This was the HTC Dream, the first phone in history with Android (and yes, it had a QWERTY keyboard)

Can you imagine your life without a mobile phone? Possibly the answer is no. It is that we live in an increasingly connected world in which these devices have become a necessity for our day to day. And we have plenty of examples: we use them to get information, listen to music, podcasts or videos, play games, create content of all kinds, and of course, we also use them to call.

This time we invite you to travel to October 2008, just over a year after the original iPhone went on sale in the United States, to remember the launch of the first Android phone. We are talking about the HTC Dream, the device that marked a starting point for Google’s operating system, it is currently the most used in the world, followed by Apple’s iOS.

HTC Dream, el primer Android


Rumors that Google was preparing a proposal to compete with Symbian and Windows Mobile were getting stronger in 2007 until in November of that year, the Mountain View giant presented Android. It is a Linux-based operating system designed to work on hardware from various manufacturers and that would provide the possibility of running third-party applications.

At the time, it provided little information and did not reveal who would be the first partner to implement its mobile operating system. However, in 2008 everything pointed to HTC would be the first manufacturer to adopt Android in a terminal called “Dream”, whose name, as we had in Xataka at that time, was perfect for “a terminal that finally brings the Internet to the palm of the hand in a reliable and economical way”.

Finally, on September 23, 2008 doubts were cleared when HTC announced the phone. The first Android began selling for $179 in October 2008 under the T-Mobile G1 name in the US, in November in the UK, and continued to roll out across Europe and the rest of the world over the following year. It arrived in Spain in February 2009 at the hands of Movistar and, a few days later, Vodafone presented the HTC Magic, an improved model.

Htc Dream 1 2

We had gone from anxiously awaiting the first Android phone on the market to having two models from the same manufacturer. The HTC Dream, with physical keyboard, and the HTC Magic, which bet everything on a touch screen and bring with it some hardware improvements. If you wanted to enter the Android world, the big question at the time was which one to choose. In response to this, and after testing both models, we had prepared a comparison to help all those interested in choosing the best option.

HTC Dream


TFT 3,2″

320 x 480 pixels

65,000 colors


117,7 x 55,7 x 17,1 mm

158 g


Qualcomm MSM7201A

528 MHz


192 MB


256 MB




3,15 MP


1.150 mAh


Android 1.0

Supports up to Android 1.6 “Donut”







Teclado QWERTY, Trackball, GPS

Let’s move on to the specifications of this historic phone. One of the most unique features is that it featured a physical keyboard that slid to the side. Today, this might be shocking, but the HTC Dream was born at a time when Nokia and BlackBerry were the absolute kings of the market (although we know that reign would not last much longer).

The QWERTY keyboard, however, was not the device’s only input method. It also had a 3.2 inch touch screen that allowed us to take better advantage of the potential of Android. And we must not forget that the equipment was also characterized by having a “chin” at the bottom, which housed 5 buttons (call, home, menu, back, end call) and a trackball scrolling and selection.

At the internal hardware level, we found ourselves with a 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor, compatibility with HSDPA, WiFi, bluetooth, a miniUSB port, 192 MB of RAM, 256 MB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. On the camera side, the HTC Dream had a single 3.2-megapixel sensor located on the back, and it’s not that the front cameras didn’t exist, in fact, the first phone with this feature, the Kyocera VP-210, appeared in 1999.

Hola, Android 1.0

Like almost any early version of software, Android 1.0 came out with many features that weren’t finished yet, but it did open the door to a number of very valuable Google-associated features. This system integrated the applications Gmail, Maps, Search, Talk, YouTube, Contacts and Calendarthese last two with synchronization capacity with a Google account.

Htc Dream 2

If you didn’t have a Gmail email, no problem. Android 1.0 also allowed you to configure other services based on POP3 and IMAP. The operating system also featured a browser, which allowed browsing full HTML and XHTML web pages, support for calls, SMS, and other features. And to explore the new world of applications there was Android Market (at that time in beta), to download apps and manage updates.

Google’s new operating system piqued the interest of the modding community, which shortly after launch had found a way to “root” devices, the equivalent of “jailbreaking” the iPhone, to get superuser level and make advanced settings and not permitted by the manufacturer. Later the possibility of installing ROMs or modified versions of Android would also arrive.

Looking back, the HTC Dream was a unique device, in every way. It did not go down in history as an “iPhone Killer”, nor did it take HTC to the top of the smartphone sales podium, but it did leave an important legacy: the foundations of an open operating system, strongly integrated with Google, which would spread to most of manufacturers over the years. And here we are. 14 years have passed, HTC continues to manufacture smartphones, such as the Desire 21 Pro 5G, and we are already on version 12 of Android.

Images | HTC | Blogtrepreneur (Flickr)

Source: Xataka by

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