Review

T-Mobile G2X Full Review and Hands-on. Happy 4/20

April 20, 2011 at 11:40 pm

So, I picked up my new T-Mobile G2X this morning, and I’ve given it a thorough run-through.  There are things I like, and some I don’t, but fortunately the good outweighs the bad.  Let’s dive right in and I’ll take you through it all.

Packaging:

Not much interesting stuff here.  The box is small and easy to stow away for later use.  There’s not much in it but for the usual guidebook, USB cord and wall adapter.  Here’s a couple pics of the shiny box.

The UI and Screen:

The first thing I noticed coming from the HTC MyTouch 3G Slide was the boot time.  My Slide took about a minute and a half to two minutes to fully boot.  My Slide was running on CM7, as well, so it’s not there was any bloatware bogging it down.  The G2X from clicking power to being ready to go was about 6 seconds.  This thing boots incredibly fast.  I chalk that up to both the Tegra processor, and the fact that it’s running on as close to stock Android 2.2 as you can get, so there’s not a lot of extra crap to load in.  Once it was up and running, I didn’t really notice a massive improvement just in flipping between screens, but when loading apps there is a significant increase in speed.  The screen is absolutely gorgeous, too.  Not only is the extra screen real estate a big bonus, but the sharpness and clarity are very noticeable.  The color too is fantastic, rich and vibrant.  The UI is, well, Android and comes about as clean and free of bloatware as you’re likely to find.  I’ll get into the stock apps down below.  Here’s a pic of my home screen a few minutes after startup.

The Apps:

As mentioned, there’s little in the way of bloatware, but of course there is some.  T-Mobile has included the Qik application for video chat, and in experimenting with it I found the front-facing camera more than adequate for face-to-face communication.  The connection over T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network was snappy in the Indianapolis area, and I had no hiccups when using the app.  Here’ s a shot of the Qik homescreen.

Also included is T-Mobile TV, which is an online video library that will cost you $12.99 a month if you choose to make use of it.  I opted not to do so, as I have other options for online video streaming.

If you want this phone (like I did) to make use of the Tegra 2 processor for gaming and video, you won’t be disappointed.  The included Tegrazone app is an NVIDIA store that has apps and games specifically designed to take advantage of the G2X’s dual cores and super GPU.  As of now it does not have an extensive library, but as more Tegra devices come on the market you can be sure the number will multiply pretty quickly.  Here’s a pic of the Tegrazone homescreen.

You’ll also find an EA app which links you to the EA website where you can purchase EA games, very similar to the Tegrazone.  Here’s a pic of the EA homepage.

The phone comes preloaded with a couple of games, which I have not dived into very extensively yet.  The first is Need For Speed: Shift, your standard fare racing game.  This one I had some fun with.  The controls are very easy, very responsive, and the game is as smooth as any console experience.  You have choices of cars, tracks, and there looks to be some customization options available as you unlock features from playing.  I think I’ll be playing this one quite a bit.

The second game is NOVA which is a futuristic FPS that looks like a Halo knockoff.  Eh, whatever.  The game runs very smoothly, looks beautiful, and the control scheme is pretty fluid and intuitive.  It may make a better tablet game, though.  The phone screen, while it is pretty large, still feels cramped when trying to run, aim, fire, reload and use your paralysis ability.  Still, the graphics are fantastic and the CGI sequences are pretty action-packed, so fans of shooters should appreciate this one to kill some time with.

Connections and Calls:

Using OOKLA speed test from the Android Market, I got about 5.9 Mbps down outside the T-Mo store, and about 1.9 Mbps up.  From my home, about 10 miles from the T-Mo store I saw about 4.01Mbps down, and 1.72 up.  Not quite the superfast speed I was expecting, but better than the 1.2 Mbps down and .8 Mbps up I was seeing with my 3G Slide.  The call quality I found to be excellent.  I’ve never really had much problem with dropped calls on T-Mobile, so I didn’t expect any now.  I had read a couple of reviews that mentioned less-than-ideal call quality, but from my experience the call quality was better than on my Slide, and not bad in any way.  The web browsing experience was great, too.  Pages load very fast, and they look good too.  Text is very sharp, images are very bright, and load times are almost nil.

The Camera:

The rear-camera is an 8 Megapixel cam with LED flash, and snapping random pics I found they turned out really well.  Here’s a pic of my dog! The first photo was taken on the G2X, while the second was taken with the MT3G Slide.  The slide pic is a bit more blurry, but really not all that bad.  I really expected more from the G2X camera, but for everyday pic snapping I’m sure it’s not going to be very disappointing.  I also learned that the G2X has the ability to take screenshots right out of the box.  This is something Android users have had to root to do previously.  You can do this by clicking the Home+Power buttons together.

Overall I’m very pleased with the phone and how it operates.  I could do without the T-Mo apps, but since I’ll soon be rooting this device that problem will take care of itself in due course.  Overall, I highly recommend this device if you’re thinking of an upgrade to dual core soon.  For now, this is the machine to beat on T-Mobile’s network, and you will not be disappointed if you pick it up!  Check back with us and I’ll get you root instructions as soon as the wonderful dev team at XDA has them ready.

UPDATE:

The root can be done via SuperOneClick, which you can find on XDA.  Very easy to do.  Very easy to use!  Find it here.

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