The thing about the 3.7 inch screen though is that it won’t be dominated by a virtual keyboard 90% of the time. It also make the device much more portable. I see no problem with it.

      It’s definitely a huge bump over the G1’s 3.2 inch HVGA screen, though.

      • The keyboard adds thickness. I rather have a thinner phone that’s longer and wider. Again, I’ve used the Evo 4G and Droid X extensively. It’s tough to go back. Also, I’m a Swype convert. I can type faster on Swype than I ever could on my old BlackBerry.

  3. I like the fact that you guys went and did some REAL journalism unlike some other sites (BoyGenius & Dailytech come to mind) regarding the G2’s supposedly underpowered processor.

    Anyone that took even 30 seconds to do some research would know that in real world tests, the MSM7230 smokes the current offerings from Samsung, Motorola, as well as existing Snapdragon chipsets.

    And personally, I see nothing wrong with underclocking a phone’s processor give that:

    1) It saves on battery.

    2) Performance doesn’t suffer and still exceeds the competition.

    I don’t plan to buy it, but I still think the G2 is going to be a great device.