T-Mobile G2 hands on

Like many, I've been itching to get my hands on the T-Mobile G2, and today was my lucky day.  It's the latest in the HTC cadre of Android goodness, and if first impressions stand, a fine successor to the Nexus One or a great way to get introduced to Android.  Brushed aluminum, Teflon soft coating, solid build quality (at least on the ones I tried out), and a unique look and feel will make this one a winner for many of you guys.  Follow the break to see my initial thoughts and check out the hands on video for yourself! (And a big thanks to Android Central podcast listener and T-Mobile employee Victor for getting my pre-order snafus all sorted for me!)


YouTube link for mobile viewing

Oh, and thanks to YouTube commenter indiecarlos, I now know that double tapping locks the ALT key.  So yeah, I overthought the hell out of it. 

It's not quite vanilla Froyo, but it's a close as we're likely to get on a carrier-subsidized phone.  And this thing flies.  I've tried most of the latest and greatest Android phones, and the G2 is as fast, or faster than any of them.  Put the worries and fears about the 800 MHz processor to bed -- it's not an issue.  Scrolling through the seven homescreens is like butter, the appdrawer-3D rolodex-Froyo launcher thingy is snappy and fluid, and Internet page rendering is fast.

I also spent some time with it plugged in and at the command prompt, mostly to answer some questions, but also cause I'm that guy.  It looks like support for tethering is built into the kernel, and some of the binaries are in place, but what's needed to get it started has been stripped.  That's the good news.  The bad news (for some) the light ring around the trackpad doesn't respond to any commands to change color or intensity, so I think we're stuck with white.  Blame the Nexus One for spoiling us all with colored alerts.  I'll certainly keep tinkering though, and so should you!

And I'm really feeling the size.  Using the Evo (you Droid X users know what I'm saying here, too!) I was worried that I'd be ruined and unable to ever go down in size.  But it's fine.  Having the silding qwerty helps while in landscape, and having Swype in portrait just makes it happen for me.  Have a peek for comparison -- from left to right HTC Hero, Nexus One, T-Mobile G2, and the Evo 4G.

Size comparison

You can see, the big guns the 4.3 inchers are packing might be enough to make the difference for you, but the increased pocketability and better size (for me) while making calls evens it out in my eyes.

And then there's the hinge.  I fondled looked at three units this morning, and none had any hinge issues.  Watch the video to see how I determined that, I thought the poor gal at the T-Mo store was going to have a conipition watching me shake the daylights out of them.  Like I mentioned in the video, you need to visit a T-Mobile store and play with one of these.  You might just fall in love, and there's a good chance that we'll see some variant (HTC Merge anyone?) on the rest of the big four here in the states.  But this one's mine.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a warranty to break.