updated 07:40 am EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
T-Mobile G2 official, pre-orders late September
T-Mobile today finally confirmed details of the T-Mobile G2, the next officially sanctioned Google phone and the successor to the originating G1. It runs a stock version of Android 2.2 and not only gets quicker Android updates but deeper access to Google; it supports VoiceActions out of the box and already has Google Voice built-in. The phone comes ready with Flash 10.1, and its only major customization is the inclusion of the Swype keyboard layer.
The G2 was already known to be the first HSPA+ phone and can connect to 3G at up to 14.4Mbps, but T-Mobile has revealed that the support is built into the processor itself: the 800MHz Snapdragon MSM7230 includes the fast cellular hardware. While slower than the 1GHz chips in other Android phones, it's still considered fast enough to record 720p video.
Coming two years after the G1, the design is a significant upgrade as a whole with a 3.7-inch touchscreen with multi-touch, an optical trackpad in place of the trackball, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a five-megapixel camera. The HTC-made phone has just 4GB of internal memory, but T-Mobile gives it an 8GB microSDHC card.
T-Mobile still has yet to commit to an official ship date or price, but it will start taking "limited quantities" of pre-orders later this month. Leaks have pointed to it costing $200 on contract and $500 without, possibly launching on September 29.
The phone effectively picks up the mantle of a public-facing reference Android phone following the exit of the Nexus One this summer and may help reduce the problem of fragmentation in the OS. Although Google has claimed that the Nexus One accomplished its goal of promoting high-end Android phones, none of the remaining flagship phones were using a stock platform. The decision has kept most devices shipping without Android 2.2, even today, and preventing them from using Flash or the newest Google apps.
The G2 is likely to outsell the Nexus One but is unlikely to significantly challenge either the iPhone or other Android platforms. Through the Droid line, Verizon has dominated Android in the US while T-Mobile is now a distant second.