T-Mobile G2 preview

Well, well, well... would you look at what we found lounging around Best Buy's NYC holiday event! Yes, indeed, it's the T-Mobile G2 (the US version of the HTC Desire Z if you happen to think it looks familiar). After months of leaks and blurry shots we finally got to check out T-Mobile and HTC's G1 replacement, and it's got everything we've been waiting for -- a 3.7-inch display, Android 2.2, 4GB of internal memory, an 800MHz Snapdragon processor and a 5 megapixel cam with a flash. Oh, what's it like to use? That answer, dear friends, is after the break along with a hands-on video. %Gallery-103543%

  • Hardware / screen: Just like our very proper English counterparts, we found the overall build of the G2 to be superb. At 6.5 ounces it does feel a bit heavy, but if that's the sacrifice we've got to make for the incredibly solid build quality so be it. The brushed metal back, in particular, just gives the entire device a higher quality feel than any of the Samsung Galaxy S phones. The slider hinge also feels very robust and springs right open. Which brings us to the top notch QWERTY keyboard -- we're big fans of the separated keys, and though they're not as raised as those on the Epic 4G, the spacing does seem just right for touch typing.

  • Software: The G2 runs Android 2.2 -- that's right, an untarnished, stock build. Unlike the Desire Z, there's no Sense skin, but, of course, there are some tweaks. We're assuming these have been made on T-Mobile's end, but the app drawer interface has been beautified with a 3D-like shelf. There's also an added pane shortcut, which like Moto's new skin, lets you jump to different screens without having to swipe through. Still, the experience is as close as you can get these days to stock Android out of the box, and it feels pretty darn good. Update: Whoops. The pane function and attractive app drawer are both Android 2.2 features.

  • Performance: The G2's 800MHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB RAM definitely seemed zippy in our short time with the device. There wasn't any real lag in opening a few applications and scrolling down the length of Engadget was snappy. Video playback also looked very smooth. As for the HSPA+ performance, there was no SIM in the device we got to play with. We'll obviously bring you more on the performance front when we get our review unit and can spend a bit more time put the phone through the paces.

On that note, we leave you with a brief video of what's looking to be T-Mobile's most solid Android phone yet...