Google and T-Mobile have launched the G1 mobile phone – a new smartphone that features Google’s innovative Android mobile operating system. Google’s Android has long been heralded as a rival platform to Apple’s iPhone 3G, and Google has said it will let all mobile phone makers freely use it in future handsets.
The G1 features a 480×320 pixel touchscreen and a full Qwerty keyboard to make typing easy. With 3G internet access and wi-fi, plus a 3.2 megapixel camera and GPS, it’s feature-packed enough to give rivals such as the iPhone 3G and Nokia N96 a run for their money.
The open source software will go head-to-head in competition with Nokia’s Symbian, and Microsoft’s Mobile phone operating systems. It may also be a tempting alternative to Apple’s iPhone software.
Seamless integration with Google technologies
As you’d expect from a project backed by Google, it will integrate many of the immensely powerful brand’s products seamlessly into the phone software. These will include Googlemail (Gmail), Google maps with GPS, search, and Instant Messaging (IM) using Google Talk. Applications will be available via the Android Market – a similar method to Apple’s AppStore – but in contrast, Google says the Android Market will initially host only free applications.
Which? technology expert Al Warman was excited by the launch. ‘It’s been a long time since Android was first mentioned, and Google’s entrance into the world of mobile phones could bring power and simplicity to your mobile life as much as it changed the internet.’
The Android phone will be available in the US from October, and will no doubt be eagerly awaited in the UK. Keen mobile phone fans can register for launch updates at the T-mobile website. The G1 is expected to be available free on T-Mobile tariffs of over £40 a month, which will include unlimited net browsing. An online Android G1 phone emulator is available on the T-mobile website, so you can play with the interface prior to the arrival of the real thing in November.
Which? RSS news feed
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the . If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to RSS news feeds.