The Good The T-Mobile MyTouch is a simple starter smartphone that’s compatible with T-Mobile’s 4G network. It has good battery life and you can get it for nothing.
The Bad Despite the specifications of the phone, it lacks a camera flash. Also, the speaker quality was poor and the interface was a bit sluggish.
The Bottom Line Despite its merits, this latest addition to the MyTouch family has too many things to do. No question was intolerable on its own, but when I add all my thoughts on it, I would eventually suggest another phone in my class.
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If you are confused in the family tree of MyTouch phones, you are not alone. Several years ago, HTC and T-Mobile began launching a line of phones under the umbrella of MyTouch. These include MyTouch 3G, MyTouch 3G Slide, MyTouch 4G and MyTouch 4G Slide.
Not wanting to mess with a good cause, or perhaps wanting to confuse people, she decided to release two more MyTouch phones in November 2011, except this time, no one was worried about a radical renaming of them, and these phones will be manufactured instead of LG.
Brian Bennett has already looked at the sliding keyboard of MyTouch Q, so I’m taking the simpler cousin of MyTouch (yes, another one). Both handsets are in the 4G T-Mobile network, and if you get one with a two-year contract and send a discount in the mail, you’ll get it for an incredibly low price of zero dollars.
As the MyTouch gets rid of the volume buttons of its predecessor HTC, it has a much more sophisticated profile (4.82 inches in height, 2.46 inches in width and 0.385 inches). It is also very light, only 3.77 ounces, so when I slipped it into my pocket, I did not feel my jeans weighed.
A cosmetic feature that I love for no rational reason is the bottom of the phone, which has a sloping, sloping edge. I don’t know why, but it makes the handset more chic. Another fantastic detail is the soft cover on the back. From book covers to covers, I love the soft covers. Although the backing is simply plastic, the cover prevents the phone from feeling cheap. But keep in mind that the soft coating removes the oil from your fingertips as crazy and difficult to wipe.
In the upper left corner of the back you will see the camera lens (and only the camera lens, but I’ll get to that later). There is a small indentation at the bottom of the phone that you can put your finger on. This will help you remove the back cover of the phone. Once removed, you will have access to the removable battery of your phone, microSD card and T-Mobile SIM card. You’ll also see more speakers on the left side of the back of the phone.
If soft cover is also your thing, you’ll get a kick out of the MyTouch backing.
MyTouch has a 3.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 480×840 pixels. The front of this phone is wide on the sides, so the display is actually much narrower than it might seem at first glance. Although typing and viewing with the touch screen in landscape mode was convenient, text messages with the keyboard in portrait mode were somewhat difficult because of the thin display.
Despite this, however, the colors and images were bright and clear. The edges were clear, and when I was playing the Bejeweled 2 demo (which came with the phone), I thought the graphics were striking and bright.
At the top of the display is a front VGA camera, and at the bottom are three navigation buttons: menu, home and back. Compared to its HTC cousins, this version of MyTouch has missed the search button. To access the search function, you have to hold down the menu button for a few seconds, and a Google search bar will appear. This is a minor inconvenience.
At the top of the phone you have a power / lock button on the right and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left. Between them is a Micro-USB port with a pop-up cover. This is not unusual for LG phones, and some may appreciate the added level of security for this opening. To others, however, it may seem annoying to stumble every time they plug and unplug the charger. Finally, there is a volume rocker on the right side of the phone.
In terms of design, compared to MyTouch phones on HTC, LG’s MyTouch is an upgrade. It is slim and sleek, and despite its plastic construction, it is quite sleek in appearance.
LG’s MyTouch runs on T-Mobile’s HSPA + “4G” network and boots with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. (There is no word on whether or not the Ice Cream Sandwich will be upgraded.) Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1 GHz processor offer this criterion.
Inside you will find many standard applications that will keep your life organized and modern. Your phone has an alarm clock feature, a book application that already has Treasure Island, Three Musketeers, and Cliff Height downloaded, a navigation app, a Richnote reminder feature, and a calendar application to manage your schedule. There are also programs to migrate to Web 2.0, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
The phone is also littered with many pre-installed T-Mobile applications. One is Polaris Office, which functions as Microsoft Office on your phone. It has the ability to process text, spreadsheets and view files. You can also edit Microsoft Office files, view PDFs and image files, and extract ZIP files. Another voice command application called the Genius Button. You can make phone calls, send texts, search terms, and get directions by simply opening the Genius button and talking on your phone.
Other applications include MobileLife Organizer, T-Mobile Mall (where you can purchase T-Mobile applications, ringtones and games) and Slacker radio. Finally, the phone comes with a 30-day trial of T-Mobile TV, where you can stream TV from channels such as Fox News and ESPN, as well as download “30 Rock” and “Anatomy Gray’s” shows. When downloading episodes, you have the choice to save it in the internal memory of a phone that holds up to 2GB or in an SD memory card that holds up to 32GB.
Unfortunately, many of these applications (or “software” if you prefer) cannot be uninstalled. So while you may like some of the suggestions you have to offer, you stick to them if you don’t use your phone. Also, there is one more thing you will have to deal with – the phone comes with a pre-loaded device Carrier IQ . Remember that snippet of Android software back in December that was collecting usage data and caused a media fire when it was discovered? Yes, that’s it.
Finally, there is a 5MP camera on the back of the phone. The camera has digital zoom, auto focus and face detection. You will also have a wide range of photo options, such as brightness meter, some color effects (black and white, sepia, negative), white balance picker and timer. The camera can record 720 frames at 30 frames per second, but it cannot zoom in or focus while recording.
A huge flaw I found in the camera is the fact that it does not have an LED flash. I know it has to be a mid-range camera. But seriously, no flash? And indeed, there are many phones in the MyTouch class that have them, so I miss it here. No flash means night photos at night, no flashlight when you throw your keys in the car, and no portable dash.
When I hiked up Mission in Fremont, CA to take in the beautiful view, the photos were nice and clear. Although the sun was setting at the time, there was still plenty of light to take advantage of it. However, the photos are not the brightest, and the colors are not as bright as in real life (they were a total blue tint). When I uploaded JPEGs to my computer, the colors looked even more dull than they were when displayed on my phone.
The front camera, however, took much better photos than I expected. True, they are fuzzy and washed, but the camera still was able to clearly capture my self-noticed after the hike.
Don’t let those blue tones fool you – Mission Peak wasn’t so melancholy in real life.
The photo quality of the front camera was better than I expected, but plenty of light was available.
As you can see from our standard shot, the blue tint is still there.
In terms of video recording quality, it was just subpar. Exposure cannot be adjusted because the AF function is not available. This means that every light bulb and window is completely washed, and every small shadow or dark piece of furniture is completely undiscovered and darkened. And of course, there is that inevitable bluish tint. There was also a perpetual low trembling noise that could be heard during my recordings, which did not interfere with recorded voices or loud noises, but it was spread during times when silence was recorded.
I tested the quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) MyTouchhere in San Francisco. The call quality is absolutely adequate. I noticed a low hum, almost a crackling sound as I waited for the call to pick up, but it was only very slight. In addition, when people eventually jumped in, their voices were clear and easily encountered.
Sample quality of calls from T-Mobile MyTouch from LGListen now:
Unfortunately, I survived several negative calls. Sometimes this happens when I am on a call, but it is especially annoying when I run a battery discharge test. The phone disconnected the call (though the reception was not lost) consistently around the 4-hour mark for no reason.
The quality of the speakers is nothing to brag about. When I called the speaker, listened to music, watched streaming video, or played games without headphones, the audio quality was poor. Especially at high volume, the sounds come from the back of the phone, coming out muffled, grainy and too sharp. This is due, I am sure, to the fact that the speaker is not fully open (it is partially covered by the back cover of the phone). The question is: If you can only show so much of the speaker, why not reduce it so that it is at least fully exposed and clearly heard?
In addition, thanks to the position of the speaker – left, rear – you are almost guaranteed to cover it with your hand most of the time. It gets boring when you video chat. I ended up holding the phone by its upper half (which was inconvenient) or clamping it to the sides below (which was difficult and made it prone to falling).
Speaking of video chats, when I was using the Google+ app, the feedback on videos from my phone was unclearly turned back. Even when I switched from the front camera to the back, my friend still had to tilt his head to understand what he was seeing. Apart from our sores, however, the video chats were great. Some of the audio feedback was on and off, sometimes longer than I wanted, but the video remained consistent and the voices were clear.
Since LG’s MyTouch works on the HSPA + T-Mobile data network (UMTS 1700/2100 MHz), it didn’t take long to browse the Internet and download applications. For example, downloading 8.33 MB for Google+ took 45 seconds. Fruit Ninja, 18.34 MB, took 1 minute and 17 seconds. Downloading the CNET mobile site took 43 seconds and downloading the full site took 26 seconds. The full New York Times website took even less time, worked in 17 seconds, and its mobile site took only 7 seconds. The ESPN mobile site took 6 seconds and its full site loaded in 41 seconds.
Unfortunately, the speed of the phone itself was not so impressive. I found it rather sluggish, and I especially noticed it when I pressed several apps to go to the home screen, or when I switched my web browser from portrait to landscape mode. Even though the phone probably only needed a few nanoseconds to accomplish similar tasks, if it’s slow enough to even notice, it’s slow.
The response time of the touch screen was not slow. The screen sensitivity is at par, as my swords reflected during the game Fruit Ninja were precisely timed and did not linger at all. Swype text messages also responded quickly.
As for the equipment, the MyTouch has a removable 1500mAh lithium battery. The promised talk time is 4.02 hours and the standby time is 312.5 hours (both when working on the GSM network). If I’m grateful for MyTouch, but apparently it didn’t work out without a fight. During battery tests (those that had to be repeated several times due to accidental calls), the phone took a whopping 8.58 hours to finally die. This is more than twice the reported talk time.
But be careful; battery usage may be mixed. If you look a little deeper, you will find that some users complain that the battery is not long enough for them. I didn’t have any problems in my model, but still have to remember.
According to FCC radiation tests, LG’s MyTouch has a digital specific absorption coefficient of 1.30 W / kg.
LG’s T-Mobile MyTouch is a good entry-level phone for people looking for an easy-to-use and simple first smartphone. With its lightweight and slim design, it’s easy to handle when making calls and sending messages. In San Francisco, I found that the network is fast and lightning fast, and who can argue with such a low (that is, nonexistent) price?
Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. Many small things, which by themselves were not so intolerable, quickly developed. No camera flash, bad speaker and sluggish interface turned me off. Again, if you hardly see yourself taking pictures at night or blowing up music from your phone, and you don’t deny a few nanoseconds of waiting, MyTouch might be perfect for you (and I really mean it). But if you want to get a high-quality middle-aged phone and are willing to pay more than no dollars, it might be better to look elsewhere.