Affordable; Good 4G download speeds; Comfortable keyboard; Sharp camera; Siri-like Genius function
Low-res display; Below-average battery life; Mediocre call quality
The T-Mobile myTouch Q marries 4G speeds with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard at a budget-friendly price.
T-Mobile's third-generation myTouch Q promises zippy 4G speeds and the convenience of a physical keyboard for a wallet-friendly $49.99. For that price, the myTouch Q comes loaded with a 1.4-GHz single-core processor and Google's older Android Gingerbread operating system. Is this slider a good deal?
DesignLG DoublePlay slider (4.8 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches).
The phone's back has a rubberized soft-touch material. A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and accompanying flash sit up top, while a vertical T-Mobile and myTouch logos sit below it. Beneath those is the myTouch Q's external speaker cover. The right side features a physical camera button--a rarity these days--while the left side includes a volume slider and micro USB slot. Up top are the myTouch Q's power button and 35mm headphone jack.
Slide open the myTouch Q to reveal its QWERTY keyboard. Like previous versions of the phone, the myTouch Q's keys are black with white lettering. Numbers and symbols get a neon yellow color treatment. Helping to give the keyboard some extra pop is a silver brushed metal backing plate.
DisplayGalaxy S Blaze 4G's display's 231 lux.
Unfortunately, the Q is handicapped by its resolution. While watching a 1080p trailer for "The Hobbit," we noticed severe pixelation. Colors were also a bit off with darker colors, especially during night scenes, creating muddled images. Text on websites such as NYTimes.com and Laptopmag.com was clear, but images looked blurry when viewed up close.
Sound emanating from the myTouch Q's rear speaker was surprisingly loud, easily filling a small conference room. On the whole, most of what we listened to sounded fairly clear. We noticed a bit of distortion when we cranked up the volume on French Montana's "Pop That," but were satisfied with the sound when listening to it at lower volumes. The myTouch Q's bass output, however, left much to be desired.
You can always close the slider and start typing away on the myTouch Q's standard Android virtual keyboard or Swype keyboard. Typing was mostly accurate, but we did notice occasional lag.
Software and Interface
Third-party apps are also in abundance, including Documents to Go, Monopoly Classic, NetFlix, Slacker radio, TeleNav GPS Navigator, Facebook, Twitter, Zinio, Lookout Security, WildTangent and Words with Friends.
The first time you open the app, you're given a quick, but helpful, tutorial on the ways you should phrase your commands. If you want to search the Web for information on the Olympics, for example, you can say, "Search the Web for the Olympics," and Genius will go to work.
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 ESPN. Similarly, if you search for, say, Italian food, Genius will immediately open Yelp or OpenTable, where you can see reviews for nearby Italian restaurants or make reservations.
Voice interpretation was generally accurate, but as with most voice dictation apps, there were some occasional errors.
The myTouch Q comes with a 1.4-GHz Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. On the CPU benchmark, a synthetic test that measures a device's CPU performance, the myTouch Q notched a score of 2,624, just ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G's score of 2,576. That's an impressive feat when you consider that the Blaze packs a 1.5-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. Still, the myTouch Q fell just short of the category average of 2,687.
Meanwhile, on the An3DBench graphics test, the myTouch Q pulled down a score of 7,250. That's better than the Galaxy S Blaze 4G's score of 7,017, as well as the category average of 7,141.
Just as its scores suggest, the myTouch Q proved more than capable of handling everyday tasks. Swiping between home screens and scrolling through the apps menu was smooth, while most apps opened without delay.
Our biggest complaint is the roughly one-second delay we occasionally ran into while switching between landscape and portrait modes.
Web Browsing and 4G
ESPN Mobile loaded in 7 seconds flat, while NYTimes.com loaded in 6.5 seconds. The Laptopmag.com desktop site took only a bit longer to load, coming in at 11.6 seconds.
Camera and Camcorder
The 720p video we shot using the rear-facing camera was equally clean. However, the camera had trouble adjusting to changes in lighting conditions. Worse, the audio sounded as if we recorded the footage with a piece of cotton over the microphone.
The myTouch Q's 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, which can be used for video chatting, offered predictably duller images, with pixels clearly visible around the edges of objects and colors appearing to be a shade too bright.
Packing a 1500 mAh lithium ion battery, the myTouch Q lasted 5 hours and 42 minutes on our LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuously surfing the Web with the phone's display set to 40 percent. That's just shy of the category average of 5:59. The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G and its 1750 mAh battery easily blew away both the myTouch Q and category average, running for an impressive 7:11 before biting the dust.
Criticisms of the myTouch Q's voice quality were nearly universal. A cellphone-based caller said that our voice was so muffled, it sounded as if we put the myTouch Q in a sock and then tried talking into it. Landline-based callers told us that the myTouch Q sounded slightly low and tinny. Conversely, callers speaking to us sounded clear as a bell.
That said, the phone does make some trade-offs to achieve such a low price, namely its low-resolution screen and dated OS. The call quality could also be better. In the sub-$50 range on T-Mobile, we prefer the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, which offers similar performance numbers and longer battery life. But if you want a physical keyboard on the cheap, the myTouch Q is a pretty good choice.
|Form Factor||QWERTY Slider|
|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 display|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 2.1 EDR|
|Front Camera Resolution||0.3MP|
|Camera Resolution||5 MP|
|Talk / Standby Time|
|Size||4.9 x 2.5 x 0.6 inches|
|SAR Rating (Head)|
|SAR Rating (Body)|