09
Oct
t-mobile-g2
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

I've said it before and I'll say it again: stock Android is the way to go. I hate it when manufacturers add custom UIs, bloatware, and unnecessary lag to our beloved Android operating system, so, naturally, I was overjoyed to hear that the T-Mobile G2 would ship with a stock build of Android. Early reviewers seem to agree with this, and overall, they seem to think highly of the device. Let's take a look at some of those reviews that have been posted so far.

CNET

CNET's Bonnie Cha found the G2's design to be "clean and very professional," although she also said that she wouldn't exactly classify it as sexy, despite our own Artem Russakovskii's earlier comments. What she found more impressive was the G2's build quality and keyboard, the former of which she described as "premium" and the latter she thought was "quite good."

Additionally, she has confirmed that the phone's 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 chipset is nothing to worry about; if anything, it is a pro rather than a con (as she says, "don't let the numbers fool you;" it turns out the processor is actually a newer and better model than the 1GHz Snapdragon processor found in devices like the HTC EVO 4G and the Xperia X10).

The takeaway?

Some minor issues aside, the T-Mobile G2 is one of the carrier's top Android smartphones, offering an excellent QWERTY keyboard, speed, and plenty of features.

Read the full CNET review

Engadget

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Engadget's editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky also got a chance to review the G2, and while he found the speakerphone to be "downright painful" and the camera to be "solid but not mind-blowing," overall, his opinion was positive:

The G2 is not just an awesome Android phone, it's an awesome phone, period. It's clear that HTC has taken its years of experience with devices in this form factor and applied that knowledge to this device.

From a hardware perspective, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more attractive, elegant, or capable landscape QWERTY phone, and as far as software is concerned, T-Mobile seems to be doing its best to offer Android in an untainted form. Yes, there is a little bit of bloatware here, and yes, there seems to be something amiss with the G2's potential for hacking, but as a standalone Android device in a world of iPhone 4s and EVOs, it's packing some serious heat. Every phone on the market right now has its own set of idiosyncrasies and minor shortcomings, and the G2 is no different there, but HTC and T-Mobile have pulled the device together in a way that makes those dents pretty easy to ignore.

If you're looking for a top-tier Android player with little in the way of compromises, look no further. The G2 has arrived.

Read the full Engadget review

PC Magazine

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Sascha Segan of PC Magazine opened his T-Mobile G2 review by calling the device "sleek and classy," going on to call the hinge by which users can slide up the display to access the keyboard "powerful" and "guillotine-like." It wasn't all good though;  he was disappointed by the fact that although T-Mobile claims it runs stock Android, the company felt the need to pre-load a ton of bloatware and remove tethering altogether. However, he did like the phone overall, as evidenced by his conclusion:

The G2 is the best smartphone with a keyboard on T-Mobile. If you like the tap-tap-tap of physical keys, the G2's speedy Android style, excellent messaging software and top-notch Web browser make it a pleasure to use. The phone is much faster and classier than its main keyboarded competitor, the myTouch 3G Slide ($179.99, 3.5 stars). There are also specific features on the G2, like voice dialing over Bluetooth, that aren't available on its main competitor, the Samsung Vibrant.

While the Vibrant and the T-Mobile G2 are both Editors' Choice winners (one for smartphone with a physical keyboard, the other without), I still prefer the Samsung Vibrant. The Vibrant has an even faster processor, better multimedia skills, stronger social-networking integration, and it's noticeably lighter. Both are top-of-the-line smartphones - your choice should be based on your form-factor preference - but either will serve you well.

Read the full PC Magazine review

CNN Money Fortune Magazine

Seth Weintraub of CNN Money's Fortune Magazine also gave the G2 a thumbs-up, calling its HPSA+ connectivity "very quick," although he didn't think nearly as highly of the phone's pre-installed Web2go app, which he thinks "ruins a pristine Google experience!" Nonetheless, he came to the same conclusion as Bonnie, Josh, and Sascha:

So is this really the best GSM phone sold in the U.S.?  The closest competition is the Nexus One which you can no longer buy and the Samsung Galaxy phones (Vibrant and Captivate) which are still stuck on Android 2.1 and don't have a strong GPS.  The closest contender is actually the T-Mobile MyTouch HD which is due out in a couple weeks. We'll see how it stacks up to the current "King of Android GSM."

Read the full CNN review

The General Consensus

The G2 is certainly not a perfect device - its "stock" build of Android does not include tethering, one of FroYo's built-in features, its speakerphone can be tinny, and its camera isn't the best, not to mention that pesky chip which prevents permanent rooting. Nonetheless, its aluminum construction, speed, and keyboard seem to be enough to push it over the edge - the T-Mobile G2 appears to be one of the, if not the, best phones out there.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Lokesh

    stock UI looks like shit

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      I disagree.

      • Lokesh

        I guess its subjective. Having owned the N1 and the EVO now, I could never go back, use and enjoy stock UI. Looks drab and boring.

        • m0ney7

          So install Launcher Pro then.

        • Lokesh

          @m0ney7 I have a sense phone now so I don't need to. And when I had the N1 I couldn't care less since I had never used sense before. Found the UI kinda boring, but I lived with it because the phone was awesome.

  • Mike

    Since no one has mentioned it yet, I feel the need to inform you that Sacha Segan from PCMag is a guy.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      Sorry about that! Fixed the error.

  • Lewis

    I don't think Stock UI is shit but I much prefer sense UI, after using Cyganomod on my Desire for a few weeks, i've gone back to a sense UI ROM.

    Pity that t-mobile hamstring the thing, like all US carriers seem to do

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      It's all a matter of opinion.

    • David Ruddock

      Many users don't like Sense (I hate it), and it inarguably slows down the phone in terms of responsiveness. Google is hard at work on Gingerbread to make sure stock Android has a very user-friendly and sleek UI without handset-manufacturer interference.

      I'm sure it will be a step so far forward that even Sense will seem superfluous.

      I personally like the stock interface - but I'm a geek by nature and have no issue adapting to different UI's, many people prefer something that is more immediately approachable, and Sense arguably offers that.

      • Ken Chiu

        Sense offers much more than that now that HTCSense.com is online...

  • Matt

    I agree - stock Android is great. I rooted my Desire and put CyanogenMod on it to get rid of Sense with its ugly apps and broken calendar notifications.

    Glad to see that HTC are still building some phones with stock. It's not perfect, but it's definitely good.

  • DrymR

    You can deny that exepct the sleeker interface sense UI brings some nice additions like the Fit to text while pinch zooming , nice copy paste function , improved keyboard , nice selection text tool, pinch to zoom on home screen witch brings a panel view instead of an WebOS card style, nicer media player , more functional dialpad and contact list

    when you're using launcher pro you got features of sense UI !

    I' m agree with you that some layout on android are stupid as Hell , Motoblur on Dext , cliq and backflip for example

    but stock android is still lacking in some domains that sense full.

    • Sir_k

      I refuse to consider the phone until there's a way to root it. It doesn't matter whether or not I'm actually going to take advantage of that ability, but I bought the G1 and N1 based on the initial android philosophy of openness.

      • Sean

        The Vibrant is easy to root.

  • Mark

    Stock android? are you kidding me. Its got all types of bloatware like every single google app ever coded in addition to photo bucket which randomly spams me with notifications. also no tethering. other than that its a decent phone. maybe we actually have a iphone killer in our hands.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Stock Android means there's no custom launcher integrated into all kinds of phone's functions. Bloatware apps are a completely different matter.

    • SDsc_rch

      i don't have a G2 yet but i've been following the forums

      its been said the photobucket will stop popping up if you go into settings and unclicking something (?), also if you have an acct, sign in and it'll stop bugging you

      i have a PB acct and i actually use it so its no skin off my nose actually

      would prefer PB wouldn't resort to such (almost) strong-arm tactics in their marketing - seems to me they are actually acheiving the OPPOSITE of trying to gain customers.... *shrug*

    • moh

      why no tethering?!
      can we get it when we upgrade to the android 2.3 later when its available?

  • tobi512

    Stock UI Android FTW!!!

    If you have a Galaxy S phone you know why Samsung should better have left Android like it is...

    • Sean

      I disagree. Samsung did a great job. And, they didn't go too far like Blur and Sense.

  • deeb215

    Stock is cool for some, but not all people like/prefer stock. It's the way to go for those who prefer it. As for custom UI's, Sense reigns supreme IMHO. I'd like to get in on the new cloud services being offered with it. Sweet!

  • Sean

    I have a G2 and a Samsung Vibrant. I prefer the Samsung UI. They did a great job. And, with Swype, who needs a physical keyboard anymore? I'm returning my G2 and keeping the Vibrant.

  • logan

    good phone. great review. love my new g2, very nice unlocked t-mobile phones. processor is faster, screen is really nice and the pull out keyboard is great for texting and emailling. the phone is so practical for my business and everything it has to offer. i can write in it, search the web browser, do history, love it. i get half my reports done on the plane. much better than my old unlocked gsm phones. also my daughter and wife loves theirs for the facebook and games and apps. they are on those things all day long it's incredible. so much fun. it's like our own tiny computers. also got our own htc unlock codes and cell phone unlock codes for free! got our last couple g2's at unlockthatphone.com 2 thumbs way up

  • Joey

    The G2 has swype as well. The only time I use the physical keyboard is when typing long emails.

  • sara

    samsung is better because it has the swype and G2 doesn't? That person doesn't own a G2.

  • ec

    Tethers fine using PDAnet