Review: T-Mobile myTouch 3G - InformationWeek

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8/31/2009
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Review: T-Mobile myTouch 3G

HTC's touchscreen Google Android smartphone brings better hardware and a more refined user experience over the G1.

Messaging

The myTouch 3G offers pretty much most forms of messaging that a smartphone should. The most robust is, of course, Gmail. The Gmail experience offered by Android is by far the best way to interact with Gmail on any mobile device. Users can see full message headers and perform other vital actions, such as starring and labeling e-mails, directly from their device. The Gmail client is rich, and users can type out e-mails in either portrait or landscape fashion. Turning the phone on its side brings up a landscape keyboard that is larger and somewhat easier to use than the one available when the myTouch is held vertically.

If Exchange support is necessary, you're in luck. HTC has crafted a special application called "Work E-mail." It supports Exchange ActiveSync and will let you receive, read, and send e-mails to and from your work account. I didn't find the options quite as robust as those offered by the Gmail client, but it covers the basics.

The myTouch also supports other POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts.

As for other forms of messaging, SMS, MMS, and IM are all supported. Text and picture messages are threaded by contact, which makes it easier to read and keep track of conversations. Android has baked-in support for Google Talk, but also supports AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo IM.

Media

Android and the myTouch 3G include a music player, camera, video player, and video capture.

The music player software appears to be a carry-over from Android 1.0 and hasn't been updated or revised at all. It's certainly capable, and if you don't mind using a headset adapter, you can listen to tunes as you work, play, or browse on the device. It's not going to light the fires of serious music lovers out there, though.

The myTouch 3G has a 3.2 megapixel camera -- same as the G1 -- and the software used to control it is as bare bones as it gets. There is no physical camera button on the myTouch, so users have to press the screen of the phone itself to take pictures. The camera works quickly enough, and it's easy to operate, but I didn't get the best results when I tested it for image quality. It would be nice if the camera software offered more control over how the camera behaves, such as the ability to adjust white balance or exposure. It doesn't.

The myTouch 3G also captures video, and can upload straight to YouTube. While the ability to share video directly from the phone is excellent, said video rates "average" in my book. The quality just isn't there.

Bottom line, Android still has a lot of growing to do in the media department.

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