It’s been a while now since the first phone to use Google’s revolutionary Android Operating System, the T Mobile G1, was released and the concept seems to have gathered pace somewhat, with a host of new Android mobile phones and smart phones now available. Here’s brief review of each of the past and current Android phones released so far.
T Mobile G1
The original ‘Google Phone’ released after much hype in October 2008, the G1 was touted as the big threat to the established iPhone. It has to be said that the G1, manufactured by the Taiwanese mobile specialists HTC, was something of a disappointment. The phone itself was bulky and the slide-out keyboard drew complaints for being unwieldy and impossible to use with just one hand.
The G1 did, however, include some innovations, most notably, the seamless integration of many of Google’s famous applications such as search, maps and street view. And most people who reviewed the phone were impressed with the speed and reliability of the connection made to the internet while they were out and about – this was, after all, a project which aimed to make the internet truly mobile?
The world didn’t have to wait long for some improvements to take place with the release of the HTC Magic in April 2009. The slide-out keyboard was ditched in favor of an intuitive touch screen function, the much criticised camera was upgraded to 3.2 mega pixels and the handset itself was smaller, lighter and much more attractive.
The critics started to wonder whether, in fact, Google were on to something here?
Just a few short weeks later and the HTC Hero, also known as the G2 Touch, came onto the market and now people really were taking notice. The HTC Hero is a sleek, modern looking handset with all the usual features and some notable improvements.
The 3.2″ display with touch-screen functionality is bright and responsive with an iPhone like ‘pinch-to-zoom’ feature and also displays useful weather updates as well as updates on all your favorite twitter and Facebook feeds.
The Hero also is the first phone to use HTC’s innovative ‘Sense’ featuring seven individual, customized home screens which can be changed with the sweep of a finger.
The latest offering from HTC is aimed, primarily, at the budget and pre-pay market. A slightly smaller and more compact handset with a 2.8″ screen and some trimming down in the feature department, the idea is clearly aimed at bringing Android to the masses and who would bet against it?
It’s been a while since Motorola were connected with anything that could be described as innovative but the Dext may well change a few perceptions of one of the original and oldest mobile handset manufacturers?
In addition to the Android operating system, Motorola have included their own application, known as ‘MotoBlur’ which checks Twitter, MySpace and Facebook for status updates and displays these on one of it’s five home screens. Clearly aimed at the social network generation the Dext also re-introduces the slide-out QWERTY keyboard which is a lot more easy to use than the original concept trialled in the G1. The Motorola also includes a nifty security application which allows users to remotely wipe all personal data from the phone should it be lost or stolen.
Samsung Galaxy i7500
The first Android phone on the O2 network, as well as Samsung’s first foray in this sector, the Galaxy i7500 features a 3.2″ screen, 8MB built in memory and a 5 mega pixel camera with integrated flash and auto-focus. Some of the Android features have been cut down but, overall, a quality smart phone that will undoubtedly be a hit?
The speed and pace of development of the Android project over the last twelve months has been phenomenal and there can be no doubting Google’s commitment to be a major force in mobile technology development in the future. Whether the Google phone concept will ever topple Apple’s iPhone as the handset of choice remains to be seen, but given the progress so far it will be interesting to see how the concept develops over the next few years.