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The T-Mobile G2, this is not the (An)Droid you are looking for (Updated)

353870037_photobucket_7457_.jpg 2010-10-01_17-56-29_672.jpg picture by pixolas

Recently, my good friends at T-mobile let me have about an hour and a half to play with the new G2 from HTC, so I wanted to give you the lowdown from a Droid user perspective.

The phone itself has a nice size to it, and the keyboard layout is also very easy to use. The device itself runs pretty well and I did not notice any lag or slowdowns as I put it thru its paces. The screen is nice and crisp and the touchscreen input is on par with some of the best devices out there. It is pretty much standard Android vanilla fare as far as the UI is concerned and as I was out getting 4 kids glasses I was able to text, browse, and email with little trouble while keeping track of my small army.

Sounds good right? Well not all of it was good in my experience. The keyboard while nice has a big caveat as it is hinged and not in a good way. The hinge is made of a non ferrous metal which will keep it from rusting, but for being brand new it had way too much play for my liking. It seemed sturdy but I foresee people snapping this thing in two. Also as others have confirmed, the memory issue bothers me. The 4 gigabyte internal memory is shared between the system and apps with around 2 gigabytes left being pretty much unusable.  The phone itself is expandable to 32 gigabytes thru the sd card so yes there is storage to be had, but in my opinion and having owned another phone with shared internal memory, I am not a huge fan. I also have found that the power button being located on the side is more of a pain, and restricts quick access to turning the screen on. (I am left handed by the way, so you right handers may have better results.)

So to wrap it up, if you are not already on Big Red or have a significant other on T-mobile it may be worth a look. I say this apprehensively because unless you are very careful I see a trip back to your local carrier for a replacement. Please anyone who may decide this an option, I implore you to PURCHASE THE INSURANCE. That being said Once fully rooted (yes I know of the temporary root that has been achieved.) This may be the next cult following for the non-VZW crowd and I enjoyed my time with the phone, but will not be giving this another look. In todays smartphone market ease of use and durability should be much higher than the G2’s current offer.

UPDATE:  Just after MrPicolas posted this, news broke that this phone has a rootkit included which can wipe your phone back to its original state should you tamper with it and put say, a custom ROM or something on it.  Basically any custom or user change made to the source code can be overwritten each time the phone is booted.  I think we all know that the majority of the excitement behind this device was the fact that it ran a pretty vanilla Android, but after hearing this news, I’d say our “locked” bootloader is nothing. (Via:  News America)

Thoughts everyone?

  • Jen

    I like the phone.

  • I personally own this device and it has seen more than it’s fair share of pavement and the z-hinge was the saving grace. Plus performance wise it far outperforms any of the Galaxy phones, and the vast majority of the Droid line still in the single core class. I have even done some side by side with the Droid x2 and my phone still keeps up with a fairly unnoticeable lag the phone is an out and out dream to use, and the only phone that has me even slightly tempted away is the HTC Amaze, if it had a z-hinge keyboard I’d have one in my pocket already, but hard to pass up 42 Mbps downloads with FREE hotspot so yeah I’ll take the plunge

  • Jmendoza1757

    For me, the design sucks. To difficult to open the damm thing to access the keyboard to the point that makes you wish to go back to the laptop instead if you're home. Its not as easy to open it like in the g1, since you're lifting the screen to displace it to the top, without any point of traction.

    The keyboard is laid ugly, impractical also. I'm seriously dissapointed.

  • Xcvgfxg

    why do people criticise the phone. all in all its a nice phone. FOR THE RECORD : MOST PEOPLE PREFER TOUCH SCREENS WITH A KEYBOARD!!! RATHER THAN A ON SCREEN TOUCH. so if ure going to criticise/debate on something debate on that!

  • Manuel_JDM

    dis phone is freakin sik…..!!!!! da iphone 4 has nothing on it!!!!!FTW!!!

  • Mr2turbo15

    I love my og…and iv done some stuff to it not to the extream though..but I have vz n my wife and her mother have tmobile they have better family plans..I dnt even use my min..just baseacilly texting and web browsing..n it looks like the g2 is baseacilly tmobiles droid..why not get it?..it looks nice..it has froyo..better keyboard..n like I said rooting is not a big issue for me..

  • DannyJedi

    Phones with moving parts?


  • Mrpicolas

    Yes I made a mistake the power button is located on the top but the button to turn on your screen is located on the right side calling me an f*** idiot is only gonna get your post deleted and possibly banned so please use some common sense when posting your replies

  • Ratmandu

    An hour and a half with a phone and you are talking down about it's durability? Remember, people said the same thing about the G1, and it has been proven to be more durable than most.

  • Simon
  • guz1115

    Its not like HTC to churn out a bad phone, hmmm?

  • Hfghfh

    Isn't it a HTC DESIRE Z ???

  • Wow! And I though Moto was being ridiculous. Now HTC is making hardware that wipes itself back to stock!

    Come to think of it, doesn't that violate the open source nature of Android under the Apache License?

  • Stephen D

    Read this on Engadget earlier… why HTC? Will the Lexicon be locked down? The Fascinate just gets better and better for me.

  • Somebody

    There is no rootkit! It is just WRITE PROTECTED with REDIRECTED WRITES (to that missing 1.9 GB of internal storage). This is why it APPEARS to be overwriting changes. IT ISN'T. Those changes simply aren't being written where they need to be!

    However, I do find the notion of blocking your user out to be extremely distasteful. I won't be purchasing one of these since they need to be hacked. If it is offered as a DEV PHONE, I may consider it.

  • re: UPDATE:

    Wow. I'm really starting to not want any of these manufacturer's phones since they all are determined to make them god damned rental phones and not let us have admin rights on our own devices. If I have to get a mobile broadband card and carry around a f'ing netbook to make calls and stuff with to get to run my OS of choice with admin rights then I will. Hell of a lot cheaper too.

  • So Motorola and HTC are into the Non-Root charge???


  • Darkseider

    How does this work with the court ruling that end users cannot be prosecuted for modifying “their” device should they decide to and install whatever they want? I am wondering how legal this actually is? Me thinks HTC can go suck the big one after this move. Maybe LG or that Chinese upstart company will give us the next great hackable phone.

  • The rootkit detail is interesting, given that HTC had previously been touted as “hacker friendly”. Guess not. Bottom line is, the more control OEMs have over devices, the more they can force users to upgrade to newer hardware when that comes out. It seems no OEM in existence has been able to resist the revenue allure of that fact.

    OTOH, taken to its extreme, this is pretty much a nightmare for users. Imagine OEMs stopping updates and feature rollouts to new handsets 6 months after launch. How does spending $400/year on handset hardware alone sound to you? #sigh

    I had high hopes for this machine, but it sadly seems locked down mobile devices are the future. The more time passes, the more Google's Android Dream decays into more of the same ol' same ol' handset game carriers/OEMs have been playing since Day 1.

  • Arnoldt2007

    When I heard this phone was straight vanilla with a new more efficient processor chip I was slightly regreating switch to Big Red for my Incredible. Now that I know this bastard comes with a malicious rootkit chip, I can safely say I made the right choice after all.

  • Maria Erickson

    Why does Droid-Life feel the need to give non-droid phones that aren't on verizon bad reviews? I mean I know this is a “Droid community blog”, so why review non-Droid phones in the first place? Im sure these phones (G2, Fascinate, ect.) aren't as bad as they're made out to be.

    • Guest

      I do not understand the negative reviews either. I would like to see unbiased reviews on all Android based phone on any of the carriers.

      “Droid” phones are not perfect, and neither is Verizon.

    • Arnoldt2007

      Becasue Android is a part of the “Droid Community.” It's important to stay knowledge about the whole subject of android if you're passionate about it.

    • MindofStorms

      Actually the same thing that is said here is said outside this site as well. To the Guest post below, the reviews are unbiased, not to mention no one ever said anything about the Droid line being perfect, if you've read previous post/reviews, they've had their time with complaints with the Droid, for say, the “idle threats” from Moto about rooting your phone, (which was done by the masses with the DROID.) Soooo, read more reviews and news.

    • Droidzilla

      Agreed. The whole fixation on the word “Droid” as opposed to the entire Android experience is what's soured me on this site. It's like reading Engadget give an Android review when DL gives a “non-Droid” review, and like an Engadget Apple review when DL gives a “Droid” review.

      It's a marketing name, for crying out loud. Who cares if it says “Droid” or “Retina” or whatever? Sad.

    • a186840

      its all about getting PAID!!!!!!!

  • EC8CH

    Nexus “redone”?

  • alex

    I have verizon..and my wife and her mother have tmobile they have family plan..and tmobile has better family plans than vz..I was thinking of going to tmobile for a while but none of there phones I like..like I do with my moto droid..but once I found out about the htc g2..it looks like a tmobile version of a droid and if it is why not change companies to save money…and if you could do the same things you can on a droid why not..its a new phone so I can't find videos of people reviewing the phone from the out side in..I think it has swype and stuff

    • xyzlene

      it does have swype installed. i'm with VZW as well. i'm honestly fed up with their overpriced plans, bloated droids, and other aspects such as bing, I still have the d1 and love it to death. when i heard about the g2 i was pretty psyched about it.

      i'm really picky about audio quality, and this is where the g2 fails. the speaker phone is a joke, and the headset requires a sweetspot for one to hear the person clearly on the other side. If the g2 was comparable in terms of the d1 in sound, i would have jumped ship, and crossed over to t-mob.

      it seems these days to have the perfect phone there is no option to root. touchwiz… where is 2.2??? – droid x – locked and blur. htc,,, not really into sense… i will wait with my overclocked d1 until a worthy handset comes out.

      is it so difficult to make a plain jane android phone with good battery life. gorilla glass. good speaker phone, proper ota's , and easy access to total admin control ??????

  • The power button is on the top, not “the side”. Sounds like you are not a T-Mobile fan but have to mention that the data speed on the G2 is super fast in NYC, much faster than any other network.

  • The power button is on the top, not “the side”. Sounds like you are not a T-Mobile fan but have to mention that the data speed on the G2 is super fast in NYC, much faster than any other network.

  • NorCalGuy

    Can u say D1!!

  • rals

    What a shame, I was really liking this phone…up to the part with the locked bootloader.

  • El El Kool J

    If you're gonna get a smartphone to use “everywhere” suck it up and pay the Big Red prices.. this is a T-Mobile “smart”phone!! 😛

  • Ilhe1s

    My brother is on T mobile and just got his yesterday. As soon as he opened it I checked the hinge and indeed when turned upside down the screen fell open. Had to send it back and had to argue with them to let me go get one from the store to make sure in person the hinge was a good one.

    • Maxual

      So far as I know, ALL of them are like that. HTC commented about it being designed that way. Any stronger of a hings and your fingers would be covered with blood-blisters from the pinching. I played around with in-store models at 2 locations, and they were both the same. Once open and up, the hinge is stable enough to support the screen in a realistically upright position and it doesn’t fall on your fingers while typing.

      If you find something different, repost with an update. I’d be curious to know how it turned out.

      Honestly, tho. . . the only place you’re going to be typing upside down is on your back. If your brother is THAT bored in bed, he either needs to find a new partner or use the Swype (PLUS, it will be easier for him to type one-handed)!!! :~D

  • Considering the problematic eFuse infection on the more recent Droid series phones, I hope that this will not become a trend HTC buys into. While these “hackblocks” are annoying at best, the dev community has for the most part overcome any challenge manufacturers have produced. So why bother spending the time and money creating these silly ways to keep passionate Android users from really making phones their own? Anyone rooting and changing core system code understands what they're doing and that customer support can't help them. I really think these businesses should focus more on creating exceptional phones rather than scheming up methods of hindering the power users and hardcore fans.

    • Well, manufacturer are not only selling to power users. They sell to everyone.

      With the growing popularity of Android phones, and with the growing carelessness of the people using them, it is a matter of time until we see viruses for these phones. The customization community sees this as an attack on them, but like you said, they will come through and do what needs to be done. You can do anything you want when you plug the phone in and can restart it. But for a virus dev, a rootkit is quite a feat to overcome.

      I think that the rootkit is a very good idea. It is there for those that want to protect their phones–users who vastly outnumber those that want to customize them.

      • It would be a better idea if it was possible to just simply turn it off (for those who want to customize). Pop up a warning and require users to agree that yes, they are taking full responsibility if they mess up their phone (just like the warnings with any posted instructions on rooting, etc) that makes sense, but don’t try to stop people from doing it.

        • Until someone makes a macro virus that “ok”s this change for you.

          I’m not a fan of the rootkit, either. Just playing devil’s advocate.

        • that won’t work. a “turn off” setting change could easily be performed by a virus, and then we are back to page one. and no one is stopping you from customizing your phone. rootkits have historically been fairly easy to remove. the problem with android is that development is generally done by less experienced programmers, so everyone thinks that it is a big deal.

          (as a disclaimer, i love and appreciate the dev community and everything that they have done and continue to do. however, i am still honest and realistic about it.)

          • You’re (both) right, of course, and I think I oversimplified. In more general terms, I meant that I agree that this is a good fail-safe for the average consumer in terms of viruses, but there must be some way to allow people to opt out of it while taking full responsibility for their actions (and devices).

          • but this is only assuming that a user will know what all of this means. being able to opt out of something that the average user does not understand or want to understand means that they will be bombarded by “useless” information which will only scare them (i’ve seen it happen countless times). rumors around the phone will lead people to think it is a bad phone, even though the rootkit is actually a good thing for most users.

            as far as customization goes, it will happen. like i said, a rootkit is easy to remove by a dev who knows about it and what it means. your “opt out” option is to just remove it. but this way, if you don’t care about it, you won’t notice it, and if you do care about customization, you’ll just follow the tutorials to remove the rootkit (really, the only fault is not labeling those tutorials with “opt out”). this is a very common business model, and you have lived with it for a very long time now without noticing.

          • I think that rooting your phone and customizing it is a little more than the majority of people using these phones can figure out. No need to lock it down if they have no clue how to get in to it. and for those that want to root, let them! Its our device once we buy it, you can be damn sure no one is going to tell me what I can and can not do with my property! Fu*king panzies! Android=open

      • Bigcraig4u

        if they aren’t power users they don’t know about rooting or a root kit – and if i pay for something i should be able to use it anyway i please – if you don’t want to root your phone then Don’t and Stop speaking what you don’t know about and for others. You opinion is the VERY reason companies are able to sell us a product and then tell us what and how to use it…..

      • xyzlene

        I think that the rootkit is a very good idea. It is there for those that want to protect their phones–users who vastly outnumber those that want to customize them ———-

        from a different perspective—-

        ok. and the patriot act parts 1, 2, and 3 is to protect us as well. when in actuality it quietly negates our god given rights of freedom in the u.s.a.

        • DannyJedil

          Death to the NWO.

  • Wow that sucks about the rootkit. I really hope this doesn't catch on….

    • Mrpicolas

      I think this will be less problematic than motos bootloader imo…

      • glad to hear you say that… what i heard u say though is “give people time, they'll beat this problem soon enuff, and we'll have custom ROM's for it too.” 😉

  • Rain_king46

    Why do these manufacturers feel the need to lock down their phones and not let us customize them? I mean seriously, what is the problem?

    • BlackHeart

      I think Kiril answered that question already.

    • Money and exclusivity. If it wasn't for those two things, we wouldn't need words like jailbreaking, rooting, unlocking and reflashing.

  • Michael_NM

    Dr. Droid that was very nice of your friend, but friends don't let friends use T-Mobile. 😛

    • Maxual

      Seriously?!? Why would I want to pay $30 more/mo. for 100 fewer minutes than I have with T-Mo to have just as crappy reception as the three or four friends that I DO know on the V-Network?

      Let’s not forget . . . T-Mobile are the ones that ANDROID partnered with to launch the inaugural open-source mobile phone. I love my T-Mobility and can’t wait for my G2 to arrive Friday. You can keep your V-Network and your HemorrDroid X.

      • xyzlene

        serious! kind of disappointed that the g2 will no longer be covered on d.life—-“I enjoyed my time with the phone, but will not be giving this another look.” as stated by Kellex…. so verizon pays you well, huh?

        • Mrpicolas

          Firstoff I wrote the article and am.not paid by anyone. Secondly I have had tmobile sprint att and vzw as carriers the phone as I said is not bad. The hinge however and the fact tmobile service in my area sucks are reasons I will not be giving it another look please don’t blame kellex for my views

  • HTC has always made crap. I feel like I was the first to say that when they had the HTC Diamond or whatever the hell is what called.

    • NebulaOcton

      I loved my Tilt.

      • ircmaxell

        Me too. Especially towards then end when I was running Android on it. Really a solid little phone. But nothing compared to today's powerhouses…

  • It's too bad about the hinges. While I'm not on big 'T', this does 'look' like a sharp handset. Hopefully it doesn't break down a whole lot physically once the majority of fans get their mitts on it!

  • This is quite interesting. ALL HAIL VANILLA! 🙂

  • Athomson16


    • PyroHoltz

      Not really, but keep hoping for it…might happen some day. 😐

  • Mrpicolas

    I see a koush boot hijack in the works. Any thoughts???

    • Br_d

      Yeah, the rootkit sounds as overblown as the DX eFuse. People will find a way around it. Where there's a will, there's a way.

  • first
    is it too early to ask for rooting options =D

    • Mrpicolas

      Lol you missed first by just a little

      • PyroHoltz

        I think he actually beat you Mr. Picolas, sort Disqus by 'Oldest First'.