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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.
As you may have noticed, this post originally appeared on Android Police earlier in 2018. As much of the AP team is away for the holidays this week, we're showcasing some of our favorite posts of the year. Enjoy!
Going into this series, I hoped I’d get back to the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream and be able to romantically wax about where Android came from. How the G1, though dated, still held up the promises made by Google's first Android effort back in 2008. Analytically, it's all true, but time has not been kind to the phone, and using it has made for a pretty rough week, even by my recent standards.
This weekend's discussion should be one near and dear to all of hearts: our first Android phone. When did you buy it? What phone was it? Why did you pick it? Was it terrible? Great? Liberating? Life-changing? (Hey, you never know!)
Android is obviously a common thread for all of us, and our first Android phone was what strung us along to this point, reading (and in my case, later writing for) Android Police and talking about obscure phones and Lollipop and Google Play Services and tons of other things that many people have no freaking clue even really exist. But that's what makes a community great, right?