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G2 review, rooting and Wifi tether.



I got the new G2 from TMobile (full price), It sounded like a great device when I got it according to the specs and the standard android build.

But HTC and TMobile got together to remove some functionality from the hardware and software and deceive the their customers by never document these restrictions, in the store or the documentation that comes with the device.

The bad:
- The G2 has a anti root mechanism
- The 4Gb internal storage is consumer fraud, the device might have a 4G internal storage but the user is only allowed to use 1.3Gb from the 4GB. Terrible deal for the price and similar devices like the Samsung Vibrant has 16Gb built in storage available and visible to the user, except for OS binaries. The G2 is missing 2Gb, the OS reporting tools don't even display 4Gb anywhere.
- The G2 has built in apps that you can't remove, twitter, web2go, quickoffice and photobucket. It's ok to pre-install these, but blocking the customer from removing these apps is a terrible idea.
- Tmobile changed market to have a useless TMobile tab and make it more difficult to get to your downloads.

The G2 uses a standard android build without any UI changes and I love that, but TMobile went the extra mile to block the customers that own the device from installing a new version of OS on the device or removeing stock apps. Rooting the device and removing stock apps is disabled on the G2.

With the new OTA, Tmobile WIFI calling was added to standard android 2.2 OS, at least this is a positive change for owners of a G2.

The Hardware:
- The network speed is fast, see the image below.
- The device is Fast.
- I love the keyboard.
- Camera and video is good, but it is a little slow if you need a fast picture, but the camera button and the LED flash are very useful.
- The screen is great.
- Only has one microphone, does not have sounds cancelling with multi microphones as other devices on the market, but it works fine.
- Battery lasts a day, depend on the usage some times not even a full day, but compared to my G1 is similar.
- The power button is not that great, difficult to press and seems like it might break easily, and since you have to press it multiple times per day, does not look like is going to last. It is very similar to the Nexus One.
- I love the volume button, big and usefull.
- I like the camera button.
- I like the 3 configurable buttons on the keyboard, I associated the gtalk, maps and browser to these, but you can associate any apps.
- I love the phone look and the metal back.

What would I change if I could:
- I would install a standard vanilla android build with 2.1, with root access so I can do whatever I want with my device.
- HTC should send a CD or USBKey with a software to restore the phone to the standard android OS image to save user from bloat-ware, spy-ware etc.

How to get root on the G2.
- Paul O’Brien has created an application that will provide quick one-click rooting for users. Get VISONary Paul's website.
- You might need to shut-down the G2 and remove the battery and restart to make VISIONary work, but after this it works great, and you can start blue-tooth tether.
- You can also use my backup pro or titanium backup to backup your device now that you have root on the device.

References:
http://phandroid.com/2010/10/14/visionary-gives-t-mobile-g2-users-a-one-click-root-solution/
http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

Detailed review with pics:

http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=425

My speed test on the G2:



Updates after the OTA:
- I got the OTA, I've been running it for 2 weeks now. The phone is more stable, I don't have a freeze or reboot for 2 weeks.
- USB and WIFI tethering is enabled in this new OTA.
- There is also a WIFI calling feature from tmobile and it works.

The 2 things that stills annoys me is after the OTA are:
- that I can't remove the bloatware that tmobile injected in the OS. (So I might change it to another ROM later because of this, I always have to get all the updates for the bloatware to avoid the android notifications for those.
- The phone has some ROM write protection, to disallow the owners that payed the full price of the phone, to install a new version of the OS, this makes no sense and should be not be legal. But this is the mobile market we have today.

- I just wish that HTC or TMobile learned that I am the customer and the phone I payed full price is mine and I should be able do whatever I want with the phone, without having to find hacks and exploits. Give me a clean standard OS image without mods or bloatware that I can install, put it on HTC website or on TMobile web site and allow me to remove the bloatware from the phone, and only support that in case I call for support.


- The 4GB I payed for are still not available with the OTA, I can only see 1.8GB of internal storage, sad so sad :(


All that said:
This phone is amazing. Super fast, lasts me all day with WIFI/Bluetooth/GPS on. I use it to play podcasts for 6 hours or more per day and play these with stereo blue-tooth headsets. I also do normal usage of calling and web-browsing. Somehow the battery seems to last longer with the new OTA update. :)

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