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T-Mobile’s Android 2.2 phone launches on 4G-like HSPA+ network

Sep 9, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

T-Mobile USA announced an HTC-manufactured heir to its original G1 Android phone, touted as the first handset to support the company's new 4G-like HSPA+ network. The T-Mobile G2 runs Android 2.2 on a new 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, and offers 4GB internal and 8GB external flash, dual cameras, and a 3.7-inch screen with a hinge-slider QWERTY keyboard.

As with most prominent Android phones these days, some details of the G2 were tipped before the announcement. In late July, T-Mobile itself posted a teaser page about a "the first HSPA+ smartphone from T-Mobile," which at the time was rumored to be called the G1 Blaze (previously the HTC Vision). More details and a photo were leaked in late July, and T-Mobile then followed up with a few more details last week.

The G2 builds upon the naming convention of the world's first Android phone, T-Mobile's HTC-manufactured G1 (pictured at right), which was the last HTC phone from any carrier to offer a QWERTY keyboard.

T-Mobile's HTC-made MyTouch 3G, which was updated in a QWERTY slider version earlier this year, was actually code-named the G2, so in truth, the G2 should have been called the G3. Then again, we're surprised T-Mobile didn't call it the "G3" to reinforce its claim that its new HSPA+ network, which has been commonly referred to as 3.5G technology, is actually as fast or faster than Sprint's WiMAX-based 4G network, used by the HTC Evo 4G.

T-Mobile's HTC-manufactured G2 is loaded with Google apps.

T-Mobile claims the HSPA+ network delivers theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21Mbps and peak upload speeds of up to 5.7Mbps. (The G2 itself is said to support up to a theoretical 14.4Mbps for downloads.)

By comparison, Sprint's 4G speeds are said to average from 3-6Mbps for downloads, with bursts of up to 10Mbps. 3G speeds are said to average from 600Kbps to 1.7Mbps.

T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is said to cover 100 million potential users in more than 55 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

G2 taps new Snapdragon

The clock rate of the G2's new Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 is 800MHz, slower than the typical 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8x50, but the system-on-chip is said to be optimized for 720p video at 30fps, long battery life, and HSPA+ networks. Announced by Qualcomm last November along with an MSM7630 chipset for multi-mode HSPA+/EV-DO Rev. B and SV-DO devices, the MSM7230 was expected to ship by the end of this year. 

Unlike Qualcomm's QSC chips, which combine the baseband processor and RF chip in a single package, the MSM7230 and other MSM-dubbed processors move the RF chip out of the package. The SoC offers integrated GPS, and supports 12-megapixel cameras and OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics.

T-Mobile did not offer a detailed spec list, so the G2's RAM complement is unknown, but the company says the phone offers both 4GB of internal flash memory and an 8GB microSD card in a slot that can hold up to 32GB.

Resolution for the 3.7-inch screen was not listed, and although it's not clear from the photo at left, the G2 is said to feature "a unique hinge design that opens to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard."

The G2 is further equipped with an HD video camera for recording 720p videos and a five-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus. It is unclear whether these are two separate cameras, although the square gray area under the screen appears to look a bit more like a front-facing camcorder lens than a miniature touchpad. Videos can be automatically uploaded to one's Photobucket account, says T-Mobile.

The only other hardware features listed are a 3.5mm headphone jack, a stereo headset, and Bluetooth support. Presumably Wi-Fi, GPS, and other smartphone basics are also present.

The G2 not only offers Android 2.2 with Adobe Flash and pinch and zoom, but also the full suite of Google apps. These include Android Market, which now claims to hold more than 80,000 applications, according to a supplied quote from Google's Andy Rubin.

Other Google apps include Google Voice with Voice Actions, Google Goggles, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps with Places and Navigation, YouTube, Google Talk, and Google Earth. Additional touted software features includes support for Microsoft Exchange, social networking, instant messaging, and media playback.

Swype keyboard assistance is available, as are dedicated "Quick Keys" for "one-touch access to your favorite Google shortcuts and applications," says T-Mobile.

Stated Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer, T-Mobile USA, "Now, with the launch of the T-Mobile G2, we are re-teaming with our partners at Google and HTC to provide T-Mobile customers with another first — the first Android smartphone designed to deliver 4G speeds on our new network."

Stated Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation, "With today's announcement of the G2, HTC and T-Mobile are once again bringing a breakthrough Android product to market."

Availability

The T-Mobile G2 with Google will be available in the U.S. exclusively from T-Mobile at some unspecified future date. Current T-Mobile customers will be able to place pre-orders in limited quantities later this month, says the company. Registration for updates on pre-order availability are said to be available here.

More information on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network service may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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