T-Mobile G2 Review: Call Quality, Screen, and Internet Speeds

My review of the T-Mobile G2 by HTC continues! If you haven’t read the first part then you might want to check that out. This time around I’m going cover the phone’s call quality, screen, and Internet speeds. Remember, this is T-Mo’s first HSPA+ phone and the company is claiming that it offers “4G speeds”. Now let’s get to it!

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Call Quality
Making phone calls on the G2 is mostly an excellent experience. I made around three hours of calls in the last week and was very impressed with the phone’s clarity. Voices sounded fantastic through the earpiece. Speakerphone was another issue; voices (and music) sounded a little tinny and shrilly through the speaker.

Voice transmission was very clear. Talking in a “normal” environment, the people I spoke with said that I sounded great; a few commented that it didn’t sound like I was on a mobile phone. That said, the G2 doesn’t deal as well with heavy background noise as the Motorola Droid X, which has three noise-canceling mics. I conducted a few calls at the intersection of Wilshire and Vermont in Los Angeles, which has loads of bus and car traffic. The people I called could definitely hear the background noise, unlike calls made with the Droid X.

Out of all the Android phones I’ve used this year, I would put the G2 behind the Droid X in terms of call quality. It’s definitely better than the Evo 4G and Samsung Fascinate. While the Droid 2 has better noise cancellation, the earpiece on the G2 is noticeably clearer.

As always, your mileage may very depending on the T-Mobile coverage in your area.

The G2 sports a 3.7-inch Super-LCD screen. To paraphrase the immortal words of South Park’s Big Gay Al, “It’s super! Thanks for asking.” *snicker* Seriously though, it’s a very nice screen that’s bright and that has accurate color reproduction. Images and text are clearer than standard LCD screens, but colors aren’t nearly as vibrant as AMOLED and Super AMOLED screens.

It’s really a matter of preference. I think that general consumers would prefer the outstanding brightness and super-saturated (but over-pronounced) colors of Super AMOLED. Tech nerds and those with a discerning eye would likely prefer Super-LCD’s more accurate color reproduction and better outdoor usability.

As for the size, I wasn’t a fan at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. Initially I had accuracy problems using Swype and the phone’s virtual keyboard, but those went away after a few days. Overall, I think the G2’s screen is very nice, but I’d still prefer something in the 4-inch range. With that in mind, I was surprised that I was so satisfied with this screen. It’s really tough going back to this size after using the Evo 4G, Droid X, and Fascinate. While there were certainly times I wished the screen were bigger, I was mostly fine with the 3.7-incher on the G2.

Internet Speeds and HSPA+
A lot of tech nerds have their panties in a twist over T-Mobile saying that its HSPA+ network offers 4G speeds. Well, it does. I happen to live in a city where HSPA+ is available and was thoroughly impressed with the speeds. When I was able to get HSPA+, I averaged around 5.5Mbps down and 1.6Mbps up. While this is far from the theoretical max of 14.4Mbps that T-Mobile has listed, it’s as good or better than what many people are getting on Sprint’s WiMax network. HSPA+ signal is also better than WiMax at penetrating buildings.

Although Los Angeles is an HSPA+ city, I was not able to get HSPA+ signal everywhere I went. In those cases, I was getting around 1.3Mbps down and 1.4Mbps up on regular 3G. For example, I was not able to get HSPA+ in my building, but it was available in areas less than two miles from my apartment.

T-Mobile has been very aggressive with its HSPA+ deployment. If it’s available in your area then it’s a big selling point for the G2. As I mentioned with call quality, your mileage may vary depending on T-Mobile’s coverage in your area.

Next Up
To wrap things up, I’m going to cover the G2’s photos and video quality before giving your my final thoughts on the phone. Again, I’m surprised by how much I like this phone — so much so that I’m thinking it’s a keeper. If you have any questions, shoot ‘em off in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them.

Author: RPadTV