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The very first Android phone, it has been long established, was the HTC G1/Dream. Or at least that's the conventional wisdom. While the G1 was the first Android smartphone ever sold, it wasn't the first built-for-Android smartphone. That honor goes to a prototype Google developed in house called the Sooner. The Sooner looks more like an old Blackberry—a far cry from even the original G1's touch and keyboard combo, and it doesn't even have a touchscreen. The version of the Android operating system it runs is also pretty radically different from what we eventually came to know as Android, and represents Google's earliest vision for a platform that would later come to dominate the mobile industry, helping put the final nails in the coffins of Blackberry OS, Windows Phone, and WebOS.
Hardcore Android fans and those with a good memory may remember that the HTC G1/Dream wasn't actually the very first Android device. There was another phone that Google used internally during the platform's development, which was codenamed "Sooner." It was ultimately dropped in favor of the HTC Dream's design, which was Android's first shipping, consumer-facing product, but Sooner technically predates it. And if you'd like to get your hands on one, a small pile of them just appeared on eBay for $200 each.
Android has changed tremendously in the last ten years. Returning to modern hardware after our historical series, I was struck by the visual differences across versions. For a closer look, we rolled back to an even earlier build on our T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream. For anyone who might be curious, here's a quick visual exploration of Android 1.0 vs. Android 9 Pie. And don't worry, this isn't one of those godawful click-for-every-photo galleries, just a simple scroll as we stroll back in time.