Today is the day that many smartphone enthusiasts have been nerdily anticipating: the release date of the first Google [GOOG] Android phone, otherwise known as an HTC [HTCKF] Dream running an open-source platform developed by Google. The platform will be open to what will someday be hundreds or even thousands of free applications, perhaps rivaling Apple’s [AAPL] iPhone for its breadth and depth of software offerings.
While T-Mobile [DT] — the carrier servicing the first Google phones — hasn’t released any word officially, plenty of leaks have sprung up around the event. Here’s what we (think we) know:
The phone will be on sale in all stores within a 3G boundary area, even if that store is in a 3G dead spot (like the bottom concourse of a mall, or a batcave, for example.) For most people, that will mean heading to the nearest metropolitan area. You can find out the nearest 3G-covered area in your state by using T-Mo’s coverage map. Make sure to check the “data coverage” box below the map to show which areas are 3G and which are lowly GPRS/EDGE. T-Mobile has been working hard to expand its 3G coverage, but it’s still relatively limited nationwide.
Functionality will include baked-in access to all of Google’s apps, including web search, Maps (with satellite, traffic and street views), Gmail, YouTube, Calendar and GTalk. All that will come wrapped in a 4.6x 2.16-inch sliding keyboard form-factor, running 0.6 inches thick. It will weigh in at 5.6 ounces, and sport a 4-inch HVGA screen, with standby time of 130 hours and actual talk time of about 5 hours. There isn’t stereo Bluetooth support, but the device is expandable to 8GB of memory, giving it some music-player potential. The Android-equipped Dream will also have GPS and a 3.1MP camera, though no video recording.