Two years ago, T-Mobile USA launched the first-ever Google (NSDQ: GOOG) phone, the T-Mobile G1, a phone that only now can be described as an early prototype of the devices that followed in its footsteps. Today, T-Mobile is announcing the G2, it’s 10th Android device. And, while it’s sleeker than the first one by leaps and bounds, it is still designed to appeal to the geeks — this time by being the first smartphone to offer the super-fast HSPA+ speeds offered by T-Mobile’s network.
In an interview, with T-Mobile’s Chief Network Officer Neville Ray said it was true that the G1 appealed to tech-enthusiasts, but that “it is even more so on the G2 — that device is fast, giving you the ability to access all of Google’s geeky content even faster.” As if a testimony to that heritage, T-Mobile USA used binary (a bunch of zeros and ones) in a tweet yesterday to let users know that G2 news is coming soon.
Pricing is still a big secret with this device, but T-Mobile said today that current customers will get exclusive access to a preorder later this month. Amazingly, the G1 — a completely outdated piece of hardware — is still for sale (but not for much longer).
The Android phone, built by HTC, has a slide-out Qwerty, and offers a full “Google experience” phone, meaning that it will come integrated with Google Voice and other apps, like Voice Actions, Google Goggles, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps with Places and Navigation, YouTube, Google Talk and Google Earth. The phone will come with a somewhat underpowered Snapdragon 800 MHz CPU, but will have a HD video camera, a 5-megapixel still camera with flash and 4GB of internal memory and 8GB microSD memory card.
Besides hardware and software, the big selling point of this phone will be speed since it is the first smartphone to run on the 4G-like HSPA+ network, which now covers 100 million Americans in 55 major metro areas. Ray said that territory is expected to double by the end of the year, and right now peak speeds are being clocked at 21 megabytes a second. Ray says the message to consumers that they are trying to send is that they have a great network, great devices, and offer a great value. “That position is stronger this year, and is something the other guys have to catch up to.”