By Evan Ackerman
Ah, Walmart. I love your low low prices, but I wouldn’t be caught dead under your ginormous roof lest I get exiled from the Berkeley hippy commune in which I reside. But dammit, I am seriously tempted, since as of today the Google phone is going to be available in Walmart stores. 550 Walmarts nationwide will be carrying the T-Mobile G1, the first phone to run Google’s Android open-sourcey operating system. It’s $148.88 with the inevitable two-year contract, which is $30 cheaper than if you were to get it at a T-Mobile store.
From what I’ve read, the consensus seems to be that the G1 hardware is a solid enough phone, but (unsurprisingly) the Android OS is really the big draw. Problem is, being an open OS, Android is depending to some extent on other people to write software to make it the perfect phone, and that hasn’t quite happened yet. But it’s still early, and there’s a lot of potential here. At the very least, if you’re in the market for a new bleeding-edge smartphone, I’d recommend that you suck it up, put on a big yellow smiley face, and head down to your local Walmart to check the G1 out for yourself. I’ll see you there, and I promise not to tell anyone.