With the advent of the smartphone, finding a cell phone that has access to travel-friendly apps is easy. Nowadays, the real trick is finding one that not only can run all those apps, but also do it seamlessly.
So when I tested out the new T-Mobile G2x, powered by Android 2.2, I was happy to see that it was top notch. The phone, released just a few weeks ago, is a great addition to the slew of new Android-based smartphones. I found the touchscreen to be extremely responsive and on point when making selections and even typing texts. (Though I should admit, I don't think it's quite up to par with iPhone's responsiveness, but that's a feat that seems to be among the biggest challenges for all creators of touchscreens.) Still, the mistakes made while firing off texts were few and far between.
The G2x comes with dual-facing cameras: a 1.3MP front-facing cam, perfect for video chatting with friends (or, y'know, taking slightly less awkward-looking Facebook profile pics); and a super sharp 8MP rear-facing cam. And of course, both are capable of recording videos. While I love the ease of taking seamless panoramic shots on the go, continuous shots (six in a row so you have a better chance of getting that perfect shot), and the super easy-to-use photo-cropping capability, I have to say this: before you even think about taking a picture, first go into your settings and turn off the shutter sound, because it's loud and unnecessarily annoying.
One feature that is pretty great is the Car Mode, which hides the phone's 5 sliding main menus in lieu of a single screen with just 6 large icons, including a GPS navigator (which allows you to speak your destination) and voice search (through which you can make a hands-free call). That being said, I have to say: it's still not advisable to tinker with your device too much while driving. Accidents, people!
In addition to the above, it's super light (5oz.); the 4G web browsing experience is speedy; there are some 200,000 apps available for download from the Android Marketplace; and the phone has access—for about $10 extra each month—to T-Mobile TV, which I tried out and found to be really decent quality. (Live channels include NBC, E!, ABC Family, Logo, Disney, ESPN, and Fox.) I should also mention: there's a decent selection of both free and paid On Demand programming. If you're like me, you bus way more than you fly, and really...who doesn't like (read: need) a little zone-out entertainment on the go?
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis