New Google phone hits stores

October 21, 2008 6:27:55 PM PDT
It's not often that we find technology that can change your spending patterns, but a new phone on sale tomorrow may be able to do just that. And retailers may not like it one bit.

If you have ever wondered if you are getting a good deal, Google's Android phone may hold the answer. It's called the G1 or Google Phone and available on T-Mobile.

What separates this cell phone from the others is the Shopsavvy feature. Consumers use the phone's camera to scan an item's barcode, within seconds the device searches the internet and other stores for the same product.

When the phone finds the item it shows you the best available price. A phone charger we scanned sells for $20 in the store but the Google Phone found it online for $1.39.

"If I was the guy standing in the store over there I'd be embarrassed right now," said Cynthia Christ who was ordering the new phone.

Christ says knowing if items are available for less is real power for consumers.

"As a woman who loves to shop, I think that is great for comparison and with gas prices, we need to be efficient about getting around town and finding the best we can do and everyone is looking to cut costs these days," she said.

That includes Jenny Boggus who says she may be able to save money for her company and herself by comparing prices with the device.

"Everybody is trying to cut costs, especially with Christmas time," Boggus said. "Finding the same items and not run all over the place, it'd be great to compare that to what you see on line."

There is a draw back to the feature. Pricing information for every product is not available right now. If a store uses its own bar code labeling, the G1 may not be able to find the product in its Internet data base.

But we saw the latest version of Guitar Hero and decide to scan the bar code. The G1 found it for sale online for $180, just $10 less than the in store price.

The technology is only available on the G1 right now but as you know, if consumers demand it, you can bet other phones will get this too.

The phone costs $180 and data plans start at $25 a month. The phone goes on sale at T-Mobile stores Wednesday morning.

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