Late Friday morning I got the T-Mobile G2, the latest HTC-build Android phone to hit the US market. I unboxed it on video with Aaron's help, spent some time with it Friday afternoon, and then used it here and there over the weekend. Clearly I need to spend some time with this bad boy before giving a full-on review. But here, for you, are some first impressions and photos:
The phone is gorgeous. Ironically, I'm not sure how much I personally dig its style, but that's a subjective thing (I'm all into color lately). G2's grey on grey with black color scheme is stately and geek chic all at once, and the metal back plate adds a sleek, luxurious touch.
G2 feels very solidly built, the "loose hinge" notwithstanding. If you don't know, the loose hinge issue is that when you hold the phone upside down (screen facing down), the hinge extends partially-to-fully. Otherwise, the hinge is solid with very sure open/close action, and the phone as a whole feels very nice. When I unboxed it on video I was moved to use my "German Luxury Car" analogy to describe the phone's mass as a luxurious heft, and not unwanted weight.
Forget all of that nonsense about processor clock speeds: G2 is plenty zippy. Powered by a next-gen Snapdragon chip rated at 800 MHz, the device is responsive when flicking through screens or launching apps - so don't worry that G2 "only" has 800 MHz instead of 1 GHz. Different generations of chips, different devices, stop staring at the spec sheet and use the phone.
G2 is the first device to launch with Google Voice integration. Honestly, I've yet to try it.
Call quality has been good, reception has been good, and data flow has been fine considering that I've yet to venture into HSPA+ territory. Tomorrow I'll take G2 with me to San Francisco and be sure to hit up some HSPA+ areas.
The keyboard is very nice. I didn't much like the original G1's keyboard. I do like G2's keyboard, which is reminiscent of the myTouch Slide's QWERTY. Good travel, good action to the isolated keys, and I personally love how HTC does the staggered columns (like a computer keyboard) instead of the grid layout found on devices like the Samsung Epic 4G.
Overall the G2 is smaller than Epic 4G (see photo comparison in the gallery) but still offers plenty of screen space and keyboard room. Good on ya, HTC!
Quick Keys is a potentially very cool function. As Aaron pointed out, it's too bad the actual Quick Keys are hidden away when the phone is closed; it'd be great to have QK functionality without having to slide the keyboard open.