The first Google Android-powered phone from HTC is set to release next month on T-Mobile’s network, and it should come with some very nifty features. Especially that Street View compass. One big problem: In many parts of the country, the 3G phone will be operating at achingly slow 2G rates.
That’s because T-Mobile’s 3G network barely qualifies as a 3G network. Today T-Mobile offers 3G in a mere 13 cities, and promises 27 markets by the end of the year. That’s fine if you live in the country’s biggest cities – New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Houston (full list here) – but it leaves a lot of the country out of the mix: Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Milwaukee to name a few. For all of AT&T’s well-documented problems, it has 3G in 350 markets (map), including the top 100 U.S. cities.
So: Should this prevent you, the prospective Gphone consumer, from buying a Gphone? Depends: Presumably a lot of people will be interested in the Gphone for reasons other than blazing-fast data transmission. Then again, we know a lot of people who think a 3G phone should be blazing-fast, and get quite sulky if it’s not. Are you one of them? Then just cool your heels. And think on the bright side: By the time T-Mobile gets 3G rolled out everywhere, there will be much cooler Gphones for you to lust after.
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