T-Mobile's G2x smartphone and G-Slate tablet represent bets that consumers want muscular hardware bound to a speedy 4G network.
or not T-Mobile eventually ends up absorbed by AT&T, the carrier is still
pushing forward into the tablet and smartphone spaces.
this year's CTIA conference here March 22, the company is showing off the
results of its latest collaboration with LG
Electronics: the G2x
, an Android smartphone with a muscular dual-core
processor, and the LG
, whose powerful hardware and Android 3.0 (code-named "Honeycomb")
operating system beg comparisons to the Motorola Xoom and other high-end
is betting that both devices' 4G capability will give them an additional leg up
over competition in a crowded marketplace. But "4G" has also become
one of the loudest buzzwords at the conference, and the company's competitors
seem determined to enter the market with ultra-speedy devices of their own.
8.9 inches, the G-Slate walks a middle ground between 7-inch tablets such as
Research In Motion's upcoming PlayBook and the original Samsung Galaxy Tab, and
the 9.7-inch iPad that currently dominates the tablet market. Again taking the
middle road among its competitors, the tablet also holds 32GB of internal
memory. Support for Adobe Flash is a given; in their collective bid to break
the iPad's hold on the tablet market, all manufacturers of Android tablets seem
duty-bound to hold up their device's Flash support, which allows for the
displaying of much of the Web's rich content, as a crucial competitive
representatives allowed eWEEK a few minutes to toy with the G-Slate, and its
1GHz Nvidia Tegra dual-core processor certainly makes it feel fast and
responsive. More to the point, tablets running Android 3.0 feel like actual
tablets, as opposed to oversized smartphones: Multitasking is emphasized, and
the generously sized home screens practically demand you crowd them with every
widget you can download. At roughly 1.5 pounds, the G-Slate also feels
(relatively) light in the hand.
questionable, at least for those users with no interest in becoming the
amateur-movie version of James Cameron, is the G-Slate's pair of stereoscopic
3D cameras, located on the back of the device. You can dismiss it as a gimmick,
but the same 3D bug that bit television makers right around the time "Avatar"
hit movie theaters has now infected mobile designers: Sprint's upcoming HTC
Evo 3D and HTC Evo View 4G also include the
ability to shoot and view 3D footage.
other new device in T-Mobile's portfolio, the G2x, skips a lot of the gimmicks
in favor of a robust smartphone experience: the pairing of the aforementioned
dual-core processor and 4-inch screen is designed to handle any and all
multimedia demands, and the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera will likely please
shutterbugs. A 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera offers the prospect of video
conferencing. The G2x will initially come powered by Android 2.2, but T-Mobile
executives suggested the smartphone will receive a software upgrade after its
G2x includes 8GB of internal memory, with a microSD card slot for expanding
that memory up to 32GB. It can record video at 1080p, and users can connect
their smartphone to a high-definition TV or DLNA device for streaming video
content. For business users, Android supports Microsoft Exchange email,
contacts and calendar.
T-Mobile representatives are declining to talk much about how the AT&T deal
could affect the carrier in the longer term, although they seemed at pains to
describe their short-term road map as essentially unchanged by the news.
March 20, AT&T unveiled plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion in cash
and stock. That would make AT&T by far the largest carrier in the United
States, but analysts feel the carrier will
face substantial hurdles in getting the acquisition approved by government
March 22, CNBC's Jim
Kramer questioned AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets President and CEO
Ralph de la Vega about the T-Mobile acquisition.
la Vega started off by suggesting that the "need for additional spectrum"
helped drive the deal with T-Mobile. "Few things in life grow 8,000
percent over four years," he said, before adding that the potential
acquisition "helps alleviate the crunch by allowing the networks to be
combined and more efficiently utilize that spectrum."
also moved to counter criticism that absorbing T-Mobile will ultimately prove a
negative for consumers. "When you combine networks, it adds a denser grid,
more capacity," he said.
or not the deal goes through, though, T-Mobile seems determined for the moment
to push its own vision of mobile devices.