A Step in the Right Direction for Android

T-Mobile MyTouch 3G


With all the recent hype over the iPhone 3GS, it’s now time for Android’s response. The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G (which is a re-branded HTC Magic) builds on the momentum of the carriers first android phone, the G1, taking all of its best features while making some much needed improvements. Design wise the handset’s sleek profile is a huge departure from the clunky looks of its predecessor and finally provides a matching cutting edge exterior appropriate for units the high tech status. Business users will also appreciate added support for Microsoft Exchange Server, however for now it is only compatible for email, so outlook calendar and contacts addicts are stuck still waiting.

It’s HVGA high resolution display of 480×320 is sure to impress holders and make photos look their best. Touch functionality on the unit offers haptic feedback for completing certain actions, but lacks the multi-touch interface that allows for pinch zooming found on the iphone. Naturally, being a Google Android based phone, search is built in everywhere. The top of the home screen has a dedicated search bar, capable of accepting voice command searches as well as typed in queries. A google search shortcut key can also be found as a physical button on the lower portion of the phone, providing one touch searches should tapping the home screen be too much work. Hit the next page to read on.

A built in accelerometer provides users the flexibility of both portrait and landscape mode for the majority of phone’s applications. Frustratingly, the phone does lack a standard 3.5 millimeter headset jack, meaning you’ll have to use an adapter to use standard headphones with the unit. However an adapter and headphone set are included with the phone, and it’s ability to output stereo Bluetooth for wireless listening serve as some consolation.
Wi-Fi and GPS bring useful browsing and location based services to the table, and combined with Android software makes for an attractive feature set. Based off a GPS search engine called Geodelic, the Sherpa application learns a user’s activities and provides nearby establishments that may interest them. For example, someone searches often for camera stores (cough* Eric) would be alerted about a nearby camera store. The same concept would apply to people who enjoy Indian food, comic book fans, fashion addicts, and several other points in between. Outside of location based recommendations, the app can also provide recommendations on events. For instance music store searches would be notified of concerts going on in their area. Displayed in an attractive “Location Carousel”, searchers can get standard information such as phone numbers and addresses, as well as see reviews from popular sources such as Yelp, Citysearch, and ZAGAT.

On the multi-media front, the MyTouch appears to be a capable music phone with support for a wide variety of file formats and utilizing a micro SD slot for storage. An on board 3.2 Megapixel camera allows for basic photography as well as video. Application for expanding the phone’s uses are available for unit through the ever growing Android Market. However don’t expect app-store like depth just yet.

All in all, the combined exterior design and operating system improvements with the Android 1.5 Cupcake update make this handset a solid performer. For a detailed review of the unit though, check out CNET’s evaluation here.

Available August 5th, 2009 for $200 with 2-year contract.