Review: The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide


The T-Mobile myTouch 3G was a huge hit.  The touch screen device seems to have been promoted by Whoopie Goldberg, Eric Clapton as well as a number of other celebs in some pretty cool commercials.  As a follow-up to the popular device, HTC released the Espresso or MyTouch 3G Slide.  With a couple of hardware tweaks, including its most noticeable slide-out keyboard, the Slide is sure to be a huge hit; but is it the device for you?  Let’s take a look at the device, and see if the MyTouch 3G Slide is what makes you, uh-hem… slide on over to T-Mobile’s Android camp.

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T-Mobile’s MyTouch 3G Slide

 

Rooting
It took me a few days; but I was able to root the device and I recorded my experiences with it, here. The best rooting instructions, including links to all required downloads, I could find are located here, interestingly enough, located in the T-Mobile Forums.

There aren’t a lot of custom ROMs available for the MyTouch 3G Slide, and it doesn’t look like there will be, at least not until an official FroYo (Android 2.2) OTA is released.  In the meantime, an OTA update for Android 2.1 should be available now.

HTC’s official statement that devices introduced during 2010 should get an Android 2.2 update not withstanding, the device has only been out for about 3 months. I would expect the device to get the FroYo update, but then stop before Gingerbread (Android 3.0) is released.  I don’t think the device has the punch to push it; but I may be getting ahead of myself.

Software
Part of the reason for the FroYo delay is due to the MT3GS’s SenseUI implementation.  Specific framework updates are required in order to get SenseUI working in Android 2.2; and I know that it hasn’t been an easy go for HTC, at least not in this area. The FroYo update for the HTC Desire was delayed a number of times before it was finally released, and I know that those framework updates haven’t made it to every HTC SenseUI device. The MT3GS is also running Espresso, a customized version of SenseUI specific to this device. The FroYo update for the MT3GS is still expected before the end of 2010.

  • Calendar
    The MT3GS Calendar application has a SenseUI coat of paint over it, but its very close to its stock ROM counterpart.  Calendar’s Month View shows you what days have appointments during which part of your days.
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    Monthly Calendar View

    There are two default views for Calendar – Month View and Agenda View. If you want to get to Week View, you have to hit the device’s menu button and then choose it from the options that appear.

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    Weekly Calendar View

    Week View shows you what appointments you have at what part of each day, but you can’t see any of the details for those appointments unless you tap on any of the colored blocks.  I was very disappointed by this, as even the colors don’t match the colors you specified for each calendar in Google Calendar… which doesn’t really make any sense.

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    Agenda Calendar View

    Agenda view is nice, but with the colors out of sync with the web based version of Google Calendar, I find this very confusing, even though I can read… Just sayin’.

  • Contacts
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    The Contacts app main screen

    I like the SenseUI Contacts app better than I like the Calendar app.  The visual representation of the linked contacts (Google Contact, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and having all of the information in a single record is nice.  I don’t like that it assigns a primary phone number to each contact and will automatically dial that number when you tap on the contact from a phone list. In order to get around this, you have to open up the contact and choose the number you wish to dial.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a primary number (SenseUI ALWAYS chooses the Mobile number as the primary number) only to kill the call, open the contact and call another number.  Very annoying…

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    A contact’s (my wife’s) detail screen

    I also appreciate the centralized Updates and Events screen. Its nice being able to see all of my wife’s updates (there are numerous ones a day…) in one place without having to scroll through tons of OTHER FB updates to see the pictures of my kids.

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    A Contact’s Updates & Events screen

  • Mail
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    SenseUI’s Exchange (and POP) Mail App

    I don’t care how long I work with this app, I am NEVER going to like it.  I’m probably a little too old fashioned when it comes to my mail; but I don’t really appreciate Google’s conversation mode approach to e-mail.  The app’s ability to filter mail (the icons along the bottom) is cool; but if there’s a way to multi-select mail for a bulk delete, I haven’t found it yet; and that is so "original iPhone" I can’t stand it. SenseUI also mandates that your Exchange Account be the device’s default e-mail account, which also just drives me nuts.  I much prefer the stock Android App to the Sense UI mail app.

  • Friend Stream
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    Friend Stream main screen

    Friend Stream consolidates both Facebook and Twitter streams into a single application. I like the idea, but I’m not too keen on the SenseUI implementation. However, it does make checking for status updates in multiple apps a lot easier (actually, it eliminates that entirely).

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    Friend Stream’s large widget

    If you’re looking for a home screen widget as opposed to an actual application, look no further. This is a nice implementation, with your updates labeled via social network icon in the lower left corner of either your friend’s profile pic or avatar.

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    Friend Stream’s small widget

    If you’re looking to quickly update your status on either Twitter or Facebook, Friend Stream allows you to do that in a consolidated place.  The only thing wrong with this widget is its size. You can’t fit it and the larger status widget on the same home screen.

  • Faves
    The MyTouch 3G Slide doesn’t support Google Starred Contacts. It supports T-Mobile’s Faves paradigm. This is good and bad, in that the Faves app/widget integrates everything about that contact into one interface – calls, Tweets, Status Updates (FB), text’s etc. Its bad, because your T-Mo Faves don’t sync with Google’s Starred contacts; and you have to tell Faves who your favorites are. 
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    The Faves App

    This is really annoying.  Hello…?!  Starred in Google are my favorite contacts; and Faves should detect those and at the very least, ask me if I want to sync my Faves with Starred in Google. I hate that I have to reselect these all over again.

  • Genius Button
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    The Genius Button Software

    You talk, it does.  It’s a nice feature and works pretty well, provided you use the keywords (the larger words on the screen, for example).

  • myModes
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    A MT3GS exclusive – myModes

    Many of the people that I know who are managers or higher at their companies carry two phones – One for work (usually a Blackberry) and then their personal feature or smartphone.  With the myTouch 3G Slide, you don’t need to do this. You create one set of home screens for Work, one set of home screens for Home, and then use myModes to swap back and forth. Taken directly from the T-Mobile site,

    "Only the myTouch 3G Slide has myModes, which creates specialized home screens for work and home. Now you can keep your most important tools front and center, whether you’re doing your thing at work, or chilling with the family. It knows when you’re done being a rock star at work and a superstar at home. By setting up a work mode and home mode you don’t lose time shuffling through applications intended for an environment you’re not in at the time. You can set your myTouch 3G Slide to switch modes at a certain time of day, when your phone gets a certain distance from your office, or you can do it manually when you’re ready for your workday to be done."

    I don’t tend to work this way. I have one way I want to use my phone, set that up, and then just deal with it.  I blend these two "modes" together. However, I can see where this could be very valuable to those who don’t want to do that or definitely need to keep their tools separated.  myModes allows you to effectively have 2 different phone setups. The device even comes with a Mode Switching widget that allows you to pop back and forth quickly between Work and Home with just the touch of your screen.

    myModes also allows you to switch themes as well as download new themes to your device.  Some of these are very nice; but I’ve noticed that not all of them come as complete as those that ship with the device.  Hoops (ships with the device) is very nice, but I’m a football fan, and the theme Touchdown caught my eye.  However, it doesn’t seem to come with audio files for notifications as Hoops does.  When switching from Hoops to Touchdown, my audio (ringtones, notification tones, etc.) didn’t change. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it was disappointing.

  • Stocks
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    The Stocks application

    I’m not a financial guru or genius.  Stocks are not my strong suite; but if you follow a couple of interesting symbols, like Google for instance, then the MT3GS makes it easy to follow them and their progress.  The Stocks program is easy enough to use.  You can add them with the plus button and refresh them with the sync button.  It gets cool when you move things to a home screen.

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    The Stocks application’s scrolling widget

    I really like the scrolling Stock widget.  The major indices scroll along the top.  All of the stocks you follow scroll across the bottom.  Its really kinda cool to see.

  • Weather
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    The Weather application

    I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like HTC’s weather application.  The app is GPS based (note the Current, by the location, above), and gives you current conditions as well as a 4 day forecast (including today). You can track weather for more than one location.

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    The large weather widget

    The large weather widget takes up an entire home screen and can do just about everything that the actual weather app can.

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    The weather clock widget
    This is the weather view that everyone is used to seeing on an HTC device.  The clock widget  with weather is a great way to see both the current time and the current and forecasted weather conditions for today. HTC’s SenseUI also makes the current weather conditions play across the entire screen when you initially unlock the device after waking it. When its raining or snowing, the effect is kinda cool.

    This is the view that made HTC chase after their SenseUI in the first place.  It’s a nice view, and one that I always want to be able to use with any HTC device, but it also takes up a great deal of RAM and processor time.

Hardware & Specs

  • The Full 360

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    From left to right – The Samsung Vibrant, Nexus One, myTouch 3G Slide, Moto CLIQ, AT&T Tilt, Samsung Epix and Samsung Propel Pro

    The MT3GS isn’t a large profile device. Third in from the left, above, its not as big as the Samsung Vibrant (Galaxy S) or Nexus One. The screen is about the same size as the CLIQ; but a touch smaller than the Nexus One.

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    The front of the myTouch 3G Slide

    Simple, clean and elegant, the myTouch 3G Slide is a nice looking device.  The screen could be a touch bigger; but at 3.4 inches, its not too small.  The large action button in the bottom center of the device is also a touch pad, allowing you to navigate and switch screens. It might be me, but the touch pad seems a bit too sensitive. I am constantly overshooting my intended targets with this thing.  The touch pad on my Samsung Epix is a bit easier to use…

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    The left side of the myTouch 3G Slide

    The left side of the device has the volume rocker on it and nothing else. It’s a bit difficult to see in this picture, but is on the bottom half of the device on the left corner.

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    The top of the myTouch 3G Slide

    The top of the device has the power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The power button is in the left corner; and is slightly raised near the back, and its easy to get to while in your right hand. The 3.5mm headphone jack is near the right corner.

    I’ve seen a number of reviews stating that the myTouch 3G Slide is a decent multimedia device, especially for audio. The device ships with both the Mac and Windows versions of doubleTwist on its microSD card.  I personally don’t like using my non-fruit phones for multimedia; and haven’t installed the app (I have an iPod and iPod Touch 2G).  However, if I were sans iPod, I’d be all over this.

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    The right side of the myTouch 3G Slide

    The right side of the device contains the silver colored camera button. Its slightly raised near the back of the button and is easy to find when you want to take a picture.  Please see the section on the camera to find information on the camera’s actual performance.

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    The bottom of the myTouch 3G Slide

    The bottom of the MT3GS has the microUSB connector (for both PC and AC charger connections) and the back cover’s finger nail grip, allowing you to remove the back cover to get at both the battery (SIM card placed underneath) and microSD card slot.  Thankfully, the microSD slot is placed to the side of the device, under the cover and not under the battery. So, while you have to pop the back cover off the device, you don’t have to pop the battery out to replace or swap cards.  This makes it easier to save pictures or change music collections without having to reboot the device.  Thankfully, the MT3GS is microSDHC compatible, so it will support up to 32GB cards.  Space shouldn’t be an issue with the right card.

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    This side view brought to you by the letter A and the letter C…

    The Tilt (right most, above) seems like an ungodly brick compared to the CLIQ (middle, above) and myTouch 3G Slide (left most, above). However, the MT3GS really feels good in my hands and while the case is a huge finger print magnet made up of glossy plastic, the case in and of itself isn’t too bad.  However, while I haven’t dropped this yet, it really does need some kind of case, if you plan to use it as your daily driver.  The plastic used here isn’t going to be very forgiving if it does get nicked, dented, scratched or cracked due to your buttery fingers.

  • Specifications (courtesy of Phone Scoop)
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    The specs here indicate that the myTouch 3G Slide is a decent mid-level smartphone.  At 600mHz, the device’s QUALCOMM processor is a bit better than the HTC Hero, myTouch 3G and the Motorola CLIQ, running at 528mHz; but definitely not as zippy as the Nexus One, or say the HTC EVO. While its not running FroYo, yet (HTC has promised a FroYo upgrade, hopefully before the end of 2010), Éclair (Android 2.1) is a decent enough OS level, and as such, the device will support Google Maps’ Navigation, offering turn-by-turn, GPS-based navigation. 

  • Hardware Features

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    Obviously, this is not the complete list of device features.  However, it does give you what might be considered the most critical. Again, the supported features here indicate a good mid-level based smartphone.  One of the most notable features again, is the support for turn-by-turn navigation via the device’s A-GPS receiver.  While the device only supports HSPA (and not HSPA+), the device is still solid enough to support my basic surfing habits at the office. This can be credited to both the radio in the device as well as the tower improvements that T-Mobile has made in the Chicago market of the past 4-5 years. 

    While their HSPA+ network hasn’t made it to Chicago just yet, they are scheduled to bring HSPA+ support here, "soon."  T-Mobile’s first native HSPA+ device, the HTC/Google G2 is set to be released later this year.

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    T-Mo’s HSPA+ network is currently in 44 different US cities

  • Performance
    With a 600mHz ARM 6 processor, the MyTouch 3G Slide is no powerhouse. It’s a basic utility device that gets the job done. It checks mail, takes and uploads photos and video, plays music, etc. However, don’t look for it to be a device that retouches photos or does any kind of on device video editing. It just doesn’t have that kind of punch.

    At 100MB, internal storage is at a premium. You’re not going to be able to install tons and tons of apps.  Android 2.1 doesn’t have FroYo’s native ability to move and run applications from the SD card. Be discriminating. Be choosy with the apps that you do use and install.  Running out of storage is going to have performance indicators as well.

  • Battery Life
    According to the specs and hardware features, the device is supposed to get 6.7 (that’s 6 (point) 7) hours of active use, max. Which is incredibly short.  According to the information I uncovered during my research for my Android Battery Guide, this is substandard and very low – about 25-33% of what you SHOULD be getting.

    If there’s one thing that my wife HAS complained about over the last couple of weeks, it’s the 3G Slide’s battery life.

    It pretty much sucks (and that’s an understatement as well as a double pun).

    If you want to get better than  six and three quarter hours of battery life from your MyTouch 3G Slide, I’d take a quick look at the Battery Guide, and then make some tweaks.  However, SenseUI has a LOT going on on the back end.  There’s a lot of communication going on between your device and the servers it gets data from.  If you use Wi-Fi and location services a lot, AND have your screen’s backlight cranked up, you may get less than 6.7 hours of life between charges.  To make sure you get the most life out of your battery, read the Battery Guide and then adjust how your MT3GS behaves.

    I’ve been getting about 6-8 hours of life between charges, but then again, I’m also smart enough to keep a USB cable and/or a battery charger around.  Devices with this kind of battery life should be escorted by their chargers or cables just about everywhere they go.  In the end, its going to mean the difference between a working and battery drained device.

  • Camera

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    The MT3GS’ camera is decent at 5MP; but many (myself included) would consider that to be the standard today.  Anything less than that, and you’re wasting your time.  The LED flash isn’t going to be the know-all/end-all to your flash photo problems, but it should do a decent enough job at reasonable distances.  The camera lens is autofocus; and the camera will also support video.  However, don’t look for HD quality here.  The best you’re going to get from the MT3GS is VGA (640×480) resolution.  It won’t replace your REAL video camera; but will do well in a pinch or when you’re out and about and the kids do something cute and you want to capture it quickly.

Real World Use
I get a lot of use out of my devices. I’ve got 2-3 email accounts synching.  I bring down contacts from Facebook, Twitter, and my Google account. I have 5 different Google calendars synching to my device.  I also make about 1000 minutes or more worth of voice calls a month (sometimes MUCH more, depending on my current employment status… 2010 has been a rough year…).  Here are my real world experiences with the device over the entire review period.

  • Voice
    I found call quality to be very good on the device. I was very impressed with what I heard on my end of the device. Despite some minor blips with T-Mo service since switching to the MyTouch 3G Slide from a Motorola CLIQ in and around our house, my wife also confirms that the voice call quality of the device is very high. It sounds very much like you’re speaking on a land line with this phone. I was very impressed.

    Again, SenseUI and its phone interface were a bit difficult to get used to coming off of my Nexus One; but after you get used to it, The Contacts app is very functional.  However, I’m not crazy about how SenseUI assumes that I automatically want to call a mobile device when I tap a contact.  My Nexus One at least asks which number I want to dial before placing the call.

  • Data
    The radio on this particular device is rather good.  If you’re working with a rooted device, there’s even a new radio ROM update (again, root access is required to apply the radio update) that’s available. The reception is better than with the stock ROM and stock radio. I’ve also noticed that GPS reception is much more accurate and quicker to lock than with the previous radio ROM.

    I currently work in the BCBS-IL building on the Chicago Lake Front. That’s 30 stories of metal and concrete; and I work on the 16th floor, smack-dab in the middle of it. It used to be (especially with T-Mobile) that a situation like this would be a death knell to getting any kind of voice or cell signal.  However, I regularly have a 2-3 bar 3G (UMTS) or HSPA signal. Data transfer has been as solid as 2.05MB per second; but is usually around 110KB per second. I couldn’t be happier with data transfer rates in Downtown Chicago.  Data transfer rates in the Western Suburbs are a bit slower, but still acceptable.

  • Google Maps
    For some reason, Google Maps 4.4.0 breaks location services and crashes on my MT3GS under 2 of the custom ROM’s I’ve been using.  Both are close to stock build, and this one specifically (CR_Mod_1.35.531_OTA Full ROM) was built directly from the 1.27.531 retail ROM with the 1.35.531 OTA update from T-Mobile applied to it.  There doesn’t seem to be a custom kernel or any other special goodies (other than the root, new radio and SuperUser APK) applied to it.  Why the 4.4.0 version of Google Maps out of the 2.1 update 1 Market generates Force Close after Force Close error is a little beyond me. I have the question posted to the custom ROM’s thread and if I get an answer back I’ll post an update to this review with the answer.

    The version of Maps that comes with the device (4.1.0 (#4126 gmm-android-tmobile-us) works flawlessly with the device, including the turn by turn Navigation with voice prompts. It works like you would expect it to; and I rely on this application heavily, as a) I can get lost inside a wet paper bag and can’t find my way out with a fork and a flashlight; and b) with as much running around as my family does with 3 kids the application simply needs to work out of the box.

  • Battery Life
    Out of the box, I was getting about 6-7 hours of battery life from the device. It certainly wasn’t getting me through the day.  However, I was able to bump it to closer to 8.5-9.0 hours after applying steps from my Battery Guide.  I won’t be using this device without either a wall charger or USB cable handy.  I won’t use the device in the car, especially while running Navigation, without it being connected to a car charger.  The 1300 mAh battery is nice, but probably should have been much bigger, given the implementation of SenseUI in this device.
  • Keyboard
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    The MT3GS Slide out Keyboard

    What a great keyboard design and layout! Honestly, I’ve had a number of devices with dedicated keyboards.  I’ve got shots of the CLIQ and the Tilt for comparison; and honestly, neither really can hold a candle to the keyboard on the myTouch 3G Slide.  The keys are big enough to press, but yet small enough to create space between them, allowing for an accurate press of each targeted key. The keyboard layout (not the QWERTY configuration; but the layout of the actual specialty and other function keys) is logical (except for the @ key… dedicated though it is) on the bottom next to the period… that’s kinda strange… and easy to get used to.  I was accurately texting at near normal speeds for me shortly after getting into the device.

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    The Moto CLIQ Slide out Keyboard

    In comparison, they keyboard for the CLIQ, while having about the same amount of space is very cramped. The inclusion of the Action button and D-Pad on the keyboard caused the design to be very rectangular and jammed together.  The keys are raised; and that, along with the lack of space makes it much more difficult to type when compared to to the myTouch 3G Slide.  Interestingly enough, I never used the D-Pad or action button on this device… it just didn’t fit in with the way that I ended up using it.

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    The HTC Kaiser (AT&T Tilt) Slide out Keyboard

    In comparison, the keyboard on the AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser) is a little better than that of the CLIQ.  While still a little raised, the keys are bigger and flatter than on the CLIQ, and as such easier to target.  The Kaiser’s keyboard is a bit stiff, however, and I never found myself texting very quickly with this device.  The Action buttons above the R-T and I-O keys are also a bit depressed, and are difficult to press. I always ended up arching my thumbs and pressing down with the very tip of my thumb otherwise, the key press usually didn’t register.

    Overall, the keyboard on the MT3GS is the better of the three side-sliders that I have in the house.  The keys are nicely placed, with enough space between them, are easy to target and activate without feeling mushy.  While the keys themselves are a bit small, this doesn’t detract from the overall effectiveness of the keyboard. I am very pleased with it.

    The slider mechanism on the MT3GS is spring assisted, and I found that this one slid easily, without accidentally separating from the rest of the device.  My wife’s was a little stiffer and required a bit more force to slide out, though I suspect that will ease a bit with time as the slider mechanism wears.  In contracts to the Kaiser and CLIQ, the slider on the myTouch 3G Slide is a bit rougher than the Kaiser’s sliding mechanism and about the same as the CLIQ’s.

  • Camera (Still & Video) 
    The still camera here was able to take some decent photos. The camera appears to have facial recognition, as I’ve seen it hone in on, and select a subject’s face more than once.  At 5-megapixels, the camera is decent for a camera phone. Like other reviewers, I did find that bright areas leaned towards being overexposed and pictures are a bit washed out.  Resolution and sharpness were pretty good. In low light, we noticed a bit of blur from lower shutter speeds. The camera’s 0.6-second autofocus speed was slightly better than average for a midrange smartphone. The video mode records basic, tolerable 640-by-480 videos at 25 frames per second.

    At my son’s recent 3rd birthday party, were able to take some ok pictures with the phone.  Video was also ok. I took and posted the following video of my boys directly from the MT3GS.  Please note, the phone will NOT push video via mobile data.  You must be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi for video uploads.

    A short video of my boys in their new Steelers uniforms!

  • Wi-Fi
    I’m very particular about my 3G data coverage and the use of Wi-Fi. I don’t like to use the Wi-Fi radio on my phone. Wi-Fi reception doesn’t extend very far, is spotty at best, and only available in localized areas.  I tend to leave the radio off and don’t bother with it.  The only time I really do use it, is when I have to reset my router at the house. I check to see if my wireless access point in the house is correctly connected to the ‘Net, as it usually provides my wife and daughter with internet access (and services our Wii with Netflix subscription content).

    As such, I really haven’t spent a lot of time with the 802.11 b/g radio and likely won’t. I pay for 3G internet access on my device. Its supposed to be available everywhere within my service area. I want to make good use of what I’m paying for.

  • Bluetooth
    I actually use Bluetooth on my devices more than I use the Wi-Fi radio. The Nexus One uses Bluetooth to connect to the speaker and microphone in its Car Dock, and I’ve got a Yada YD-V1 Universal Phone Holder and Headset in my car that I’ve been using with the MyTouch 3G Slide. Bluetooth is a little slow to connect to the YD-V1 headset; but once connected, the audio sounds very good.  In fact, it sounds the best with the MT3GS than any of the other 6 phones I’ve been using with it in the last few years (E-TEN X800, E-TEN X650, Samsung Epix, Samsung Propel Pro, AT&T Tilt, Nexus One). The audio is clear, crisp, and richer than with any of the other phones I’ve used it with.
  • The Genius Button
    As with any voice activated service, The Genius Button that comes with the MT3GS allows you to voice control the device – "Call <So-and-So>," "Find/Navigate to <Such-and-Such>."  Using the Genius Button takes you to a specific Genius Screen where you see specific key words.  If you want the voice control software to work, you need to use the specified key words, must speak clearly, and may have to kill your children so they’re quiet in the car.  Yes, background noise will definitely effect the accuracy of the software.

    My experience with the software has been moderately positive, but not fool-proof.  My wife’s experience (she doesn’t know all the key words yet, and doesn’t think she needs to… the software should just work; and to an extent, she has a valid point – but more on that in a minute) hasn’t been as positive as mine.

    As I’ve tried to explain to my wife, this isn’t the 24th century, and Jean-Luc Picard isn’t really the Captain of the USS Enterprise. Computers can’t create databases on the fly from a library of a gazillion teraquads of data based on verbal criteria (although it would be really cool, wouldn’t it?).  In order to make the Genius software work, you have to know and use the keywords it knows, you have to speak slowly and clearly (but, not-like-a-robot), and background noise has to be controlled. If you have most of that, you have a decent chance of finding and navigating to the new Chick-fil-a in Naperville, IL without too much of a problem.

    If not, all bets are off… Just sayin’…

Carrier Thoughts 
My relationship with T-Mobile at times is better than I thought it would be. At other times, it really sucks. To say that the marriage has issues would be accurate. Sometimes relationships can be a lot of work.

In Chicago, T-Mobile can be a really GREAT carrier.  Their coverage is pretty extensive, and while they haven’t put in their HPSA+ network in, I understand that it is a planned implementation in the immediate future.

In an area where there’s decent coverage, the myTouch 3G Slide is a great phone. In my area, which has documented tower issues, this phone is STILL  a decent choice, as it has a much better radio than the Motorola CLIQ.

I actually think it has a better radio than my Nexus One. Even though the Nexus One does fairly well in my local calling area, here in downtown Chicago, I’m actually getting better performance from the MT3GS than I am from my Nexus One as of this writing.  The MT3GS has been consistently giving me better reception here in the office than my Nexus One has been from the very beginning.

In poor as well as solid coverage areas, the myTouch 3G Slide seems to be a decent smartphone choice for those on T-Mobile.

Conclusion
I was pleasantly surprised by this device.  With a great look and feel and decent OS implementation, the device was easy to use. The slide out keyboard was easy to get used to, but I did have a couple of accuracy problems with Swipe.  I’m guessing that was me and not necessarily the soft keyboard. 

The radio in this device is MUCH better than the one in the Motorola CLIQ, as we’re not having any of the problems that we were having with that device in and around our current service area. What a difference a device makes.  I’m not sure if the difference is the hardware, the actual programming (or radio ROM) or a bit of both.  However, my wife isn’t having any of the problems that she was originally complaining about with her CLIQ.

HTC SenseUI is nice, but is very bloated.  I like the eye candy that the standard weather/digital clock provides (especially when it rains… the windshield wiper and rain droplets are cool); but performance definitely takes a hit with the stock ROM. The device was much faster and much more usable with CyanogenMOD 6.0.0 on it; but as with everything, your mileage may vary.

Since moving to Android, I have stopped using my Exchange account as my primary e-mail address and have switched to my iTechGear mail address as my default.  SenseUI doesn’t allow you to use your Google e-mail address as the default if you have an Exchange Account setup on the device; and I can’t find where to change that. I am also not crazy about the SenseUI apps.

If you’re in the market for a mid-range device that’s easy to use and easy to fit into your lifestyle, the myTouch 3G Slide is a decent choice. With the right accessories, it will no doubt, easily last you the life of your 2 year contract agreement with your carrier.

 

Cost: The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide is $429.99 with an Even More Plus plan; or $179.99 with an Even More Plan (which includes a 2 year contract).

What I liked: Great device look and feel. Slide out keyboard was fairly easy to use and responsive. Camera pictures were clear and steady. The radio provided much better reception than the Moto CLIQ and in some cases, my Nexus One as well.

What Needs Improvement: HTC SenseUI makes a couple of assumptions that don’t quite "compute" when it comes to an Android device.  Not everyone has an Exchange account, and even if you do, why does SenseUI assume that you want it to be the default mail account on your device? Upgrading any of the core, Google apps (like Maps or Voice Search) broke the device, requiring a reflash; but that could be (and likely is…) my custom ROM.  My Nexus One has me a bit spoiled in this regard, as its easy to specify which account is the default (and shouldn’t the Google account be the default account on a Google device??)

I’m also not completely sent on SenseUI, or the Espresso version of Sense.  I like the eye candy that it provides with the home screens, but if I could kill all of the app layers that HTC has included and simply use the default apps instead, I’d much prefer that. 

The FroYo (Android 2.2) upgrade that is slated to come to this device before the end of the year may bring a newer version of HTC SenseUI with it; or it may not, depending on the hardware requirements for that new, upgraded UI layer.  Either way, having seen the 2.2 version of SenseUI for the HTC Desire (and running THAT ported, cooked ROM on my Nexus One), I can say that that version, when it comes to the myTouch 3G Slide and Espresso will be a welcomed upgrade.  The code is more optimized and faster executing, and that should provide a nice performance boost for this mid-range device.

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  1. #1 by Unlocked GSM phones, cheap gms mobiles by GSM Nation on September 21, 2010 - 10:43 am

    I really like this cellphone! Thanks for sharing. nice blog!

  2. #2 by marisol on September 21, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    im going buy my touch 3g slide in oct i want know if the internet is faster on my touch
    and does the music come with it with out download anyways let me know ok
    write back

  3. #3 by ChrisSpera on September 22, 2010 - 12:53 pm

    Internet speed is dependent upon signal strength and coverage in your area. The radio on the myTouch 3G Slide is very good, and I’ve had excellent results in both downtown Chicago and in the Western Chicago Suburbs. I am consistently getting decent 3G and HSPA signals in both areas.

    However, your mileage may vary (again, depending on the coverage in your area).

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