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T-Mobile G1: CNET reviews the first-ever Android phone

"Elisha Steele" (2019-12-02)

id="cnetReview" section="rvwBody" data-component="indepthReview"> Editor's note, Sept. 21, 2018: 

I remember the meeting well. Over a dozen of us crammed into a conference room. Someone feverishly scratched a dry-erase marker on a corporate-size whiteboard as we puzzled over what Google's new "phone" would be and how the hell we were going to cover it. Would it be called the Google Phone, or the G Phone? Turns out, the HTC Dream, better known in the US as the T-Mobile G1, was neither. (The HTC Dream debuted Sept. 23, 2008, followed in the US by the T-Mobile G1 on Oct. 20, 2008.)

Google's vision for a smartphone was so significant, and so shocking, because its phone wasn't a phone at all. Not like a BlackBerry, Palm Treo or even the original iPhone. It was a platform. Android on the G1 rivaled Apple's iPhone software, but Google didn't give a lick about owning the hardware. It worked with partners -- starting with HTC here -- to create phones in a range of sizes and prices. The important part was for Google to back the G1's hardware with its gold-standard search tool, maps with turn-by-turn directions and an Android Market where you could shop for apps.