You may have seen a few people talking about an anniversary recently. Specifically, the fact that Android is now 10 years old. A decade ago we got our first look at the G1, which was manufactured by HTC. Some folks might know it as the T-Mobile G1, because that’s the exclusivity deal the magenta network had back then.
If you wanted to jump on the Android bandwagon way back then in the U.S., you had to be using T-Mobile. Officially.
I did just that when the G1 launched. I don’t even remember which carrier I was using before that, but I was ready to make the switch and try out the newest platform on the market. I could tell immediately that it felt more like test software rather than a product for the public, but I didn’t mind. It was pretty awesome to be using something like Android way back when.
The only reason I switched away from the G1 and went back to a Windows Mobile device was because where I lived was a pretty awful market for T-Mobile at the time, so staying on the network wasn’t an option.
Seeing the images of the G1 in all its glory kicked in some serious nostalgia for me. Which got me wondering about physical keyboards and slider designs in 2018. We are obviously well established in our big displays and minimal bezel designs these days, and we’ve seen handsets like BlackBerry’s own Android efforts fail to really catch on.
But what about a new, updated G1? What if the bezels could be minimized around the display just as we’ve come to expect from our smartphones these days, and we obviously really wouldn’t need the big area where the trackball and physical buttons were placed. So that would be a lot of display that could be moved up to reveal a physical keyboard.
I’d say it could even spin around, but that’s probably a bit too much like the SideKick. We had some crazy (and fun) designs back then!
I don’t know if a new G1, or a new Sidekick for that matter, would really grab the public’s attention at all. It probably wouldn’t. But seeing the old handset again after such a long time has me wondering “what if?” So I’m going to go ahead and lob the question over to you. Would you buy an updated G1 if it ever happened?