The T-Mobile G1 is 6 years old, let’s take a trip down memory lane!



It’s the year 2008. “Britney Spears” is the most-searched term on Tina Fey is impersonating Sarah Palin on SNL. Google and HTC release the very first phone to run a new operating system called “Android.” The T-Mobile G1 is different in almost every way from the trending Apple iPhone 3G. What is Google, a search company, hoping to achieve with a phone? Will anyone buy this thing?

Yes. Yes they will, but more importantly, they will buy a lot more of the devices that follow the G1. Today marks 6 years since the G1 launched on T-Mobile and kickstarted the Android movement. A lot has changed since then. Your first Android device may not have been the G1, but without the G1 your device would not exist. Let’s take a trip back to 2008 to see what we thought about the G1 when it was brand new.

Have you ever heard Rob sound so young excited? Phandroid was the first Android site on the planet, so of course we were very excited to have the first Android device in our hands. We were so excited that we just had to write a rap about it!

Awww yeah.

We did more than just rap about the G1. We also reviewed it. A lot has changed in just six short years, and nothing proves that more than reading our review of the G1. Things that were cool back then are completely gone nowadays, and the specs barely match those of a smartwatch in 2014. Here are some quotes from our review of the T-Mobile G1.

I’ve been reading reviews all over the web that still hate on the “chunk”. I’m an absolute fan of the hardware… chunk included and I’m not sure how others are not. It seems pretty obvious to me that a physical keyboard is easier to type on than a touchscreen, especially with some of the laggy touch screens out there.

I’m sure keyboards will be popular on phones for a long time…

Many people have also complained that the icons graphically lacking, an issue I didn’t address in this video. I agree that the icons could be a little more sharp and attractive, but for the most part that seems like another “preference” issue. It will be interesting to see if developers are able to implement “icon sets” that replace these existing icons.

Icon Sets you say? That sounds like a pretty good idea!

Honestly, the placement of the trackball is pretty impeccable if you ask me. In conjunction with the keyboard you can be surfing the web and scrolling through links without even THINKING about it. It’s just natural. It makes sense. It works.

Poor trackballs.

That’s our trip down memory lane. It’s been a fun six years in the Android World. Who would have thought such a funky phone would start a revolution? We certainly believe it would, and we’re sure many of you did too. Share your own G1 memories and stories with us below, or check out the thread in Android Forums to reminisce. Happy Birthday T-Mobile G1!

Oh, and here is a picture of Chris from the G1 days.



Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. The *only* phone I’ve ever stood in line for. :)

    1. And can be proud about saying so.

    1. Dat hair though

  2. Chris looking just as lost as ever.

    1. Bricking my G1 on the daily.

      1. I remember your early videos Chris. I remember flashing the super@mel rom you recommended. About 5 years ago.

  3. Wow. Look how pixelated that video was. what was the resolution on that? 50×50!!!!???

  4. I was a “day oner” for this phone and Android, and it’s changed my life in more ways than one (with my blogging duties here on Phandroid obviously being the biggest). I’ll never forget my G1, the only phone I could manage to keep alive for its full two-year contract life before moving on to the latest and greatest (thanks to the huge development community that helped improve it over the years).

    Happy Birthday, old guy!

  5. I was looking at your archives and I saw that you guys began coverage back when Android was still a computer program still in development.. You guys have came a long way. I never owned the G1 because I was poor back then..This makes me want to grab one just to have. I Love U Phandroid!!!!!! Thank u for what u do!!!!!

  6. Oh the Leno chin, I had the black one. Long live Android!

  7. I learned how to root, install custom Roms and kernals and many other cool things with this phone. It was my first Android slash developer phone.

  8. Miss that phone

    1. That’s beyond epic.

    2. For those curious:

      HTC G1: 117.7mm (4.63 in) (h) x 55.7mm (2.19 in) x 17.1mm (0.67 in)

      Motorola Nexus 6: 159.3mm (6.27in) x 83mm (3.27in) x 10.1mm (0.40in)

  9. Stood in line for this phone

  10. Still have mine sitting around somewhere. Keeping it next to my Atari 2600. :P

    1. I still have mine too. The camera button is gone, but it still has a 2gb SD card in it and ICS on it. Amazing.

  11. I remember looking up videos on how to flash a custom rom on my G1 and Chris actually was posting video tutorials back then. He was definitely my preferred youtuber back in the day!

  12. I’d like to see the return of the trackball/trackpad myself.
    If you ask me,makes sense now more than ever,especially w/the 5″+ screen sized phones.

  13. I really miss my trackball’s warm glowing warming glow…

  14. First in line…

  15. Aww, I remember when I started my Android journey. It all started with the Motorola Cliq :)

    1. Mine started with the Cliq XT….and almost ended !!!

      1. Oh my, the horror stories I’ve heard about it! lol

    2. LOL! I had that phone after the G1. It was the worst experience for me in Android history. Updates? Forget about!

      1. I was one of the lucky ones that good a perfectly functioning Cliq, although waiting for updates was DRAG!

    3. Had a long debate between that and the MyTouch 3g… Then the Nexus One dropped and cleared up that decision for me.

  16. I remember seeing people use the G1 while riding the subway, and wishing I wasn’t stuck with my crappy Sony Walkman candybar dumbphone. Upgraded to the Galaxy S1 (Captivate) for 99cents as soon as I could (1 year later).

  17. WTH, Chris looks exactly the same!

  18. LOL…I love one of the comments on the G1 review…”Too big and bulky for me. I think I’ll wait a while.”…How things change after 6 years. I remember when the G1 came out on T-Mobile, I was just upset that I couldn’t get it on Sprint. And I wasn’t a huge fan of the Desire or the Moment. Then the Droid got released on Verizon and I was considering moving to them, just because of that phone. I stuck it out with the Touch Pro for 2 years, just waiting for the HTC Evo to finally be released and I was officially hooked and participating on the forums a few months prior to that release. #Android

  19. And to think… some of the click bait girls Chavez would have posted to get hits for the G1 articles may now be legal.


  20. Still got a old G1 (with a cracked screen). Can’t find the courage to get rid of it. It’s like a collector’s item to me.

  21. I still have mine. I refuse to get ride of it. Six years huh. Been great I came over from the window Era of keyboard phones

  22. I remember when my uncle had one and I would always be amazed by how much I could tinker and adjust things. It made me fall in love with smart phones.

  23. My first phone on Android was T-Mobile G1, it was april 2009 when I bought it, It was Like Alien Gadget in my country (Georgia) I love My G1 and I saved it for my sweet memories <3

  24. Mine started with the Motorola backflip , I still think it was a good design at the time , but software wise, horribly executed, that thing was buuuuggy, laggy, and was just a horrible experience

  25. Being on T-Mo was the only thing stopping me from getting the G1. I’ll never forget a friend of mine showing me he got one after a store eemployee recommended it. He didn’t even know you could download more apps. and had no idea what Android was.

  26. I have a G1. It’s so hilariously bad that I love it, even for a phone of its age (not taking into considerations modern devices).

  27. I still have my G1 in working condition. No scratches, perfect condition and running CM 7. I turn it on from time to time.

  28. The countless hours I spent with my G1 on XDA! Before CyanogenMod there was JesusFreke (sp?). I still have mine, but I did something weird back then where I extended the partition to the SD card to install the next Android version (maybe CupCake?). Now, I don’t know how, or have the time, to fix it.

  29. Also, the countless hours scrolling through the app store. Very few diamonds back then.

  30. Still have my ADP1, the first Nexus phone.

  31. My first Android phone :)

  32. Never had the G1, but I had the Nexus One. Android has came a long way.

  33. I remember my first Android phone….I took off work the day it was being delivered via UPS, I told my boss that I was sick…it was the Samsung behold II. I couldn’t wait to see what the play store was all about. It was called something different back then. Before I actually used an android phone, when the girl over the phone @tmobile customer service told me about a place you could go to on your phone and download apps…onto a phone, it was like magic to me back then! Lolol. Android has come a long way, I’m loving it, still.

    1. Android Market forever, haha.

  34. First for me was the MyTouch 3g. I had it for 2 weeks and then the Nexus One was announced. Returned it with the quickness and dropped my $549 on Nexus One. Hooked on Android ever since. So crazy seeing the picture of it next to the Nexus 6!

  35. looks like an iPhone

    1. Don’t disrespect the OG like that

      1. OG Android phone. Android life, bi*ches, haha.

  36. i got mine 2 weeks early and have never looked back.

  37. Chris hasn’t aged a day.

    1. His beautiful hairstyle certainly hasn’t.

  38. It was the first phone I ever pre-ordered, and the 2nd best phone I ever owned. If I didn’t need the money for my move, I would never have sold it was cased and in perfect working order up until this past September. It sold me on HTC hardware, and it was my first ever smartphone. Seriously, looking back on what a game changer this phone was is like looking back on your first girlfriend.

  39. Loved my G1. .THE OG NEXUS

  40. totally forgot during the summer I’ve found and old G one in a storage bin left outside in the weather it was perfectly fine turned on and still has 50 percent battery true beast

  41. just to think 6 years later and the iPhone is just now getting widgets

    1. not even on the homescreen duuuhhhh

    2. Are there any projects that have this running on 4.x builds? Would love to see proof-of-concept level builds of 4.4, it might even run with project svelte.

  42. G1 is love, G1 is life.

  43. The father of all android phones. HTC, the one that gave the birth of a fantastic phone. Everything that I love from HTC was there : Removable battery, keyboard, micro sd slot, good hardware. The only they’re not doing with their new premium phones are the removable battery and offering the keyboard. Can’t imagine how epic it will be thr M8 with keyboard and removable battery. I will never go back to Samsung anymore. :)

  44. I would buy a new htc g series phone with that beautiful keyboard and the right specs asap! Loved that fuckin phone!

  45. Time to boot mine up in celebration, as I do ritualistically every year around this time.

  46. Never had this, but my first phone was the EVO. It made me ashamed I’d ever liked the iPhone, despite its flaws. This was a cool article, made me realize how far Android has truly come. And makes me feel everyone’s first Android experience should be HTC. ;)

  47. First smartphone was the Palm pixi

    Android was the HTC hero

  48. AWww the G1, I remember this bad boy. Still got mine sitting in a drawer in my bedroom. Maybe I should dust it off and boot it up just to witness it in all it’s 3.2 inch glory.

  49. The OG iPhone blew me away when I first touched one in 2007, that was the future (man I wish I had money for Apple stock back then) but the HTC G1, not so much. Never liked the chin or pop out keyboard. Regardless this is what started it all for Android and I respect it. When the HTC Nexus One finally came out (2010?) I was in love, finally a usable Linux OS on a phone.

  50. Bring back the slide out qwerty keyboard!

  51. I miss both the KB and trackball. I actually still have my g1 ( and nexus 1 for that matter) and the trackball made navigation amazing. Every single day I browse the web on my phone and every single day I click the wrong link or have issues with the copy bracket. What’s worse is the current trend of overlay ads that block content and they have microscopic X’s to “close” them. With a trackball that was never an issue but with a touch screen even on my HTC one m8 its still a problem.

  52. still have my G1. loved that phone! i think the last time it was on it was used as a sound machine for the baby. i love that a lot of apps still work on 1.6. thats one thing i hate about apple. i have an old 3gs and you can’t even install iheart radio on the damn thing.
    Android FTW!

  53. My first Android phone. It was awesome until I got a Blackberry. Messaging was my thing back then and RIM was king.

  54. Someone should see if it can run Lollipop, just for the hell of it!

  55. I’ve just done a blog on my ADP1 which is the developer edition of the G1. I also have an immaculate T-Mobile G1 boxed for sale, if anyone’s interested contact me via my blog –

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