Google Phone: iPhone On Steroids


The myth is become a legend and the legend is making its way into the hands of Google employees. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, tweets and other messages from around the interwebz are claiming that the fabled Google Phone is being given to a large number of Google employees to test out. The overwhelming conclusion? Forget every other phone ever existed.

Here are some n0table people from around the interwebz who are tweeting about their new experience with THE Google Phone.

Name: Leslie Hawthorn
Position: Program Manager for Google’s Open Source Team
Website: HawthorneLandings.org
Comment: “Stuck in mass of traffic leaving work post last all hands of 2009. ZOMG we had fireworks and we all got the new Google phone. It’s beautiful”

Name: Jason Howell
Position: CNET Podcaster (thanks Stephen), Musician
Website: JasonHowell.net
Comment: “The new Google Phone runs on HTC hardware. I saw it w/ Android 2.1. Homescreen has new visual enhancements like animated desktop wallpaper.

Name: Great White Snark
Position: Unknown (Facebook, YouTube, MyBlogLog]
Website: GreatWhiteSnark.com
Comment: “A friend from Google showed me the new Android 2.1 phone from HTC coming out in Jan. A sexy beast. Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”

In the comments of the TechCrunch article you can find the Great White Snark saying the following:

Yeah, it’s a hot, sexy mess. And I mean that in a good way. Similar form-factor to the iPhone, but with a smooth-brushed-metal-looking shell instead of a glossy one. And perhaps a smidgen lighter.

Super fast, speech-to-text in EVERY app, awesome “live wallpapers” in the background that respond to touch in really beautiful ways. Like water ripples that emanate out from a touch.

I’m really, really, REALLY looking forward to speech-to-text in EVERY app. Especially composing text messages and emails using my voice. If you scroll even further down the article you see a response from Jason Howell, the second individual highlighted tweeting above. He continues:

I was given the phone for a very limited time from a Google employee. It resembled an HTC Hero to my eyes, though a tiny bit smaller and DEFINITELY thinner. I kept looking over at the guy using it, thinking to myself that it WAS a Hero, but when I asked, he spilled the beans. Google employees were handed the phones today. He reiterated that there would probably be a decent amount of information hitting the tubes this weekend. With my limited time with the device, I saw it running Android 2.1. The home screen had this animated background image that looked nifty with red and blue lasers shooting across it. The gray bar at the bottom of the home screen was replaced with the “house” line art used on the face of most Android phones that takes you to the home screen. Looked sleeker. Super light phone too.

This phone was unlocked, though the guy had thrown an AT&T sim card into it.

That’s about all I was able to glean in my minute’s worth of dabbling. It was sleek and nice looking, but I am scratching my head trying to figure out what the real difference is between this and any of the newer HTC Android phones. Scanning the apps, I didn’t see anything that really stood out as different from what I have on my Droid. And being that it was Android 2.1, the only really differences I saw were a few visual ones. So it doesn’t appear (in its current state) to really be offering “the *real* Android” experience that’s mind blowingly different from what’s out there so far. Maybe I just didn’t dig deep enough to find it though.

Sorry I couldn’t snap a photo.

Now THAT isn’t too promising. Smaller than the Hero? There are people who think the Hero is too small seeing as how it doesn’t have a physical QWERTY keyboard. Of course Google could be going for the “super cheap with no need for a contract” angle. Can you imagine a $100 Android phone with absolutely no contract like our friend Charbax suggests?

A necessary comment to point out in all this is one made by “Jack Ratio” who, like me, suggests many people still haven’t made the distinguishing difference between an “Android Phone” and “The Google Phone” and are perhaps confusing them:

The googler wrote:
“…and we all got the *new* Google phone. It’s beautiful.”

“The *new* google phone” as oppose to “The Google Phone”.

I’m willing to bet 100$ that “The *new* google phone”
is in fact the HTC Dragon.

For 2 of those 3 to confuse them I would understand, but 1 of those 3 is a Product Manager at Google and you would THINK they have their lingo down to a science. This is sounding really, really good but as always… serve with healthy dose of salt (as if there was such a thing).

Oh yeah… this thing came unlocked but those seeing/using it were reporting they stuck an AT&T SIM card in it which worked beautifully. So all you AT&T customers wondering why the heck the company hasn’t yet released an Android Phone? Maybe this is why…

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Hope this comes to T-Mobile! They are so behind in the Android game and they were the ones to adopt it… We need a better Android! ! !

  2. Smaller than Hero? That would be disappointing.


  4. pics or it didnt happen.

    THERES BEEN REPORTS THAT IT HAS A TRACKERBALL LIKE THE HERO (as opposeeed to an optical mouse thingy)

  5. I still have a feeling that people’s presumption that HTC Passion = HTC Bravo = HTC Dragon , I have a feeling that they all will have the 3.7 inch display and perhaps the same internals but they would be different from carrier to carrier e.g. HTC Hero = Mytouch = Sprint Hero = Droid Eris.

  6. Jason Howell (raygun01) isnt just a musician, he works for CNET on their flagship podcast, buzz out loud.


    ive been following him on twitter for nearly a year. aka, credible source

  7. The animated wallpaper sounds more like HTC than Google. Since when has google done anything stylish? I expect a pure Google phone to be “Google”; meaning efficient but sparton looking.

  8. It’s not the passion…the guy said this was smaller than the Hero… The PAssion/Dragon has a 3.7 in display…much larger than the hero…which is what I want…a fast processor…vibrant large glass screen…and Android 2.1

    A smaller than Hero screen doesn’t sound appealing at all…even if the casing is brushed black metal.

  9. i think we’re going to be disapointed thst it’s the passion. well maybe not disapointed. i thing the buzz word around google is any HTC/Google colaberation get’s dubbed the googe phone. but if it’s reality. MY BAD.

  10. ..and one that works on TMo. I’m really starting to regret leaving Verizon and paying an early termination fee to switch to T, since everyone EXCEPT TMo is getting drool worthy Android phones.

  11. When has any phone been released without at least 1 real pic of it leaking? And with this mystical beast supposedly in the hands of so many people, people that are tweeting about it so I’m guessing they’re smart enough to know how to take pictures, how is it that not 1 pic, blurry cam style or otherwise, hasn’t made it online yet?

  12. Which ever company gets the phone im going to. I have tmobile and they have been been bs’ing foreal. I hope they get the “google phone”if not good reddens tmobile. Come on tmobile dont fail me now! i have one foot out the door now !! please dont make me throw away our 7 year situation !! LMAO

  13. sean, the bravo is spec’d thinner than the hero…don’t remember what the length was, but thinner qualifies as smaller for most folks. can’t believe rob fell for this techcrunch garbage so hard… google employees call them all ‘google phones’…it ain’t the gPhone.

  14. The Hero isn’t very space efficent though, it wastes alot of vertical room with big bezels. I reckon that you could have a 3.7 screen in a device the same height as or a bit shorter than the hero, while being only a bit wider (i.e, no chin!). I think you would notice the height more than the width, making it seem smaller overall. And that chap has a Droid after all, which is not a small phone regardless of screen dimensions…

  15. if this thing goes to at&t I’m going to be pissed

  16. AT&T is trying to get people to not use bandwidth. I don’t see them adding a phone that screams use me. Tmobile would be my guess.

  17. “an HTC Hero to my eyes, though a tiny bit smaller and DEFINITELY thinner”

    Htc Hero: 112 x 56.2 x 1.435
    Htc Legend (predicted): 111 x 57 x 1.14

    It seems a Legend.

  18. its the passion most likely, cuz the htc BRAVO has a 3.7″ display, not the passion or dragon.

  19. @Aliboy, actually, they all have 288MB of ram except the MT3G, which has only 192.

    and they are all 528Mhz, but theres a total of 3 variations of the CPU throughout the lineup of 4 phones.

  20. I swear to god, if AT&T doesn’t get it’s shit together, I’m bailing

  21. @Ian LMFAO.
    This phone isn’t coming to AT&T, it’s unlocked. OF course, stick your AT&T SIM card in like a bunch of my friends and you’re set!
    The phone is thinner than the Hero, and the screen itself is not smaller; in fact it’s larger. The phone is smaller, thinner, etc. Think how the HTC HD2 had a HUGE
    screen, but didn’t waste size around the screen for bezel. Same concept. You can make a smaller phone with a bigger screen.

  22. The Bravo has the exact same x and y (112x57mm), but it it thinner than the hero (<12 mm). Like said before, the Hero wasted a lot of space.

    Seems like this is the passion/bravo. Hopefully every provider gets this. I think the dragon was just an early code name.

  23. Yeah I am sure if this phone is smalller then the hero…it will not sell well if it is high priced. People are used to highly priced big scream phones. So though I love Google if they should make such a foolish mistake I will lol

  24. Oh and why are people still useing 1000+ Apps when they advertise Android…they are way beyound that right? What is going on with that? Not so dandy looking

  25. still no pics for this phone ?

  26. @Mensahwatts, it could be smaller than the Hero and at the same time have a bigger screen size. The Bravo is spec at 3.7inches yet the dimensions are smaller than the iPhone.

  27. Smaller screen, no physical keyboard but looks awesome? See? We can also have an Android phone that out-iPhones the iPhone on style.

  28. It was exciting until AT&T came up in the article. The company with the HIGHEST rate plans BY FAR. What a GIANT dissappointment if they get the phone. Why put this phone on the same network of the customers you are trying to steal/compete with? Crossing my fingers it is someone else.

  29. Will the google phone have HTC Sense???

  30. I just cancelled my new contract with Verizon to go back to month-by-month with at&t and wait this out.

    I hope it’s affordable. I hope it’s data only voip. And I hope it’s soon.

  31. Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device … NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google’s mobile strategy at http://www.nqlogic.com

  32. @ jeremy: no…sense is htc’s version of android, a google phone will have google’s android on it.

    the one department that nobody has touched, aside from samsung, in the android handset game is internal storage. we need more room for apps. we need more ram for more multitasking and smoother gameplay. video calling would be cool too…if google is trying to make a bad ass phone to the likes of the ‘iphone on steroids’ they need to go all out

  33. Looking forward to the specs and availability. I’ve been holding off on the Droid and hoping for something like this in early 2010.

  34. Jeez, this phone is unlocked for GSM bands, so no Sprint/Verizon, but it’ll work with T-mobile/AT&T

    Hope this reduces the posts that go “HOPE THIS GOES TO _______”

  35. CRAP! What’s with the good phones skipping the good system! Sure I’m tired of paying more than everyone else to be on Verizon, but the phone actually rings every time with verizon! When i was on Tmobile I would get a voicemail notification 20 minutes after someone tried to call, and the damn thing never rang! Why make bad ass phones and put them on shity networks like tomobile and AT&T ????? I’ve been chasing this damn phone for 3 months. Damnit if it’s GSM only!

  36. brian, if google incorporates app2sd and all the other phones update, then it wouldn’t matter if a phone has lots of internal or not. Makes it easier for devs to come out with bigger apps because they won’t have to depend on everyone getting the one phone that has lots of internal storage.

  37. Right back@kid…yeah I thought about that and I hope that’s the case with this so called Google phone. At this point I think that it is just a beefed up android phone…which is still dandy.

  38. Smaller screen? no physical keyboard?

    No thanks. That’s not an upgrade from a G1, that’s a downgrade.

    Give me an upgrade from the G1: More RAM (>= .75GB), more storage (2+GB), more CPU speed, more screen (4.1″ or 4.3″), more resolution (800×480), more battery (LOTS more battery), 3.5mm headset, better placement of the data port.

  39. speech to text API’s seem to be wide open on the Droid with 2.0/2.0.1 – the apps just need to be updated.

    Touchdown already has speach to txt for the 2.0 version. Just hit the little icon and blabber on. If it’s updated in 2.1 then maybe it’s really functional but in 2.0 it seems a bit rough to speak out a paragraph. I’m amazed how well voice search works, but that’s just a few words. When you speak a whole paragraph it looks like a mad-libs book.

  40. just let it have UMA and VOIP and a prepaid simcard slot.

  41. let this gPhone be the mobile IBM-PC standard and everyone else will be able to refer to it and say “we’re compatible with the big G”

  42. Pretty let down… just another HTC phone… big deal? :-/ I LOVE Google, but this is a let down. I was expecting a whole new phone. Kinda like an iphone unveiling. Oh well… I’ll stick to my droid.

  43. @tied2VZ
    You got the Droid, WTH more could you ask? I’m killing myself here waiting for a Snapdragon based phone w/ a decent screen (i.e. larger than 3.2″) and a hardware keyboard.

    Besides, Google WENT to VZW and was rebuffed. And I’m ecstatic that they were. VZW has a looooong history of disabling phone features so they can sell a service that does the same thing.

    And we won’t even discuss that CDMA needs to die a quick death and free up another chunk of spectrum. There’s a time and place to not get in lock step with the rest of the world, but CDMA is NOT it.

    I’ll keep my TMo, which is QUITE reliable where I am thank you very much.

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