Review: T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide
In the world of Android phones, it’s becoming harder and harder to find the perfect phone for you. It’s not because there are no good phones to choose from, but because there are a lot of good options out there. HTC’s new myTouch 3G Slide is the newest member of T-Mobile’s myTouch family and presents a great option for those looking to trade up from the defunct Sidekick brand or even the original T-Mobile G1.
At first glance, the myTouch 3G Slide looks very reminiscent of the of the original HTC made T-Mobile myTouch 3G. The curved edges along the front and back side of the phone as well as the slight chin at the bottom of the handset are clearly pulled from its older sibling. While the Slide is only slightly larger than the original, HTC has managed to cram in a four row QWERTY keyboard and a slightly larger 3.4” capacitive display. Along the bottom of the screen, the myTouch Slide features a home, menu, back, and “Genius” button separated by an clickable, optical track pad. On the top of the handset you’ll find the power button and 3.5mm headphone jack; along the left side is the volume rocker; on the bottom is the micro-USB port,; on the right is a dedicated camera button. The back of the myTouch Slide features a 5 mega-pixel camera with LED flash, speakerphone, and brushed aluminum “my” badge close to the button.
Sliding the phone open from the left side reveals the four row QWERTY keyboard. Those familiar with the HTC Touch Pro2 or the G1 will most likely find the smaller keyboard a little cramped, but the evenly spaced, raised keys offer a great typing experience.
On the inside, the myTouch 3G Slide is by far the most powerful Android phone in T-Mobile lineup. HTC has equipped the Slide with a 600MHz MSM7227 Qualcomm processor, 512MB ROM and 512 MB RAM and a 1300 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery. The internal specs may not turn any heads these days when compared to the Nexus One, DROID Incredible or the EVO 4G, but the small boost in performance does give the myTouch Slide a pretty big performance jump over HTC’s first generation Android phones.
While HTC Sense and Android 2.1 are the standard on all of HTC’s new Android phones, T-Mobile and HTC have given the myTouch 3G Slide a unique twist. HTC Sense on the Slide (also know as HTC Espresso) has been given a more glossy or bubbly UI treatment. All the elements of HTC Sense remain the same with the additional widgets, Facebook integration, customization of the contacts, clock, calendar, and calculator application, but simply giving the UI a facelift wasn’t enough for T-Mobile. Since T-Mobile is still sticking with the “make it mine” slogan for the myTouch brand, they thought it would be a great idea to incorporate further customization into the UI and the Scenes component of Sense. Scenes has been renamed to myModes and now allows you to customize HTC Sense with a selection of sever different themes. The themes change the colors and textures in all of HTC’s applications and definitely gives users the sense the UI is finally customizable to their liking. In the past, HTC allowed you to save and switch between various customized scenes, but the myTouch 3G slide has a trick up its sleeve not found on any other HTC phone. Rather than manually choosing which scene you want to use, the Slide allows you to switch between them based on a specific time of day or even geographic location. This new feature should come in very handy for people who need to use specific apps or widgets while at home or if they simply need a more appropriate desktop wallpaper or ringtone while at work during the week.
As mentioned above, the myTouch 3G Slide has a slight performance boost with a faster processor and more internal memory than the G1 and original myTouch, but combined with Android 2.1 and system tweaks from HTC for better performance, the myTouch Slide is able to hold its own when playing 3G games and other processor intensive applications. We took our time browsing through the market, testing out games like Raging Thunder, Homerun battle 3D, and Backbreaker Football. The games do not run as sharp as they would on a Snapdragon powered HTC phone, but the 3D, graphic intensive games are definitely playable and offer great entertainment options.
The 5 megapixel camera on the myTouch Slide will in no way replace your dedicated point in shoot camera, but it does offer a great alternative when you find yourself wanting to take a quick snapshot on the go. The LED flash does give you the ability to take pictures in low-light situations, though the results may not be very flattering. Our suggestion would be to keep the flash off, unless it’s absolutely necessary. The camera produces saturated pictures and the settings option provided by HTC allow you to tweak things until your heart’s content.
Video capture on the myTouch Slide is capped at 640 x 480 VGA resolution. Just like with images, you might want to keep a dedicated camera handy if you’re planning on capturing video. The video quality will suffice if you really have no other options, but if all you are interested in doing is capturing some spontaneous fun, the myTouch Slide will suffice.
When it comes to smartphones, most people’s main complaints is in regards to battery life. Yes, we all want a superphone that can blow up distant planets or make our car transform into a jet, but if the phone can’t get you through a day without dying on you, it’s completely useless. Fortunately, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide manages to deliver above par battery life. We’ve been thoroughly testing out the Slide for over a week now and have only once managed to drain the battery in less than 10 hours. On occasion, we were even able to use the phone through a whole day of work, leave it over night, and return to work the next day before needing to recharge the battery.
The T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide is by far the best Android phone you can buy from T-Mobile. Yes, you can get a Nexus One from Google with a T-Mobile contract, but most people like walking into a store or ordering their handset directly from their carrier. The 600 MHz processor of the Slide definitely has enough power to deliver a satisfactory gaming experience and the QWERTY keyboard is an adequate upgrade for those looking to retire their G1. At $179.99 with a new two year agreement, it’s pretty easy to see that the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide is by far the best option in T-Mobile’s expansive Android lineup.
Note: if you are looking to purchase the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, we would suggest heading over to Wirefly and checking out their latest deals. Last we checked, they were offering up the Slide for only $99 with a new contract.