T-Mobile G1: A Closer Look

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 4, 2008
Updated • Apr 11, 2013
Google Android

Google is pushing their Android operating system on the market and the first mobile phone that is been powered by it is the T-Mobile G1 phone. It comes out in a few weeks in the United States and will be exclusively sold by T-Mobile in a deal that looks similar to the one Apple made with AT&T in the United States to sell their iPhone exclusively.

There is however one fundamental difference between Apple's marketing strategy and Google's. Android is an operating system and several companies are developing mobile phones based on the operating system which means more choice for consumers in the long run. While it will take some time before other companies start to produce phones based on Android, it is very likely that we will see a broad mixture of devices come out that are powered by it.

The G1 is just the first phone based on Android and receives coverage because of that. Not everything is perfect yet though and the article tries to look at some of the functions and features that are missing or inferior to today's standards.

It basically comes down to the user and the things that you want a phone to support.

A few problematic elements can be identified by simply looking at the announcements that have been made:

  • No support for Microsoft Exchange Active Sync.
  • Uses proprietary headphone connection.
  • Access To Amazon MP3 store only over WLAN.
  • Media player seems to be incapable of playing videos, only Youtube supported
  • No Multi-touch.
  • Only 1 Gigabyte of Flash Memory, maximum of 8 Gigabyte supported
  • No video recording.
  • No virtual keyboard

Now, everyone has to make a buying decision on their own, and the missing feature should only be the starting point to take a closer look at the phone. My suggestion if you spot something on the list that you need? Wait for other phones based on Android or updates to the operating system.

Update: Android has evolved quite a bit ever since the first phone, the T-Mobile G1, has been released in 2008. Android today is available on hundreds of different phones, and it is the one operating system that is keeping up with Apple's iPhone.


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  1. Specter said on August 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    All have been working since cupcake release v1.5 except Multi-touch possibly int the next release…

  2. LARKKEN said on October 16, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    the demo the t-mobile store has a 16gb card in it now played with it today

  3. yoyo said on October 15, 2008 at 7:08 am

    the data usage cap has actually been increased to 10gb, twice that of the iphone

  4. Ash said on October 8, 2008 at 6:05 am

    32gb ??
    Did you read: maximum of 8 Gigabyte supported?

  5. LARKKEN said on October 5, 2008 at 9:48 am

    why does noone say extusb is like twice the sound quality of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack? With support of HCSD in january when 32gb cards come out from Kingston and Sand disk you could have a G1 with 32gb of storage, ohh and developers can write Any app IE…. Exchange, video plyers, diff web browsers….. come on people dont fight the future

  6. chad said on October 4, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    “It basically comes down to the user and the things that he might want to do with the phone. ”
    BULL$%@, it comes down to what the carriers will leave unlocked and allow you to use on “their network”. The US carriers will never sell and allow an open source (the way most tech people think of open source). Google has already made concessions to TMo about IM and bluetooth issues, and TMo tried to sneak a fast one by us with a 1gb cap. They also made clear “this is a standalone device” when the idea of tethering came up. The carriers may not be able to have as much control over the devices, but will act quickly to exercise control via the network

  7. Andrey said on October 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Also no A2DP support.

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