MyTouch 3G Slide

MyTouch 3G Slide

MyTouch 3G Slide

I got a MyTouch 3G Slide Wednesday 9 June 2010 at the Gateway in Salt Lake during lunch while attending the Get Motivated Seminar (of Zig Ziglar fame). 

If you know the story of my G1 and my wife's G1 you will know I was dying. I had been using my old crackle-berry (8100 Pearl) for a couple of weeks and although a solid phone, that is almost all of which it was capable. 

What I Really Wanted

I would have liked to have gotten an EVO 8 with an 8-megapixel camera or a Nexus One. However, this is the best (google) phone T-Mobile has to offer for the foreseeable future. And although I could have pre-ordered it a few days earlier, I really wanted to play with one a little bit to make sure it really didn't seem like a dog as far as the processor and interface lag was concerned. So I went to the T-mobile boutique in the Gateway to check one out. 

How Awesome is it?

So is it awesome? It's pretty awesome, but maybe not AWESOME awesome. But it runs basic flash, (now I won't curse as much every time ZDNet emails trick me into there stupid "Top 10 Things You Need To Know About..." slideshows that would just INFURIATE me on my G1. I still think these are the STUPIDEST slide-shows in the world and try to never view them if I can help it. I am still amazed how often a catchy title and intro will trick me into thinking they put up a real article or at least a real list...[2011-05 Update: those slides shows are STILL annoying and stupid! BOO ZDNET! BOO!]


Nice Features

I won't just list the specs you can find anywhere. Let me give you the highlights and how they really stack up to life use. These are the main features that were important to me helping me decide if I could live with a phone that was NOT the latest and greatest. I'll try to list these in order of most importance to me. 

 
Android OS 2.1 (2.2) (and BlueTooth support)

This is probably the biggest reason I felt like I would be able to stand a mid-grade upgrade (even though this is T-Mobile's BEST Android phone!). In addition to the speed bump from the the newer optimized OS, it generally has a lot fewer rough edges in the UI. There are a few fluffy crap features that I would throw out but overall, I like it a lot.

AND the BLUETOOTH and VOICE-DIALING approximates useability! When I first got my G1 you cannot believe how peeved I was when I found out the Bluetooth and pretend voice dialing was crap. I kept thinking cupcake will fix it all and things will be fine. It didn't. In fact it made it worse and after 1.6 my G1 voice-dialing simply crashed whenever I tried to use it and the incredibly basic bluetooth pairing I did have got worse and my Magellan now sounded like I was talking underwater. NICE. Not. 

I am still pretty excited about the 2.2 update coming out which is supposed to put some finishing touches on the BlueTooth Hand-Free Voice-dialing experience. But at least we are in the ball park of functionality with 2.1. [2011-05 Update: The phone STILL is only 2.1+Updates, but no 2.2 for the MyTouch Slide....]

Speed

Decent. Not incredible, but alright. This is one of the main things I wanted to see is how the OS held up when multi-tasking and loading my 800 plus contacts. It only has the 600-MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 cpu in it which is getting pretty old school. But with the 2.1 Android OS installed, it feels pretty snappy. It also has more built in RAM and ROM than the G1 and old MyTouch. The Genius Button feature is either too much for the processor or too stoopid for release. Not  totally sure which. The WiFi and 3G speeds FEEL faster too. I haven't tested actual speeds but I seriously think it feels twice as fast. Youtube videos load right up, downloads are lickety-split, and web pages load right up.

 
Browser & Flash! 

Although I haven't been hunting out sites to try to see which crash, I haven't found any yet that are a problem either. The Flash seems like it works just like it is supposed to so that helps a lot with some sites where the front-end developers decided to exclude non-flash users (idiots! yes, that means YOU USARUGBY.ORG!).

Although I immediately loaded up Opera Mini because I like how it renders non mobile aware sites, the built in browser is much nicer than the 1.6 version. It also supports multi-touch for zoom/pan and makes navigating a breeze. Me-likey. 

Hardware Stuff (Track Pad, MiniJack, etc)

I didn't realize the main button was also a track pad for a few days. It replaces the little (I won't put in print what I usually call it) track-ball thingy and it is pretty awesome. Another me-likey.

It is nice having a stereo mini jack. I *MIGHT* actually use it to listen to music as opposed to the G1 which was super annoying to use the usb adapter. And again, when using things like Last.fm or Pandora between streaming, the screen, and sound output, the battery drains too fast. The same is true of this little guy as well so not sure how much I will actually end up listening to music but at least I can CHARGE and LISTEN at the same time now! (Sometimes, you have to just ask yourself what engineers do all day to come up with things that don't make sense).

The solidity of the phone is oodles better than the G1. I won't say it feels quite as solid as some of the all metal phones out there (and the older iPhones) but it is decent. I don't feel like it is going to pop apart like the G1 did. It has a more solid heft and feel to it as well. 

Slide Out Keyboard

It is okay. The G1 keyboard is hard to beat. I am finding I would rather type on the screen pad with Swype more than the slide out. The G1 keyboard had a full row for numbers and was less confusing for symbols and had a few more special function keys. The MyTouch 3G Slide has the number pad and symbols superimposed on the letters with equally sized markings so it definitely takes some getting used to. On the whole, my gut feeling is I won't use the keyboard much at all if ever once I get the Swype patterns down. It is much faster and not any more weird than the physical keyboard. The one plus over the G1 keyboard is the MyTouch feels a lot more solid. In fact, I almost feel like it is TOO solid. I wonder if it is too tightly put together or something every time I pull it out. Compared with the G1, there is NO play or give when the keyboard is out. 

SWYPE

That said about the slide out keyboard, swype is my new best friend. You CAN also install Swype on your old G1 and other 1.6 Android phones so give it a try! My wife doesn't like it on her G1 but then she also has the nicer G1 physical keyboard to compete against. 

Bright 230x480 Screen

It's a'ight. It is definitely crisper than the G1 and makes me feel almost on par with an iPhone but I still drool over the EVO and Nexus One. But I figured I am not going to be watching movies on any smartphone in any serious kind of manner until they can get battery life up by quite a bit so I am not bothered by this. It is perfectly adequate, if not more than adequate for everything I want to do with it including watching the occasional video, movie, or trailer. I compared this to a friends old MyTouch and although the specs are supposed to be the same it *seems* like a slightly larger nicer screen. But maybe it is just cleaner :-).

5MP Camera with a Flash

Yeah, the camera is alright. It is a little more accurate on colors, and where the G1 could only handle pretty bright images (daylight, bright rooms) decently, the MyTouch 3G Slide does a better job in darker situations roughly on par with the iPhones (our daughters have iPhones and we have always been a little jealous of their seemingly awesome and effortless shots from the iPhone compared to our newer G1's... ). The flash adds a bit of help if it is a pretty close shot but it doesn't carry too far. It also has a constant ON function which I suppose could be useful in some situations. The digital zoom is okay, but it is really just cropping the photo for you. Is this a time saver? I dunno. I am not a big fan of non-optical zooms on any capture devices so maybe that's just me.


Dumb Features

Not too many dumb features. But there are a few notables.

Genius Button

I quickly found Genius Button is NOT going to be useful to me because it loads ALL my contacts EVERY time it is called up so who wants to wait 45 seconds for it to be ready? Not me! It is bloody slow to load and usually tells me to "Please Wait" while it seems like it freezes. And then it consistently misunderstands me so I am resolved to not bother with it. Hopefully I can reprogram the button to something more useful. The plain old Google Voice search works a lot better. I don't know; it is supposed to be so cool, but if it makes me wait too long, it can't bee that cool.

Keyboard

Worth mentioning twice. The lack of the number row and oddly laid-out symbols and numbers on the small QWERTY make it more convenient to use the on screen Swype keyboard. I have already given up on bothering with the physical keyboard. I kinda wish it didn't have one at this point so it could be a bit lighter and less moving parts equals less chance of malfunction. 

My Faves

There seem to be multiple ways to get at the MyFaves features in this new OS/Phone and none of them work. They definitely don't sync up with the MyFaves stored at the servers chez T-Mobile and every time I try adding them from the phone, they quickly disappear again. So until I figure this out or it gets fixed, it is stoopid to dumb or dumber. 

USB Connector

Yet another version of the mini-usb connector is used on this phone. So all my G1 stuff and other standard mini-usb chargers and connectors are useless. STOOPID. Thanks a lot HTC. The older MyTouch used the same as the G1. I guess the Mini-A USB connector is the new thing and most things are moving towards it as it is supposed to have better MTBF for number of uses (it lasts longer). 

2011-05-05 UPDATE

At Christmas time, I was able to take advantage of the G2 phone offer and my wife, after some coaxing, got the MyTouch Slide. She loves it and for her purposes it is awesome. Still a decent phone for most uses. The G2, however, especially for FREE with the promotion I got, is SUPER! It is what the G1 should have been! 

 

 

 

 

 




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