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First Google Android mobile phone debuts

Sep 23, 2008 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 10 views

After many months of anticipation, the first mobile phone based on Google’s Linux-powered Android software platform was unveiled today by T-Mobile in the U.S.

“Available soon” to T-Mobile customers in the U.S. and Europe, the T-Mobile G1 integrates both a touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and can be used in portrait and landscape orientations.

The device features numerous Internet-based functions, foremost of which is a small-footprint version of Google’s Chrome browser. According to T-Mobile, the G1’s browser zooms Internet content when the user taps on a portion of the screen.

Supported web-services include various Google applications such as search, maps (including street view), mail (with support for both POP3 and IMAP), and calendar, as well as YouTube videos and several text and video IM alternatives — Google Talk, AOL, Yahoo! Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger — but not Skype’s VoIP service, at least for now.

Additionally, the device will invite users to download and install add-on applications available from the “Android Market” (see interesting discussion).

Here are a couple of silent promotional videos from HTC, the G1’s manufacturer, demonstrating some of the features of the device:

T-Mobile G1 promotional video
(Click to play)

T-Mobile G1 promotional video
(Click to play)

The multimode device supports T-Mobile’s 3G and EDGE network as well as WiFi, and automatically selects the best network for Internet data access and download, according to T-Mobile.

Key features and specs reportedly include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm MSM7201A, clocked at 528 MHz
  • Operating System — Google’s Android Linux platform
  • Memory:
    • 192MB RAM
    • 256MB flash
    • Expansion slot — microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • Display — 3.2-inch, 320 x 480 pixel TFT LCD with touchscreen LCD
  • Device Control:
    • Touchscreen
    • Trackball with Enter button
    • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • WAN:
      • Frequencies — 1700/2100 MHz in U.S.; 2100 MHz in Europe
      • Data transfer rates — up to 7.2 Mbps down-link (HSDPA) and 2 Mbps up-link (HSUPA)
    • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE — 850/900/1800/1900 MHz (operator dependent)
  • Other wireless/wired connectivity:
    • Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate
    • 802.11b/g WiFI
    • USB 2.0 — via HTC “ExtUSB” connector (carries both USB and audio)
  • Camera — 3.2 megapixel color camera with fixed focus
  • Audio — built-in microphone and speaker
  • Ring tone formats — AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, MIDI, MP3, WMA, WMV; 40 polyphonic and standard MIDI format 0 and 1 (SMF)/SP MIDI
  • Other functions:
    • GPS receiver
    • Digital compass
    • Motion sensor
  • Battery — rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with 1150 mAh capacity
  • Talk time — up to 350 minutes for WCDMA; up to 406 minutes for GSM
  • Standby time — up to 402 hours for WCDMA; up to 319 hours for GSM
  • Dimensions — 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.6 in.
  • Weight — 5.6 oz (includes battery)

An excellent discussion of the G1’s Linux-based Android software platform appears at (note the section entitled “Linux inside”).

The G1 will be available from T-Mobile’s retail stores and online starting Oct. 22, for $179 with a two-year voice/data agreement. For more information, visit the mobile operator’s dedicated G1 web page.

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