T-Mobile Android G1 v Nokia 2110: Ultimate Test

You know, there's been far too much talk about too many phones these days. The iPhone? Pah. The HTC Touch Diamond? Pfft.

And now we're all going gooey over the T-Mobile G1 Android phone. Well, can it take on the might of the Nokia 2110? The phone that Nokia unleashed on the world in 1995 and is still on their top selling lists? (OK, maybe it's a little far down... 2,546th at last count.)

But still, blow for blow, we reckon this grandfather of all mobiles can take down the whipper-snapper-ish G1... let battle commence!


The Android interface, all that sweepy-swoopy-swoo to get to new icons and all that. Rubbish. What's the point? The reason people's lives are being so tightly packed and stress is on the rise is the fact we're doing more in our spare time.

Maybe we don't want to be able to scan for barcodes? Maybe that's what shops are for? Maybe we have a compass in our shoe like all the cool kids, and therefore don't need one in a phone?

Ah, the 2110. Menu, contacts. Up and down, enter and back. Now that's an interface. No need for fancy pants moves, if you were in a field, in the dark, this handset would get you the information on the screen quick as winking.

Winner: The Nokia 2110. Simplicity at its best.

Build quality

The G1? Might as well be made of bananas. While it's not the most lightweight of all handsets, we've been reading Grazia (for research) and found that this season, big and bold is back in.

Well, they don't come any bigger or bolder than the 2110. Things we've managed to do with this handset in 13 years: reduce a work experience boy to tears by constantly throwing it at him, break a window, open a can of beans through brute force, watch it fall out a first floor window, run our fingers lovingly over the rubber keys.

You can't do any of that with the G1 if you want it to keep working.

Winner: Nokia 2110. Built to withstand a nuclear holocaust.


We liked the stylings of Hundertwasser (he's an extravagant architect from Vienna, if you didn't know), and for that reason, you have to love the 2110. It's garish lines and battery that sticks a mile out from the rear of the phone says: "I don't follow the rules. I dance to my own tune. I am dangerous."

And women dig dangerous guys.

The buttons are nicely spaced, so you'll never accidentally press the wrong number and accidentally dial someone you didn't mean to. And what if that person stole your identity because of it? The tiny, metallic buttons on the G1 can't beat the rubberised behemoths of the 2110.

Winner: The Nokia 2110. Because big IS beautiful.

Slide up aerial

The G1 doesn't have one. The Nokia 2110 does.

Winner: The Nokia 2110. Because it has an aerial, and you can pull it up with your teeth if you want to use the phone while carrying shopping.

Water resistance

Granted, we haven't tested the G1 through the washing machine because it's too expensive, but we're going to assume it wouldn't make it through as it's just a wee thing. Here are the submergings the 2110 been through:

- Through the washing machine AND tumble dryer

- In roughly 40 puddles

- A backpack dropped in a lake

And after that all that was needed was three hours drying on the radiator. If this phone was a person, it would be Steven Seagal's and Chuck Norris' love child.

Winner: Nokia 2110. Because you know it's true.

Strapped to a deer and sent into a forest

We did the above to both phones, and found out which deer came back first. Oh, got GPS have you G1? Got an electronic compass?

Deers can't read phone screens, stupid. Plus the forest has no postcodes or walkways, so you couldn't input your directions.

The 2110 is so heavy the deer with it strapped to its back got tired after a few steps and came back for the carrot we were holding.

Which was weird, as we didn't think deer ate carrots. Ah well, you learn something new every day.

Winner: Nokia 2110.

3.5G data speeds, colour screen, multimedia, full HTML web browser, app store, QWERTY keyboard, handset name

Well, we suppose as the G1 actually has all the above and SOME people in the world actually like to have that on a handset, it probably is the stand out handset in this category.

But the 2110 is a classic name, and the G1 sounds like a nuclear bomb. So it's close, but we'll give it to the G1.

Winner: The T-Mobile G1 with Google. Though it was close.


Well, as you can tell, this was a test completely without bias. None at all. So it surprised us that a handset that didn't have a card slot, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, infrared, USB, a clock, an alarm or games should beat a device that can practically do everything.

But, the stats don't lie, and by a score of seven to one, the 2110 stands on the top step of the podium, spraying champagne over the sore loser like a sheep with a bowel dysfunction.

And you can get them as new on eBay for only £90! That's WAY cheaper than the G1. This is turning into an embarrassment for Google...

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.