First Google Smartphone Released on Oct 22

September 23, 2008

The first “Google Phone” has been announced!  It’ll be released on October 22nd.

Google designed a new smartphone interface system called Android, and it will be available to just about any telephone network who want to use it on smartphones / phones.  This would be similar to Palm’s operating system, Apple’s iPhone, or Windows Mobile — except that, of course, it’s from Google.

The real test is whether the Android operating system would be better than what is being offered on the iPhone.   The iPhone has captivated the market, and Android phones would have a way to go to catch up.  However, Android’s appeal would be its (future) availability on a variety of phones by different telephone companies (rather than just from AT&T / Apple), its variety of applications that can be easily approved and then downloaded onto any Android phone (rather than put up with Apple’s strigent and lengthy approval process for new applications), and its low price (Google isn’t charging much if at all for this new system, and as a result, Android smartphones will be comparatively low-priced).

The first Android smartphone is the G1, from T-Mobile.

If you’re thinking this looks like the Sidekick, you’re right.  It does!  There are some key differences:

  • Touch-screen!
  • WiFi built-in
  • A much wider variety of applications that can be downloaded onto the smartphone
  • GPS
  • Listening to music
  • Watching videos (YouTube and similar)
  • 3G network

And some similarities:

  • Screen that swivels or slides open to reveal keyboard
  • Camera (a good 3.1 mp resolution, but no video)
  • Push email (Gmail account required)

It’ll have the usual Google features – maps, gTalk (dunno about AIM but the user should be able to download an application for that), YouTube, web browsing, Gmail, etc etc.

How much?  $179.

Yes, $179!

I’m thinking of getting one.  Hmmmmm.  Only problem?  It’s T-Mobile.  I think I’ll wait a bit longer.


7 Responses to “First Google Smartphone Released on Oct 22”

  1. passingthru Says:

    Someone said on Engadget that it should be able to roam on AT&T 3G network. (??? I don’t know anything about it all and I only looked at Engadget for the pictures at this time and noticed that comment about ATT roaming).

  2. Vadim Milman Says:

    Why are we concerned about T-Mobile? ;-) Living in San Francisco Bay Area, I have no problem with T-Mobile coverage or the service. (I have to say all phone companies including AT&T do not have great customer service, but T-Mobile is not that bad compared to AT&T)

    I am so thrilled that there is something better than iPhone that is just a “UI” gimmick with great audio services. ;-)

  3. Vadim Milman Says:

    But I am bummed that this smart-phone does not offer video recording!

  4. proudgeek Says:

    PassingThru – good question, I don’t know if the T-Mobile G1 would be “hackable” and thus be used on another network. Hmmm.

    Vadim – hi! Where I live, only Verizon works underground in our Metro system (and even so, pretty much only intermittently). Elsewhere in the metro DC area and in much of the USA, Verizon has pretty much stellar coverage. I’m not too crazy about T-Mobile’s coverage.

    That said, I can be convinced … :-)

  5. Roy Says:

    When it comes onto Verizon I’ll get it.

  6. hedy Says:

    proudgeek, Spring, too can be worked underground in the metro system.

    I wait too. :-)

  7. proudgeek Says:

    Hi Hedy! I didn’t know Sprint works too. Hmmm. It has a better monthly service plan than Verizon, too …

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