The HTC Dream, aka T-mobile G1, was the world’s first android phone and my very first Android smartphone. What was it like?

The world’s first android phone was also my very first Android smartphone

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The HTC Dream, aka T-mobile G1, was the world’s first android phone and my very first Android smartphone. What was it like?

With Android clearly the world’s leading and most advanced smartphone platform, that’s where all the hype is these days. It is amazing how far Android OS has come in such a short period of time since the first device hit the market in October 2008. I thought it would be interesting to have Android fans and users sound out here and share with us what their first Android smartphone was and if possible, when it was acquired.

T-mobile G1 was the world's first android phone and my first Android smartphone
T-mobile G1 was the world’s first android phone and my first Android smartphone

The World’s First Android Phone was also my first Android Smartphone

To kick off the proceedings, my first Android smartphone was the original ancestor, the progenitor of the Android race, HTC Dream AKA T-mobile G1. I purchased a second-hand unit in May 2009. Oh, I actually drove to Ibadan to make the purchase too. I wanted to try out Android that bad. It had a sliding physical keyboard, was clunky, and was almost ugly. There was no built-in Documents viewer/editor in it, which was an issue for me then, as my smartphone was my primary business tool then. One of my gripes about the G1 was: “Battery life is frustrating! The G1 simply burns fuel like a race car.” Yes; it did. Buhahaha!

But I loved that baby. On my list of likes was this: “Touch, swipe, and tap, and with a responsiveness that’s rarely seen in touchscreen devices.” I also said in a G1 review back then that it was my firm belief that Android was on its way to giving Symbian a run for their money in terms of market share. Oh well, that is already history. Let’s look at some key specs of the HTC Dream.

HTC Dream Specs

HTC Dream aka T-mobile G1 was the world's first Android phone

The first Android phone in the world was developed and built by HTC. Here are the key specs. You will find some of them hilarious by today’s standards.

  • Display: 3.2 inches, 320 x 480 pixels, capacitive touchscreen.
  • Operating System: Android v1
  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201A ARM11 clocked at 528 MHz.
  • RAM: 192 MB
  • Storage: 256MB with microSD crad support for up to 16GB cards.
  • Camera: 3.15 megapixel
  • Battery: 1150mAh
  • Announced: 23rd September 2008
  • Released: 20th October 2008

The first Android phone in the world was not a hit like that. It arrived at a time that Symbian smartphones ruled the world, and BlackBerry smartphones were cool and hip. But Android OS has grown big since then and now dominates the smartphone world.

Incidentally, the first Android smartphone in the world arrived the same year that MobilityArena was started – 2008. I had been blogging about mobile phones for 4 years before that though – on a different blog that no longer exists.

It is a nice thing that I got to experience the first iteration of Android OS and have followed its development all the way till now. I wish I still had the HTC Dream locked away in a drawer somewhere. That would be something. The world’s first Android phone might not have been a hit, but it kickstarted this wave that has taken over the world of mobile.

HTC Dream's QWERTY Keyboard
The T-mobile G1’s QWERTY Keyboard

Okay, guys: your turn. Tell us what your first Android smartphone was, when you purchased it, and what you thought of it back then.

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  1. My first android smartphone is the Pliris Blaze+. I got it about 8-10 weeks ago, and it’s serving me very well. Best of all the dual-sim standby functionality and huge battery.

    My first android device ever was the webOS-running HP Touchpad, which I dual booted with Android 4.0 (using a Cyanogen mod 9 ROM).

    I’m currently also using the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1…this tablet is amazing!! Samsung really worked on this baby, and I love it!

  2. There is no doubt that Android is the best mobile OS on the planet. My first Android phone is the Samsung Galaxy SII. I bought it about 3 months ago. I also have a Blackberry 9900 which I rarely use because of my Android phone. I’m so in love with Android.

  3. I use a Sony Xperia Pro, ruining GingerBread 2.3.4, thrust upon me by fate and the “god of Mobile”

    I recently attempted to upgrade to ICS 4.0.2, but was unsuccessful. The Sony PC Companion Software for firmware upgrade did not successfully upgrade the phone. No OTA update by Sony.

    I ended up wasting over 300MB of data on this time wasting exercise. I had to give up.

    The major attraction for me, regarding Android, is the plethora of apps, as well as the ease of use via well thought out features like the ubiquitous sharing feature, customizable home screen and keyboard. the modularity of design .


    I still miss Symbian for its raw functionality.

    the other day, I wanted to tether my Android on a Jurassic Age Windows XP system. The steps I needed to carry out to get this working just put me off.

    I popped my SIM into a Symbian phone, I had tethered in thirty seconds, FLAT. that simple!

    Multitasking on Android (at least on Gingerbread) sucks. big time. And, this is not about memory_availability issue.

    Some of these niggles make me pine for the good old Symbian, sometimes!

    But, all in all, I feel Android gives me a far better user experience than what I was used to on Symbian.

    If I were to get a new phone, it is likely to be another ROBOT.

  4. I had my first Android experience when i got the Samsung galaxy S2 in September 2011, I was obsessed with that device. I was on it all day. Being a die hard nokia fan and having moved from the nokia N97 to this beauty, the super AMOLED plus display alone was just stunning, blazing fast processing speed and a plethora of third-party apps to add some flavour.

    later in June 2012, i upgraded to the samsung Galaxy Note which is just another awesome device. bigger size, battery, processor.. etc

  5. I had my sgs2 on 2.3.3 out of the box and later upgraded to 2.3.5 via kies.
    the sgn came with 2.3.6 out of the box and i just upgraded to 4.0.4 last month

  6. My first device is LG Optimus One which I’ve had for some 19 months now. The plethora of apps on the platform make it possible to have high quality apps for each category of apps because of the competition that exists among developers within the platform.

    One very sweet thing about Android is its easy of use and its high configurability. I can now easily run virtually all the apps I use regularly from the notification bar and toggle or access almost all the hardwares/system configuration from the notification bar as well as have handy system information displaying or very handy also from the notification bar.

    The phone tends to appreciate in value as time goes on, but it isn’t really the phone but rather the discovery of high quality apps or huge improvement on existing ones that make the value of the phone seem to keep appreciating.

  7. HTC Desire was given to me by a friend who didn’t like the phone (he opted for an iPhone). It wasn’t my first experience with a smartphone, the one thing I liked about it is that I could change everything about it with an app – changed the launcher, keyboard, wallpaper…basically everything that was Sense UI was replaced by an app that did it so much better.

    It was handy because I could do everything I wanted to do on the device – I had no access to the internet via pc so everything was done on the phone – good in some ways, frustrating in others – and I had the apps that would allow me to be mobile. The downside was the lack of internal memory available – a measly 148MB! For this reason alone I bought a newer Android phone; the HTC Desire has found a good home with a friend, who also had the same phone, but hers was literally falling apart.

  8. My old Sony Ericsson k770i served me so well in 2008/2009, so in my bid to keep up with Sony i bought the Xperia X10 Mini Pro in September 2011. Mainly because it was affordable and had a good camera. Novice like me i was introduced to the world of mobile operating systems, Android and touch screen phones.

    Had initial problems understanding the OS and getting it to browse…later solved that. But all in all the phone wasn’t bad, camera was good and tweaking it was fun. Ultimately though i fell out of love with it because i hated the sliding nature, the lack of physical navigation keys and most of all the poor battery life.

  9. My first was the HTC Dream (G1), which my cousin sent over to me from the uk. Loved the wow factor then, but my airtime iasues with led to me selling it to my elder brother who still owns it along with a galaxy S (since 2009).

  10. my first Android device was…okay i’ve never owned one before! But my first major experience with the platform was on a tablet, and the first thing that endeared me to it is its ability to play several media formats, and ofcourse, the apps.

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