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Review: The T-Mobile G2

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by SteveW, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
    Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    My Phone:
    T-Mo G2, LG CU500
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile
    I've only had the G2 for 3 days, so I'm going to post some basic facts and first impressions. Some of this deals with the process of moving from an earlier Android phone (in my case the T-Mo G1) to the G2. I'll post a more definitive review in this thread later.

    In the Box:

    The G2, with 8 GB microSD card and battery installed
    110 volt to USB wall charger
    USB to micro-USB cable
    Stereo Headset
    User Manual
    Warranty booklet
    T-Mobile SIM

    The flimsy User Manual did not provide a step-by-step guide to removing the protective film around the battery, charging before use, or any of the setup steps that I expected to see. I didn't particularly need these, but someone new to this type of phone probably would.

    The G2 is charged via a micro-USB connector on the lower left side (which presumably also serves as a data cable). This is different from the G1 which used a mini-USB connector. For former G1 owners like myself, this means that our old wall charger and car charger are not compatible. Bummer. I have seen a mini-USB to micro-USB adapter advertised online, but my local T-Mobile store did not have these.

    I charged the battery for as long as I could stand it (let's say a half an hour) and then turned the phone on. First impressions are that the screen is beautiful, the phone feels heavy (significantly heavier than the G1) and solid, and the new hinge mechanism appears to work as designed. I haven't used it enough to have a strong opinion, but it seems usable. I do not have the loose spring problem that some users are reporting, where the screen flops down under its own weight.

    Android UI

    I'm coming from Android 1.6, so a lot of software refinements that are new to me may be old hat to some of you. Please remember too, that this is stock Android 2.2 - no MotoBlur or Sense or any of those UI add-ons for Android.

    I like the 1 gesture to unlock the phone or set it to silent mode, when the phone is woken form sleep.

    It has 7 home screens. Facebook and Twitter apps were already set up on one. Not being very social ;), I dragged these to trash (just the screen widgets, not the apps themselves).

    Everything on this phone seems fast. I love the 3D scrolling in the application screen. I looked briefly at some live wallpapers, which are cool for the first minute, but I don't really see the point. Why would I want to waste processor cycles and battery life on this? I'm back to a standard background image.

    Hardware

    My phone shows that the SD card has 7.38 GB available out of 7.39 GB total space. The Useful Switchers app shows me that I have over 1.2 GB of RAM free, out of just over 1.3 GB. I don't think I will ever run out of application space on this phone, and if I do, Android 2.2 lets you launch applications that are stored n the SD card.

    The phone's Status page shows "Mobile Network Type: HSDPA" and the notification bar signal icon shows a little H instead of a 3G. This has little practical effect at my house in Cambridge, where true HSDPA has yet to be accessible, no matter what T-Mo's maps say. But in downtown Boston last night I was measuring download speeds of between 3.2 and 5.4 Megabits/sec and upload speeds of around 1.3 Megabits/sec. This is not as fast as the phone's theoretical limit, but it's a big improvement for me.

    The keyboard is going to take some getting used to, as virtually all the punctuation marks and special characters are in different places relative to the G1.

    The camera is definitely a big improvement over the G1, as it is higher resolution, but most importantly includes a very bright LED flash. It seems to take nice pictures in low light but I haven't really done a thorough evaluation of the camera in any type of light.

    On my second day with the phone, I found a T-Mobile corporate store with some G2 accessories (not all stores have these yet, as the official launch is not until Wednesday, 10/6). I purchased custom screen protectors and a T-Mo branded rubber/silicone case. The case is in two parts that snap on the top and bottom halves of the phone.

    Migration

    I have not yet moved all my favorite apps and data to the new phone. In preparation for moving from my G1 to the G2, I performed two backup operations that I believe will make the process easier and safer. Since I am moving from Android 1.6 to 2.2, I don't want to reinstall all applications, just the ones I have downloaded from the Android Market, and the files I have created with them. So I backed up all downloaded apps to my G1 SD card, using the Astro file manager (free version), and I backed up alI supported information (including Browser bookmarks, Call log, SMS, MMS, system settings and more) using RerWare MyBackup Pro, to their servers ($4.99). Since backup and restore is is a big topic in itself, I will post about it in another thread, but I wanted to put the basics here.

    When you put your SIM card into a new Android phone you need to run the Setup application, if it didn't start automatically. The application will ask you for your gmail address and password. It will then sync your Contacts (Phone application) and Calendar. In my experience, not all calendar events appeared, although this may have something to do with the fact that I am not using Google Calendar directly, but syncing iCal on the Mac to my Google calendar. My Contacts book did sync properly, as far as I can tell.

    The other consequence of setting up your new phone with your Google account is that the Android Market App gives you access to all of your paid apps, which are easily installed to your new phone, but only those. This is a good thing, but doesn't eliminate the need for a backup and restore strategy.

    More to come.


    SW
     
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    3 people like this.
  2. lvsunz37

    lvsunz37 New Member

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    Thank you for the info SteveW. I just got a G2 and have a lot to learn- coming from a Blackberry Flip (Pearl). I don't know how to copy my Contact info from memory to the Sim card (was easy on the Pearl). Can you help? Thank you.
     
  3. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
    Super Moderator Senior Member

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    My Phone:
    iPhone 13 Pro Max, XS Max
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon (since 1994)
    From the G2's user guide: http://cache.g2.t-mobile.com/files/T-Mobile_G2_User_Guide.pdf

    Though the above is for importing contacts FROM the SIM to the phone, the process for importing from the phone to the SIM should be similar.
     
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  4. lvsunz37

    lvsunz37 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Mobile Mike. Unfortunately 'From Sim to memory' is a one way street; the G2 doesn't allow for 'memory to Sim.'
     
  5. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
    Super Moderator Senior Member

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    iPhone 13 Pro Max, XS Max
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    Verizon (since 1994)
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  6. lvsunz37

    lvsunz37 New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion but doesn't work for me.
     

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