T-Mobile officially crowns G2, its first next-gen network phone

Sprint has been enjoying all the exposure it’s getting with the nation’s first deployed 4G network and 4G capable phones, but the tide will shift later this month when the G2 from T-Mobile hits store shelves.

Yes, it’s official. T-Mobile has come forward with all the juicy details about the G2, its official follow-up to the G1 which launched in 2008 and was the first phone in the world to use Google’s flagship Android platform.

The G2 will be as important as the G1 launch, as not only will it kick off T-Mobile’s next-generation high-speed mobile network, it will officially begin the battle of high-speed network standards. T-Mobile’s new service will operate on a technology known as HSPA+, while Sprint’s 4G network uses what’s called WiMax. Both spectrums have specced out similar download speeds and reliability, but the question is how each will fare once deployed on a mass-market level.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is already up and ready in 55 cities in the US, and it plans to double its population reach to 200 million people by the end of the year. Verizon should be the next on the market with its next-gen “LTE” (long-term evolution) network. It hopes to have that deployed within the next several months.

The G2 announcement is by no means a surprise, but T-Mobile did provide some concrete details today. It will be colored gray, include a 3.7-inch touch-screen display, pack in a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, and tack on an 800 MHz processor. That’s quite interesting considering most noteworthy smartphones these days have a 1 GHz processor, including Sprint’s two 4G devices.

The G2 will also come pre-installed with the latest version of Android, version 2.2 or “Froyo.” It will have the industry standard Swype app also pre-installed for on-screen text entry, as well as 4 GB of internal storage.

The only thing T-Mobile didn’t reveal was a price for the G2. The industry standard nowadays for the latest smartphone is $200 after a service contract subsidy. That’s also what Sprint’s 4G phones sell for. It should be expected that the G2 will be at or around that $200 mark.