Budget-friendly price; Speedy 4G connectivity; Crisp camera; Siri-like Genius function
Low-resolution; Poor call quality; Old operating system
T-Mobile's myTouch offers decent battery life at a low price, but poor call and screen quality hold it back.
Budget Android phones are a dime a dozen these days, which means it takes a lot for a budget-friendly Android phone to stand out from the crowd. T-Mobile's myTouch is attempting to do just that, thanks to its 4G speeds and easy-on-the-wallet $49.99 price tag. But with a 1.4-GHz single-core processor and aging Google Android Gingerbread operating system, you barely get what you pay for.
DesignmyTouch Q, the myTouch is a relatively svelte budget phone. At 4.8 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches and weighing 4.9 ounces, the myTouch drastically undercuts the bulky myTouch Q (4.9 x 2.5 x 0.6 inches and 6.8 ounces), measuring up nicely with the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G (4.8 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches and 4.4 ounces).
Keyboard notwithstanding, the myTouch is a dead-ringer for the larger myTouch Q.
Both phones share the same 4-inch display surrounded by a glossy black bezel that is offset by a gray chin piece and edges. Sandwiched between the myTouch's stylish silver earpiece sits T-Mobile's gray "myTouch" logo. To the right, you'll notice the phone's 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a new addition to the myTouch Q line. Below the display is a full complement of capacitive Android buttons, as well as the myTouch's signature Genius voice-control button.
On the right side of the phone is its physical camera button, a welcome element that many manufacturers eschew in favor of a virtual button. The left side features the myTouch's volume rocker, while its bottom edge plays host to the phone's microUSB port. Along the top edge you'll find both the myTouch's power button and 3.5mm jack. Around back, the myTouch is covered in a rubberized soft-touch material. At the top of the myTouch's back panel is its 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, to the left is its external speaker cover.
Audio from the myTouch's speaker was loud enough to fill a small room, and most music we listened to sounded clear. We did, however, notice that bass hits were imperceptible, especially when listening to French Montana's "Pop That." We also noted a significant amount of distortion when we cranked the volume up all the way.
In addition to the standard Android virtual keyboard, the myTouch comes loaded with the Swype keyboard . Both keyboards proved accurate; although Swype was the clear favorite due to its easy text input. Dragging our fingers across letters was simple and we rarely noticed an instance when the keyboard's predictive text feature was off. We did notice an occasional lag while typing, but those incidents were generally few and far between.
Software and Interface
Third-party apps include the business-friendly Documents to Go, Monopoly Classic, NetFlix, Slacker Radio, TeleNav GPS Navigator, Facebook, Twitter, Zinio, Lookout Security, WildTangent and the ever popular Words with Friends.
Search results are provided via a tabbed list of Web pages. When we searched for the Olympics, Genius brought up the Google search page for Olympics, as well as anything having to do with the games on Twitter, YouTube and Google News. Similarly, when we searched for a steakhouse, Genius immediately opened to Yelp or OpenTable where we could see restaurant reviews and make reservations.
With a 1.4-GHz single-core Qualcomm processor and 1GB of RAM, the T-Mobile myTouch is easily capable of handling everyday tasks and even some light gaming without issue. At one point we were listening to Spotify, while surfing the Web and downloading an app and didn't experience any slowdown. We did notice an occasional hiccup when changing between portrait and landscape orientation, but nothing that didn't clear up in a second.
On the CPU Benchmark, which measures a smartphone's CPU performance, the myTouch scored a 2,931. Surprisingly, that's better than the 2,576 scored by the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze, which features a 1.5-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. The myTouch also buried the category average of 2,687.
On the An3DBench benchmark, which tests a systems graphics performance, the myTouch scored a 7,397, far ahead of the Galaxy S Blaze 4G's 7,017, as well as the category average of 7,141.
Web Browsing and 4G
During our real-world tests it took ESPN's mobile site took an average of 7.7 seconds to load, while NYTimes.com's mobile site took 6.1 seconds. The image-heavy laptopmag.com desktop site took 12.8 seconds to load.
Camera and Camcorder
On the LAPTOP Battery Test, which includes continuous Web surfing over 4G with the phone's display set to 40 percent, the myTouch and its 1500 mAh battery lasted a strong 6 hours and 26 minutes. That's longer than the category average of 5 hours and 59 minutes.
Interestingly, the myTouch also outlasted the bulkier myTouch Q, which ran for just 5 hours and 42 minutes. Still, the myTouch fell well short of the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G's epic time of 7 hours and 11 minutes.
During one particular call, the myTouch developed a harsh static feedback on our end of the line. We hung up on the caller and called them back to see if it was a problem with the connection, but the feedback was still there. Our calls didn't clear up until we restarted the phone.
T-Mobile's myTouch is a good deal at $49.99 with a two-year contract, and offers above-average performance coupled with an exceptional battery life. Unfortunately, the myTouch's aging operating system, weak display and awful call quality are flaws that can't be overlooked, particularly when you can get the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G with a two-year T-Mobile contract for free. Still, for just shy of $50, the myTouch is certainly worth your consideration.
|Form Factor||Candybar Touchscreen|
|Operating System||Android 2.3.6|
|Networks||quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900), dual-band UMTS (1700/2100 1 & 4)|
|Memory Expansion Type||microSD Card|
|Display (main)||4-inch 800 x 480 WVGA|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 2.1 EDR|
|Front Camera Resolution||0.3MP|
|Camera Resolution||5 MP|
|Talk / Standby Time|
|Size||4.8 x 2.46 x 0.41 inches|
|SAR Rating (Head)|
|SAR Rating (Body)|