Prototypes are interesting because they show us what could have been. Now, for those of us old enough to remember, the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1) was the first Android handset to hit the market, but thanks to newly published images by Rich Miner, the co-founder of Android, we now have an idea of what the handset could have looked like.
For those who are unfamiliar, the HTC Dream/G1 was launched back in the day when phones with physical keyboards were still very much in vogue. It featured a slideout display that revealed a physical keyboard underneath, along with some side buttons for answering calls, going back to the home screen, and more.
All along we were working on 2 phones, Sooner, more blackberry-like & Dream, touchscreen based. After the iPhone launch we did cancel Sooner to focus on Dream (eventually the Google G1) but its design changed little from this rendering made 5 months before the iPhone launched. pic.twitter.com/lC8m0WolgE
— Rich Miner (@richminer) October 31, 2022
The version that was released looked much more “serious” and business-like, while the prototype that Miner shared had a more youthful and funky vibe to it with the black and green finish and Google’s logo slapped on top of the handset. It also featured a circular ring that would have acted like a gaming controller’s D-pad for selection and could also be pushed down to help make a selection.
It’s interesting to see what could have been and also a nice glimpse of the past to see how far along we’ve come. We have to admit that to a certain extent, we do miss physical keyboards and the tactility they provide, but what about you? Anything from the good old days of the smartphone are you missing?