Review: T-Mobile’s MyTouch 3G

T-Mobile released the myTouch 3G on August 5th, 2009 in the U.S. It is a smartphone with Google’s open-source Android operating system. The phone comes with the “with Google” branding and is tightly coupled with Google’s online services. I received my myTouch 3G one week ago. My phone is on an unlimited web, multi-media messaging and text messaging plan with 300 anytime minutes.
The Keyboard
Unlike the G1, the first Google-branded phone from T-Mobile, the myTouch 3G utilizes the touchscreen keyboard only. It does not have a physical keyboard. I found text entry with the touchscreen keyboard to be quite friendly. After getting used to it, I made few mistakes in typing. I also can now enter text as fast as I could with my previous phone (the Samsung a177), which had a physical keyboard. The system is very responsive during text entry, with very little lag. Many people cite the lack of a physical keyboard as a problem, but I don’t think it is.

The Display
The display for the myTouch 3G impressed me. It is much brighter and crisper than I expected. The myTouch has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. It features a resolution of 320×480 pixels. The screen seems to be the perfect size to accommodate the user interface of the Android OS. This is surprising, since the display on the myTouch 3G is actually smaller than an iPhone’s (3.5 inches). When compared side by side to my iPod touch, the myTouch 3G’s colors seemed slightly crisper. The display on the myTouch 3G is easily readable in full sunlight.

The Style
I purchased the white myTouch 3G and I have to say it is very stylish. The front of the phone features the touchscreen, along with a scroll ball (similar to what is found on a Blackberry Curve). It has six front-facing buttons and a volume rocker on the left side. Overall, the style is quite minimalistic like a touchscreen device should be. The myTouch 3G also comes in black and “merlot”, which is a burgandy-like color. The smartphone is slim, at a mere 0.6 inches thick. Even though the iPhone might be the so-called king of the style hill, the myTouch 3G is right on its tail.

User Interface
The myTouch 3G comes with Android, an open-source OS from Google that is based on GNU/Linux. Android has a nice, touch-based interface. I would say that the Android user interface is very user-friendly, right there with iPhone OS and miles ahead of Windows Mobile 6.1. The myTouch 3G essentially has three “home” screens.

The user can flip back and forth through these screens using their finger. You can place shortcuts to applications and widgets on the home screens. The myTouch 3G is very easy to use without a stylus, unlike some touchscreen devices. As capacitive screens cannot be used with a traditional stylus, this is a good thing. The interface of the myTouch 3G is also very easy to learn. I knew my way around quite well it within a couple of days.

Being a smartphone, the myTouch 3G has numerous features. In my opinion, the main and best feature is the Android Market. This is a marketplace for Android phones were users can go to download free and paid applications. If you are familiar with the iPhone’s App Store, then this is nearly identical in its goal.

The Android Market features over 4900 applications, many of which are free. You can download utility, productivity, and entertainment apps and even games. This feature opens the myTouch 3G up to endless possibilities now and in the future. I think the quality and size of a platform’s application store is the number one thing to think about when shopping for a smartphone. Android Market is teeming with possibilities. The myTouch 3G also features a 3.2 megapixel camera that takes still shots and video. The tight integration of Google applications with the myTouch 3G is also a great feature. If you use gmail and Google’s other apps, then the this phone is definitely for you.

Overall, the myTouch 3G from T-Mobile is a great smartphone. It’s easy to use interface and countless downloadable applications make it great for a wide range of users. After being burned by the lackluster LG Incite, I was very hesitant to purchase another smartphone. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by Android and the myTouch 3G.

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