The G2’s design is a definite improvement over the G1. Instead of the plastic feel this has a much more solid feel and mix of metal and solid plastic and is much thinner and lighter than the previous G1. The unique feature to the G2 is the Z-Hinge that “pops up” to show the 4 row QWERTY keyboard below. The hinge works well and pops into place solid. Now if in the future they could get not only a pop up but tilt s well like with the Touch Pro 2.
The keyboard works works well but will take some getting used to. The keys are spaced out pretty well and raised well but I do wish they didn’t waste the space with the special custom keys and also add another row to give the numbers its own row. The backlight on the keyboard is just bright enough to see in the dark and isn’t over bright. Overall the keyboard is good with a few minor issues and will take some getting used to.
Around the phone you have very little and just what is needed with a one large button volume rocker, 3.5 mm headphone jack, micro USB charge and sync port and a dedicated camera button. very minimum on the sides of the phone
The 3.7 Inch screen is nice and bright with a good 480 x 800 resolution and a capacitive touch screen that is responsive and smooth. Below the screen you have 4 touch sensitive buttons that give the front of a phone a Nexus One look. Below that you have a touch sensitive track button that is similar to what you see on newer Blackberry devices. On the back of the phone there is a 5 megapixel camera with flash and 720p HD video recording.
Inside you have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS an 800 MHz updated snapdragon processor and 1300 mAH battery and 4 GB of internal memory with a 8 GB pre-installed micro SD card. The big feature inside is the HSPA+ radio for T-Mobile new 14.4 3G data network. Call quality sounds good and the speakerphone sounds just as good as most HTC devices do. A solid hardware package that gives you all the features new high end android phones are coming with.
Inside you have the very stock Android 2.2 running which is great for power users. There is little to any customization outside a few app pre installed by T-Mobile. Since there isn’t anything running on top the phone runs very fast and smoothly. Apps open up snappy and videos play smoothly. All features are your standard 2.2 which makes some features lacking such as the camera and music players which are still pretty lackluster and while Gmail is obviously awesome on the phone the mail client for other e-mail options is still very dry. Being that its stock android allows the user to do much of the customization on their own and its catered more to power android users who like to have a stock OS and manually customize each option of their phone so if you don’t like something in stock most likely there is an app to fix that.
To speak quickly on the HSPA+ its hard to do a review on as the network is not fully up in our area so there was some quirkiness when trying to browse the web to test the network. I would assume over time we should see how well that network works. T-Mobile is using this phone to introduce their new network in a similar way they did with their first 3G network with the G1.
If you’re a G1 user rejoice your official proper upgrade is here and it’s a no brainer for you to upgrade to the new G2. Pretty much every aspect of the phone is better than the original G1 and right now is officially the top phone for T-mobile. You will however see the same data issues in the beginning as you did when you first got the G1. Those issue should resolved themselves over time. The keyboard change will take some getting used to and you will need to take some time with it but after you work with it for awhile it will become a better keyboard than your previous G1.
For any other users looking to upgrade. If you are on T-Mobile and your looking for a power android phone this is the one to get. if you are in need of a world phone and not worried about international 3G coverage this will be the best option to get for Android. HTC and T-Mobile worked together very well to present a solid Android phone.