Monday, August 30, 2010

Why I'm excited about the G2

Those of you that have been reading this for a while probably remember my "excited about the G1" post. I wrote that on October 1, 2008, nearly two years ago, when the G1 was nearing launch. Since then, the Android landscape has exploded. Things have changed so much since the G1 launched that it's almost mind boggling to think that it all started a mere two years ago.

And now, T-Mobile and Google are poised to release the G2, a next generation Android device. (We covered the G2 twice already over at Exact specs for the G2 are unknown (though it's rumored to have a new, very fast chipset), so it's difficult to speculate how it stacks up against other Android superphones like the Evo or Droid X.

But the G2 is exciting for different reasons. First, it's the first HSPA+ smartphone from T-Mobile, giving it 4G speeds over T-Mobile's existing network. Secondly, it's rumored to be the first phone since the Nexus One to run stock Android 2.2, no carrier skins in sight. In a world where every single phone is being launched with some form of skin on top of Android, this is exciting news. There are many people, myself included, who prefer stock Android and it's great to see a new phone ready to show it off.

Personal preference aside, phones that run stock Android have historically been able to receive software updates much faster than their skinned counterparts. For example, the original Droid is already running 2.2, while the much newer Droid X is still running 2.1 (though an update is expected very soon).

Of course, I don't personally have any intention of waiting for carrier updates anymore. Since discovering the greatness of root, I don't think I could live without it, so I'll probably be rooting the G2 as soon as a root method is available. That being said, software update are becoming increasingly important, and the general public is becoming more aware of them, so devices that will get updates quickly are exciting.

I'm also excited about the G2's keyboard. The number of Android phones that have keyboards can be counted on one hand, and the number of them that I would even consider are far fewer. The G2 promises to be a great device for those of us who need hardware keyboards. Check out some pictures of the G2 that Engadget got here and here.

The G2 is also shaping up to be the new phone of choice for Android hackers. Even Cyanogen, one of the more well known hackers, said he is going to get a G2. As someone who will likely be keeping the G2 for another two years like I did the G1, having a large community of smart people behind it will ensure that it keeps performing for the whole two years, just like the G1 has.

Until we know more about the exact specs and price of the G2, it's hard to know exactly what to expect or how excited to be. It's possible that it could have more surprises in store and be even more exciting, but it could also have some critical flaw that disappoints us all (though I really hope not).

For now, though, I'm quite excited and have every intention of buying it. I definitely want to learn more, and I'll be sure to cover it once we know some more details.