x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

T-Mobile G1 Review

T-Mobile G1

Posted: , by Ray S.



Video, music and internet are all well and good, but messaging is still the most used feature on cell phones (besides, you know, actual calls.)  The whiz kids at Google are well aware of this, they themselves offer a great SMS toolbox, and the G1 definitely does not disappoint on this front.  All the standards are there- SMS, MMS and email- as well as several IM clients and integrated Gmail.

Text and picture messaging, as you’d expect, is threaded.  The interface is simple and straightforward, and you can attach pictures and audio files.  AIM, Google Talk, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger come preloaded on the G1.  The clients are good, though with large buddy lists it took a long time to update presence.

Messaging and IM - T-Mobile G1 Review
Messaging and IM - T-Mobile G1 Review
Messaging and IM - T-Mobile G1 Review
Messaging and IM - T-Mobile G1 Review

Messaging and IM

Gmail is of course preinstalled on the device and when you sign into your Google account at setup your Gmail gets pushed.  There is an email client as well, which lets you check other POP and IMAP accounts, including additional Gmail ones.  There is no Exchange support as of now, but there are no doubt several developers working it as you read this.  The interface is good, in fact in some ways we prefer the standard email interface to the on-device Gmail one.  With Gmail you have to scroll through the entire message to get to the reply options, which is a pain for long conversations, whereas in the general client they are static buttons on the bottom of the page.

Gmail - T-Mobile G1 Review
Gmail - T-Mobile G1 Review
Gmail - T-Mobile G1 Review
Gmail - T-Mobile G1 Review


As we noted earlier the keyboard is one of the better ones we’ve used.  The keys are flat and only slightly raised, but still easily distinguishable by feel.  The travel is shallow but good enough, and we were not only quick but very accurate from the get-go.  An onscreen keyboard would have been nice at launch, but we know it is coming.

Connectivity and Data:

The G1 is a quad-band GSM device that runs at up to 7.2Mbps on the down link and 2Mbps up.  The US version has HSPA on the 1700 and 2100 MHz bands, the former band is shed for the European variant.   For those not blessed with 3G coverage from T-Mobile yet the G1 offers Wi-Fi as well.  Bluetooth 2.0+EDR is available, though only the HSP and HFP 1.5 profiles are supported.  We’re a bit perplexed as to why they didn’t offer more support, especially A2DP, at launch.

T-Mobile G1 Review
T-Mobile G1 Review

We tested the unit in an EDGE market, and all things considered the speed wasn’t that bad.  Pages rendered excellently and the overall browser interface was good.  Safari still tops our list, with Skyfire and Opera Mobile 9.5 close behind, but the Android browser (Chrome lite?) definitely belongs in the discussion.  We prefer Opera and Skyfire’s double-tap zoom to Android’s magnifying glasses, but we like Android’s overview better.  When in full view the user can grab the little four way arrow in the bottom right and the page smoothly transitions to overview mode.  As you drag the box over portions of the page they enlarge, and releasing zooms in on that area.  It is nice for larger pages, such as PhoneArena.

Internet Browser - T-Mobile G1 Review
Internet Browser - T-Mobile G1 Review

Internet Browser

With no desktop sync everything is handled in the cloud.  Contacts and calendar sync over the air in both directions, and email is pushed directly to the phone.  To the user the experience is seamless.

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. (unregistered)

This has gots to be the ugliest 3g phone for 2008

posted on 04 Nov 2008, 12:39 1

2. (unregistered)

I think the word "ugly" is becoming redundant for the G1 already. I think anyone with eyes can see its not that attractive but the phone is a joy to actually "use". I want my women sexy i want my phone functional. Great review guys

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 23:41

14. (unregistered)

whaT? I don't see the relationship between sexy women and a functional.

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 23:47

16. (unregistered)

He means he prefers things to be practical. And yes, I also mean the women.

posted on 10 Nov 2008, 14:01

24. (unregistered)

I mean I love sexy women and I love functional phones. I dont need my phone to be "sexy" as long as it does what it is supposed to do. I for one dont find the phone ugly but it wont win any beauty contests either.

posted on 04 Nov 2008, 15:37

3. (unregistered)

In regards to the video player, you can make it play in landscape mode. The video player takes advantage of the accelerometer, if you rotate the phone it will rotate to landscape view.

posted on 05 Nov 2008, 08:28

8. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Thank you! Not quite sure how we missed that, but we've updated the review accordingly!

posted on 04 Nov 2008, 21:37 1

4. Armo (unregistered)

the arch-like slider is meant to keep the phone more sturdy.....and it worked. but i would never had said this but after reading this review u should rename ur website to iPhoneArena.com or HateG1Arena.com this phone is clearly a great phone. the cam isnt as bad as u made it to be. "Android is still immature". oh please! get over urself. android would get the stupid iPhone OS and still have room for Symbian you retard. i get u taking a FEW points off under corporate but 7!! r u kidding me!!! this deserves at least a 7 or 8. and saying "Until Android’s security is proven we have a feeling most will stay away" is the stupidest thing i have ever heard! thats why theres about half a million sales already if not more. this deserves a minimum of an overall 9.5 rating and definitely is an award winner. i cant believe i wasted my time reading this.

posted on 04 Nov 2008, 21:43 1

5. (unregistered)

did you not read the entire first part of the review where they bashed apple? jesus, you people are retarded...

posted on 04 Nov 2008, 22:49

6. Armo (unregistered)

u call that bashing? wat they said was that the iPhone was extroadinary but was close sourced unless hacked. and that the G1 was the opposite. why dont u try interpreting wat u read next time.

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 23:45

15. (unregistered)

okay, we're sorry that the whole world doesn't like the G1 as much as you guys do. I apologize on everyone's behalf for not worshipping the phone and giving it a 10/10. Can you find it in your hearts to forgive us?

posted on 07 Nov 2008, 16:24

21. Armo (unregistered)

i dont love the G1. in fact i dont plan on ever owning one. but its a great phone. and to ur comment, u say that the whole world doesnt like the G1. thats fair. but, the whole world, especially phonearena, loves the iphone, which is a piece of crap. that was fair too.

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 18:49

26. Rytr23 (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Nov 2008)

It is rev1 of an OS you moron.. of course it's not "mature". Are there thousands of apps for it you tool? A history of any sort? Stop with the stupid juice.. How is it a 7 or 8 when this phone CANNOT EVEN SYNC WITH EXCHANGE you f*@kwit? Is there a notes sync? VPN built in? Can my company put a policy on the device and wipe it if it gets lost or stolen? NO? THEN IT"S NOT READY FOR BUSINESS! I can;t believe I'm feeding an obvious troll... Anywho.. It seems pretty obvious you have very little idea about ...anything.

posted on 05 Nov 2008, 02:48

7. veneoth (unregistered)

nice reading good work

posted on 05 Nov 2008, 13:56 1

9. (unregistered)

This phone is cheap looking and Android need at least 1 more year in development to be ready for prime time. I would definitely get an Android phone next year, but definitely not the G1.

posted on 10 Nov 2008, 14:04

25. (unregistered)

This phone is not very photogenic. I promise if you actually get a chance to use one you will see that its not cheap looking at all. The phone has a nice weight to it and the sliding mechanism is very sturdy. The touchscreen responsiveness is in the same category as the iphone, no other phone comes close

posted on 05 Nov 2008, 19:58

10. kai (unregistered)

want to see how Android store catch up app store. the stong thing about the iphone is the app store!

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 18:09

11. crd22 (Posts: 77; Member since: 15 Apr 2008)

Personally, I think the G1 actually looks pretty cool (in black). It's pretty good phone too, but.... There's a few things they need to work out: the raised button area is sorta annoying when typing, no video recording (!!!!), absolutely zero camera settings, no onscreen keyboard (least of the problems though), the browser isn't that good (my opinion)-is there gonna be Opera Mobile?, and more widgets for the home pages. Overall, this is a very good phone.

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 19:06

13. Galen20K (unregistered)

I own this phone and I am Absolutely Pleased with it on all levels including its Retro-Future style Design. Its just Amazing and Compliments Android Very Well. - D

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 23:47

17. (unregistered)

I don't think that is going to be the future of the mobile phone design in this century

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 19:05

12. Galen20K (unregistered)

I've read Several Times that the T-Mobile G1 in fact has a "GLASS" screen that was said to have been Confirmed by HTC itself. In your Review you had mentioned that it lacked that which it doesn't.

posted on 06 Nov 2008, 23:48

18. (unregistered)

I guess the glass feels like plastic then.

posted on 07 Nov 2008, 00:09

19. (unregistered)

ive felt it too, and it sure feels like plastic. theres definitely some drag to it

posted on 08 Nov 2008, 09:40

22. (unregistered)

No Actually it doesnt feel Plasticy at all sorry

posted on 08 Nov 2008, 09:43

23. (unregistered)

yea there's no drag at all I have no idea what those other two people were thinking, I'm guessing they don't actually own the phone and haven't spent nearly Enough time with it. Please know what you're talking about before you post, regardless if its Anonymous or not.

posted on 07 Nov 2008, 06:15

20. person (unregistered)

the iphone 3g can be hacked. ive done it

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 18:52

27. Rytr23 (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Nov 2008)

Great Review. If T-mobile had a larger footprint I might consider picking one up.. Oh and if there was some other way to sync accounts.. I'm not quite ready to put all my faith in Google for storing my info..

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 21:48

28. NDPTAL85 (unregistered)

Uh how did Apple forget to make the iPhone consumer friendly? And 'alienated a lot of would-be buyers in the process'? You mean the extremely small percentage of buyers who are geeky enough to even know what Linux is right? All those hundreds and hundreds of people right? The iPhone just passed the RAZR as the #1 most sold phone in the US. Somehow I think Apple got it right. Lets see if the G1... or any Android phone can match those sales numbers.

posted on 09 Dec 2008, 14:02

29. kool kidz (unregistered)

the G1 is a great phone and is 1337 pwnage and owns ur faces off and you all wish you had one.

posted on 09 Dec 2008, 14:04

30. WCK 4 LiFe (unregistered)

i agree with kool kidz, the iphone is nub compared to the G1. the G1 is so beastly that if it could piss then its pee would cure cancer.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

PhoneArena rating:
Display3.2 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (180 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Qualcomm MSM7201A, Single core, 528 MHz
0.2 GB RAM
Size4.60 x 2.16 x 0.62 inches
(117 x 55 x 16 mm)
5.57 oz  (158 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 6.76 hours talk time

Latest stories