T-Mobile launches Google’s $179 G1 smartphone: ‘First real iPhone rival’

T-Mobiles G1, the worlds first smartphone powered by Googles Android OS. Photo grabbed from Engadget.
T-Mobile's G1, the world's first smartphone powered by Google's Android OS. Photo grabbed from Engadget.

Update: Visit the official T-Mobile G1 website

US mobile phone network T-Mobile today launched the G1, a smartphone powered by Google’s Android operating system which pundits and techies say may give Apple’s iPhone a stiff fight for hearts and minds of cellphone users everywhere.

Meet the G1 through Engadget’s first hand-on here. Gizmodo though has a longer and more pithy “first look”.

From the various web reports, we can state the following specs: The G1 features a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, GPS, WIFI, 3G connectivity, copy-and-paste function (which is sorely lacking in the iPhone), a tilt-sensor, camera, Bluetooth, and a complete suite of Google applications, including a dedicated search button.

According to The Inquirer:

Apart from HTC’s now-famous sliding screen that reveals a QWERTY keyboard underneath, the G1 is equipped with the same processor HTC uses on its Touch series handsets, 528MHz ARM11 with an ARM9 for communications (which supports up to 5.76Mb/s HSUPA or 7.2Mb/s HSDPA). There’s 192MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM under the bonnet, which is beefier than previous reports. SD Micro support allows for 8GB-worth of external storage. The screen isn’t too big, and the resolution is identical to the iPhone’s 480×320 (If you want more we’d suggest the HTC Touch HD).

The launch just got finished, so no details out yet on tech blogs regarding the official and full specifications of this wonder phone from Google. Catch the live-blogging by tech journalists here and here.

An Associated Press report said that the G1 will be available on Oct. 22 at a telco-subsidized price of $179, and noted that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page made a surprise appearance at the launch.

According to Walt Mossberg, the G1 may be the first real competitor to the Apple iPhone:

The G1 is a powerful, versatile device which will offer users a real alternative in the new handheld computing category the iPhone has occupied alone.