Happy Birthday! T-Mobile G1 Officially Turns 3 Today


I may have jumped the gun in a previous post but it was 3 years ago today, that the Godfather of Android, the T-Mobile G1 was officially released unto the world. That makes the G1 only 3 years old in people years but in the ever evolving mobile world, it’s ancient.

The HTC G1/Dream debuted the Android mobile operating system back before Google started naming it after desserts and featured a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, 3.2-inch display, 192MB of RAM, 256MB of internal memory and a 1,150 mAh battery. The best feature of the device? Well, it featured a full 5 row QWERTY keyboard that seemed to give the middle finger to Apple and their all touchscreen iPhone.

I didn’t jump on the Android bandwagon until the device was released for a full calendar year. I remember thinking I wanted to wait for the Android Market to grow before making the jump from my T-Mobile Sidekick LX ’09. About 3 months after I bought the G1, I saw a video from a developer by the name of Haykuro on a leaked “Hero ROM” he ported to the G1. It was this that pushed me over the edge to root the my baby began the grueling all night affair of going through countless tutorials and how-to’s. By morning, I was rooted and it was then I became the G1’s true owner. After that I became hooked on ROM flashing and for the curious, you can see the very first YouTube video I ever made for my G1 below (so embarrassing).

Fast forward to today where we’re seeing the Samsung Galaxy Nexus announced for Verizon and anyone can see — we’ve come a mighty long way. Even after all this time I’m still excited to see where Android is headed and the future is definitely bright. I wonder how much time has to pass before the G1 is considered “retro” and HTC re-releases the device with the exact same shell only this time with a dual-core processor, larger higher-res screen, more internal memory/RAM and higher MP camera? I’d buy it.

So tell me, Phandroids. What’s your G1 story?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. My baby is growning up so fast :'( …

  2. lol my wife still uses mine because her mytouch 3g sucks. Her contract is up but I’m waiting for the Nexus Prime (yeah, I refuse calling it the other name) comes up and then she can have my Nexus S…. it’s all planned out

    1. lol!

    2. Hahaha! This is so funny. I’ve noticed the wives/gf’s always get the Android hand-me-downs.. :D

      1. Yup yup my wife got my nexus s now and I’m using her upgrade next month : P

        1. I wouldn’t say my MyTouch sucks, exactly, but I have gotten to the point where I want a faster processor. I’m saving up because if I’m going to do it, it’s damn well going to be a speed demon.

          1. Same here my wife gets my desire when i get the new nexus…but by then my desire will probaby run a 4.0 custom rom. ;)8

          2. Problem is, the new Nexus is going to be a Sammy – blech. Good luck getting updates and support. I’m torn between the Sensation and the Amaze (trying to decide if the Amaze is worth the extra ducats)

          3. To Xarophti, Its pure google so the update comes directly from google.

      2. Lol, mine got my OG EVO.. she doesn’t have much to complain about!

      3. Yep, my daughter got my OG Droid when I upgraded to a family plan when the Droid X came out. She’s got the best phone in her 5th grade class. And now she’ll be getting the X when I upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus Prime Hammerpants…lol

        1. Why does a 5th grader need to have the best phone in her class? Better yet, why does a 5th grader need a cell phone?

      4. If only it was that easy, my Fiance` knows that If I am buying a new phone, she is getting the exact same one. At least she has good taste, she is super excited about getting the Galaxy Nexus.

  3. Yay for the G1!

  4. I actually worked at a T-Mobile Tier 2 PDA call center when the G1 was launched – so I got an inside look at it. I actually didn’t like it at first, but then again, we were trained using a simulator (dunno why) so I didn’t get to use the real thing. I used a Sprint HTC Touch (Vogue) which I had modded updated versions of windows mobile 6.x, and it served me well. I was very worried about replacing all the apps I had. Finally in late spring of 2009 I finally convinced myself to buy a G1 and sold the HTC Touch, and haven’t looked back since. I’ve since been through a MyTouch 3G and am now a year into using my Vibrant (Galaxy S), which is just fine if it weren’t for the lack of updates from Sammy.

  5. Im usually the type of person where i dont buy things the majority buys. During the time this was released, i just started college, and everyone and their mother had this phone. Of course it was on T-mobile so i couldnt get it anyway, but too many people had this phone for my liking.

    I stuck with my Instinct, till the Nexus S 4G was released.

  6. Papa!

  7. I didnt think much of the g1 when it first came out, what hook me into android was the verizon commercials of the droid… “amazing” I said, I still rock it today and I’m just waiting for the Nexus Primes (like the top comment, I’m not calling it the other name).

  8. Still the best keyboard that I have ever used on a phone.

    1. Droid 3’s is pretty boss… Has the microphone button, great spacing… but the phone itself isn’t so good. But still, options…

      1. I still drool at the Droid 3’s keyboard every time I see it. I actually love that device’s form factor more than I should. Lol..

  9. Sold my G2 to finance my Sensation… My G1 is in its box as my back-up phone. :)

    1. Lol did u overcharge him for it

  10. Still using my white G1, and the black version I have as a spare. Cyanogenmod keeps it viable. My wife just bought a Nook Color (Cyanogenmod on an SD card) and I am looking to buy a Nexus Prime or Samsung Note next…

  11. When this was released I was halfway through my contract with a Samsung Juke. And I was pissed it wasn’t on Verizon. A year later I was super excited to see Verizon picking up Android and I got my Eris. 3 months later the Nexus One came out…I checked that damn page every couple days to see if the status of “coming soon to Verizon” had changed. We all know how that worked out.

  12. You think a brand new unbox g1 would be worth any money?

    1. Maybe in another 3 years.. maybe. =p

  13. My story is similar…wanted a smartphone, heard about and played with a couple, but my future brother in law showed me the G1 online and said, “you need to get this.” So in July of 09 I finally got it. Loved that phone, the keyboard, even the way the hinge worked. Some time after, I put the Hero ROM on (goodthing I didnt really grasp what “bricked” meant, because I was a bumbling fool).

    Ive moved on to a few different devices, but still have my G1, boxed up and still in mint condition…This is one phone I will never sell.

    I read alot about OG this phone, and OG that phone, but as ive said before, the G1 is the real OG, the Founder, the Chairman, the (as Chris termed it) Godfather. Nobody can ever change that!

  14. wow cant believe it still got my g1 baby THE OG DROID !

  15. i remember having enough of my blackberry pearl back in nov 08 and walking in tmobile so pissed bc it sucked ..i saw that beautiful white g1 sitting on the rack and fell in love took it home and shitted on my ffriends iphones n blackberrys
    3 yrs later everone wants a droid
    told ya so

    1. I actually did the same mistake with the blackberry pearl flip. 24 hours after buying it I returned it and got myself a G1.

  16. I bought one on launch day. Best phone IMO for the time, but absolutely HATED the low a$$ app space and no 3.5 audio jack on the device.

    1. YES! low space and lack of audio jack were so $%^&&*

      1. lets be honest……space wasnt an issue until a year in, when the market started growing exponentially…..before that it was just fine….no one knew that android would become what it is today…and can everyone stop complaining about the lack of an audio jack, i used the headset that came with the G1 for the whole 2 yrs, it wasnt an issue.

  17. I moved from a LG viewty and iPod touch 2g to a HTC hero (G2) which I am using currently. Since getting this phone I have been in love with android and hated iOS ! :D I can’t afford a dual core, or even a single core 1ghz device but I keep updated all the same, I would kill to use the Samsung galaxy nexus for an hour ! But im planning on keeping my G2 for another year or so and getting an ok tablet with honeycomb on it ;) I am truly a phan of the droid variety.

    1. im pretty sure the hero is NOT the g2

      1. The HTC Hero was called the G2 Touch when released by T-Mobile in Europe.

  18. I remember getting this phone and swapping it about 3 times bcuz of the phone turning off when you close or open it. Then switched to an iphone. Yea I kno. But long after that I grabbed a vibrant on release day to only regret it months later when the GS4G was released. But thanks to the G1, I’m an android fan boy.

  19. I bought it the first week it came out. And the first root method i used was jesusfreak. Does anybody remember him, who quit modding the G1 later as well as Haykuro.

  20. And its my birthday, as well.

  21. Never had one, was still stuck on my touch pro/ touch pro2. :)

  22. Today would be an excellent day for Tmobile to announce that they are releasing the galaxy nexus next month.

  23. Got mine about 5 months after it was released. Wanted it since day 1, but I was stuck on my moms contract with my 3rd or 4th (can’t remember) Sidekick 3. I was so confused about rooting until I watched Chris’ videos and he helped me step by step to root it. I flashed roms probably 4-6 times a week. I remember I was so excited about it and even though my friends said it looked weird and really big, I still loved it. Still play with it every once in a while but now I have a G2 and hopefully soon I’ll have my hands on a Nexus Prime.

  24. I pre-ordered my G1 two months before it came out. Sleepless nights dreaming of what was coming. I remember waiting the night before the market was going live. Seems like forever ago. Using a Charge now amd waiting for Nexus. Good times!

  25. I wonder what G3 will be like
    Quad core cpu, 720p, 12mp camera, ics android 4.0?

    1. More like Quad core cpu, 1080p, 24mp camera, * Jelly Doughnut 5.0*

      1. ahhhhhhh!!

      2. and the way i see it you owe me for one jelly doughnut

        btw wtf google! why name everything after desserts:? to make us stimulate the economy because u make us hungry so we have to go buy things:? hmmm good plan lol

    2. ooooooooh!!

  26. Lol, Chris your right, my girlfriend got my Eris and then my incredible. Before she has my eris she had a palm pre plus which we traded alot because of the hinge on it, then Verizon gave her an option to get the incredible which she agreed to do because it came out a week before that, they let her pick what she wanted because we had sent so many palms back. So needless to say she took my Eris and let me have the incredible, which then I got a mew thunderbolt and she then got a palm pre 2 which then I traded for a brandnew lg revolution. And the Tbolt was brandnew also. If you argue enough with them they will send you a brandnew phone instead of a refurb.

  27. I still use my g1 once in a while just to remeber the good days ever since i rooted it i have rooted every other phone ive had since then

  28. I suddenly feel extremely guilty that mine is in a drawer in my room back home. Did anyone else get that super plastic Transformers body armor for their G1? You know, the kind where you have to snap all 3 pieces together like LEGO?

  29. My sister bought her g1 first. She let me play the free PAC-MAN game. Little did I know that I was making a transition from Nokia to HTC or Symbian to Android. I went to get the black g1 and despite all of its faults, it is truly the most customizable phone bar none. I learned more about being a techie through rooting the phone. Thank you Google, T-Mobile, and HTC. Also you, the Android Army. Long live the G1 and long live Android. God bless.

  30. My dad is still rocking his…

  31. I started with the G1 6 months after it came out, moved “up” to a Moto Cliq (hated it), then MyTouch 3G Slide, then MyTouch 4G, and now I’m deciding on either the Amaze 4G or Sensation (rooted/romed to take care of the slower processor)

  32. Chris…the youtube G1 guy…yeah…you would be the one to do this article. Lol. That phone had the best keyboard I ever used…even better than the side kick.

  33. amazing phone, had to import it to canada

  34. I met up with a friend who was working w/Google on the G1 launch, and he let me see the phone while we were in a grocery store. I took his photo, and he flipped – “If they see me in the photo they’ll know I let someone else see the phone.” So I figured out how to erase the photo, then spent he next 40 min examining the phone.

    The G1 sucked. It was a big, fat, ugly brick. I love that it launched Android, but the thing was more of a homely prototype than a finished product.

    A while later I bought an N1 on the first day it became available. I remember refreshing the Google website a bunch of times because it wasn’t letting me complete the order process. Then, a day or so later, it arrived. And I lost the little neoprene sleeve on the way back from the mailbox place (couldn’t wait to open it). THAT was a beautiful phone. The G1 – a nice proto, not much more.

    1. i think many of us take exception to you calling our beloved G1 a “big, fat, ugly brick”

      it was far from a prototype, it was a polished product that showed that you could have a quality OS in version 1.0

      Glad u liked the N1, but dont down the majestic G1

      1. Sorry, David. Didn’t mean to offend.

        The G1 is like the original Prius. You have to admit that neither would win any beauty contests, but they each forged new ground and I admire the folks who recognized their potential early.

        1. hmmm ill admit you have a point, the new prius’s are much better looking than the original, just like android. im sure the G3 will be sexy as hell, loaded with up to date tech…ill forgive u, this time…….lol

  35. i just want to know if and when well have a g3 i love the g series phones stock to me they are like nexus but with physical keyboards that’s why i love my g2 i wold have bought the g2x if it had a keyboard

  36. I still use my G1 day in and day out, and it’s better now than the day I got. I Love my G1.

  37. I gave mine to my sister. It oesn’t look like she’ll be moving away from that phone any time soon, considering the complete lack of new phones with 5 row keyboards o_O

  38. Oohhh the phone that popped my android cherry…

    1. and just about everyone elses lol

  39. I still can look at this phone fondly I loved this phone when it came out! Its still the best keyboard I’ve ever used, but the biggest down fall was no 3.5mm head phone jack.

  40. I was lucky I walked into tmobile and was the last one to get my hands on a G1. Soon after rooting and custom roms started i too was reading tutorials banging my head into the couch with frustration learning how to root the original way before the great “one click root” method came to be. It was a great feeling joining into the android community. Since then I’ve collected every nexus and have my original g1. It’s funny how android changed the mobile and now tablet and tv world. I love how no matter what so far devs have unlocked phones said to be incapable of rooting. Only 3 years but so much has happend and cant wait to see what else is to come. btw no one should ever forget jesusfreke or haykuro they started everything, my heart sank when they quit but then cyanogen took over :) thank you to all that has helped make android great and currently I’m rocking the EVO 3d but await when sprint gets my Nexus Prime! I too will not call it by its “other name”. Haha

  41. O the memories of the g1!! I got mine a few Weeks after release. Had it rooted a few days later then a few days after that I went s-off with haykuro danger spl. With a hero ROM shortly to follow..

    I miss those days of flashing 3-4 roms a day. Now my wife on the other hand doesn’t miss the days of calling and not getting in touch with me because i was feeding my addiction…

    Then I went onto the mytouch 3g slide, wife got the g2(rooted and s-off that night she got it n cracked the screen a week later) I bought a nook color and rooted it then bought a g2x out right the day it came out…rooted as well.. Wifes g2 crashed and tmo offered to upgrade her to a mytouch (which she cracked that screen as well)
    sold My g1 like 2 months ago to a guy on google + for $60…..i’m an Android junkie but nothing has filled that gap of the g1 days…:(

  42. Memories i remember getting the G1 developers edition with the special back case. Good memories. I have an EVO for the states but im stationed in Korea so im rocking a Galaxy S1 here

  43. My first android got it a day early and was the man at work lol,Thank you Tmobile and Htc for being the ones to give Google/Android the shot they needed when the other carriers had no faith, I have the G1,MyTouch 3G,Tmobile Vibrant, and now the Htc Sensation 4g.

  44. Got my G1 a month after it came out…. me and my my brother were gonna get one but walmart only had one in stock so my brother got it, and I was gonna get one the next day…. i was playing with my brother’s g1 and it was awesome…. the coolest things were the keyboard and the wallpapers….after a day I got my g1 but my data wasn’t working and if you didn’t know in android 1.0 you had to be connected to your google account through edge/3g… so next day i went back to walmart and they fixed it… I also got the uk cupcake build installed since it was released there first after like 6 months… a year later i rooted and installed super d… I didn’t know i had to wipe at the time, so the rom was sluggish, THEN I wiped and installed cyanogenmod 4, and my life was changed….

  45. These videos bring back a lot of memories. I got a G1 because of the Sense roms.

  46. Thank God I wasn’t the only one it took all night to root the g1. I managed to root it on my replacement g1 as I bricked the original. Great lil device.

  47. i still remember chris you showed me the super fast Super@tmel rom for the G1

  48. I never had a G1. I just remember in 9th grade every one had this phone… and I had the HTC diamond on Verizon, I didn’t even know what Android was at the time. A few months later my mom got me a Cliq now I’m using a Vibrant

  49. I was going to buy the G1 at launch but, 3g was not available in my area so I decided to wait. I used my upgrade on a blackberry curve instead. I loved my curve, but it did survive past spring. 3g however was still not available in my area. So I bought an iPhone and unlocked it. worst mistake ever, I missed my keyboard. The iPhone lasted a month. Just when Tmobile Launched 3g in my area so I hit up Ebay and had my G1 within a week.

  50. I miss my G1. It is sadly collecting dust now. I pick her up every now and then to let her know I still care. She started the Android revolution that has now for me become a way of life,Cheers G1 and Happy Birthday We Loved you and you will not be forgotten.

  51. I still have my G1 siting in the

  52. I still have my original G1 sitting on the drawer. Great for texting and web surfing. Hated the random restarts, and the paltry memory level. Otherwise a smooth running phone. Since then i went on to a MyTouch 3G Slide, which was a really cool and reliable amdroid phone but then again tje on board memory became a problem forthat being so low, then i ran it over with my car by accident. Was going to bring out the G1 agaon but didn’t miss the on board memory. So by default, i am on a G2X. Was gonna move onto a sensation, amaze, or a Galaxy S II but money constraints and my G2X is behaving.

  53. Just yesterday I found my g1 in a drawer. I unrooted n rerooted for old time sake now its running cm7 all hail the god father of android phones.

  54. I was one of those people waiting in line for it on day one. Happy birthday to the grandfather of android!

  55. I had two G1 phones (for some reason T-Mobile allowed me to get two for free, without a contract, so I did). Anyway, I sold one and still have the other. I use it for free worldwide calling from my home over WiFi.

  56. HTC G1 Android is the original. The original rip off that is! From Apple and iPhone!

    1. siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike

  57. I had bought a TouchPro when it came out and it was decent for a while, custom ROM and all. Then I started running XDANDROID on the TP and that got me hooked on Android. When the TouchPro started having problems I looked into getting a new phone but since AT&T didnt have any decent qwerty android phones, I bought an unlocked G1 in January. About a month ago I misplaced my G1 and assumed it was lost. Since it was an emergency I bought a moto Flipside as a replacement. Boy oh boy what a turd that phone is. Fortunately I found my G1 and the flipside is now collecting dust. The G1 runs Gingerbread and unless those rumors of the Galaxy S Glide coming to AT&T are true, I will likely keep on using this G1 for a long time.

      1. It’s running GinSense, based on CM 2.3.7. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1254357

  58. I unlocked my old G1 to use while globe hopping and am using it in Thailand this week.

  59. man i remember when i got my g1. it was a midnight sale at my local tmobile store (i lived in a different city at the tiem) and grabbed it. my buddy had his iPhone2g. and we started going at it. i didnt root my g1 for a year until i got comfortable witht eh idea and havent looked back since. i had 4 g1’s and still was shittin on iPhones.and still to this day i love the g1 KB best KB bar none. i hated my g2 keyboard (and still do) because it fails in comparison to the g1 KB. thanks to the OG android, thanks for the new way of life

  60. Original G1 preorder.We found out it came already rooted and thanks to jesusfreke were able to keep it. Without this phone there would be no Android so happy birthday. Sent from my G1

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