T-Mobile today officially unveiled the G2 handset, the first smartphone able to fully take advantage of the carrier’s mobile broadband network capable of speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The G2 will ship with the latest version of Android (s goog) — aka Froyo — in the near future, and T-Mobile will begin taking pre-orders later this month. Along with a 3.7-inch multitouch display, the G2 uses a unique sliding hinge for access to a full QWERTY keypad. The device will support Adobe Flash Player (s adbe), high-definition video recording and Google Voice Actions.
On paper, the new G2 is definitely an evolution from the very first Google Android phone, the G1, which T-Mobile debuted in 2008. At that time, when all of its major competitors already offered fast 3G networks, T-Mobile entered the mobile broadband race with its own 3G implementation. It’s fitting then, that the G2 has a radio capable of using T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, which I’ve found to be faster even than Sprint’s (s s) 4G WiMAX offering.
Since the G2 is competing against high-end handsets with so-called 4G network support, such as the HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, it needs some horsepower under the hood. Some may be put off by the 800 MHz CPU that will power this smartphone, but I believe it’s too early to make a judgement call on that. The G2 uses a Qualcomm (s qcom) MSM7230 chip, which is slightly different from the current crop of 1 GHz Snapdragon chips that are used today. This chip was announced after the original Snapdragons and was shown off in February at the Mobile World Congress. Here’s a glimpse of the MSM 7230 powering four simultaneous videos and 3-D gaming at 30 frames per second on reference hardware as an example of the chip’s capabilities.
Aside from the potential of the CPU, there’s little question that the G2 is a contender in the current crop of smartphones. Real-world mobile speeds around 10 Mbps, combined with the features of Google’s newest Android version should be a potent combination. In just two years, Android has helped transform T-Mobile from a mobile broadband also-ran to a carrier that’s taking the lead for fast mobile web connectivity. The G2 is an example of more powerful handsets with access to faster networks that are sure to come.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):4G: State of the Union