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T-Mobile Launches G1: The First Android Handset

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Let’s just cut to it shall we…

Goodbye Dream, what we have today is the ‘T-Mobile G1’ – the world’s first Google Android based mobile phone and it certainly packs in a few surprises.

Firstly the basics: all the spy shots were correct, the G1 is a touchscreen smartphone with sliding physical keyboard, full html browser and all the Google related apps you’d expect (mail, maps, etc etc). As for the unknown specifics there isn't great news when it comes to size and weight with the G1 somewhat disappointing at a whopping 117.7 x 55.7 x 17.1mm and bulky 158 grams. A 2GB microSD card will come in the box but native memory is expected not to be significant.

Also noteworthy is the 3.2in screen's 480 x 320 HVGA resolution – not the full VGA perhaps some were hoping for but a match for a certain Apple handset. The 3MP camera is also a step up and comes with photo sharing capabilities. Software collaboration is predictably strong too with a portable Amazon MP3 store built in to go head to head with mobile iTunes. 6m DRM free tracks will be available over WiFi but not 3G.

YouTube, Flickr and instant messaging support is also there along with POP3 and IMAP email service though not Microsoft Exchange support which positions it firmly as a consumer rather than business device.

Launch will be in November with price plans not yet broken down though we know it will be free on any contact costing £40pm or more. PAYG will not be an option at launch.

I’m now off to get some hands on time with the handset and will report back with some first impressions and live shots…

Update: Exchange support may be coming soon and the Android Market app store (above) will be live from day one. It has also been confirmed at the store will be unregulated, much in the way designers can write programmes for Windows or Linux with user feedback the primary method of protection. Genius or liberal madness? We'll soon know.

Update: Oddities - well there's no flash on the camera and no autofocus and get this NO video recording and NO copy and paste. Oh no we'll never hear the end of it from Apple, Windows, Symbian fans - in fact everyone! Still, I guess someone will be making an app to do them as we speak. The beauty of an open system Cupertino...

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