Limited Bluetooth Functionality

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2008-10-16 Print this article Print


The G1 does feature a Bluetooth 2.0 radio with EDS (Enhanced Data Rate) for wireless headset capabilities, but because the Android developers removed the Bluetooth API from the software development kit a few months ago, there is currently limited functionality available to Bluetooth users. While I could pair a Bluetooth headset with the G1 for use with primary calling applications, media applications that would benefit from stereo sound are unable to take advantage of an associated Bluetooth headset.

The G1 is the first 3G-ready smart phone T-Mobile has sold direct (although at the time of writing, T-Mobile's online store offers six 3G-ready feature phones). The device supports T-Mobile's burgeoning HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) 3G network, supporting the 1,700MHz and 2,100MHz bands for U.S.-based and European interoperability. When out of 3G coverage areas, the device also has quad band (850MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, and 1,900MHz) support for GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks.

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T-Mobile 3G coverage has a long way to go to match Verizon and Sprint's EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) 3G data coverage or AT&T's HSDPA network. T-Mobile claims 3G service is currently available in more than 20 U.S. markets (including San Francisco, where I performed the tests), with several more markets to come online by the end of the year. Interested customers can check whether their city is 3G-ready using T-Mobile's Personal Coverage Check tool.

For more consistent data coverage, the G1 also has an 802.11b/g-compatible radio. Similar to Apple's iPhone (and drastically different from Windows Mobile-based devices), I found it seamless to move from a cellular data connection to Wi-Fi, when the latter is available. The G1 currently supports the personal key-based flavors of WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2, but not the certificate-based enterprise flavors. Since many HTC devices running Version 6.1 of the Windows Mobile platform support enterprise-grade Wi-Fi security, I surmise the G1 hardware will support certificate-based encryption whenever someone from the open-source community decides to write the software to make it work. 

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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