T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide First Impressions by Taylor
T-Mobile's myTouch line started as a mid-range, user friendly Android line. It has since grown to harvest some of the best Android phones on T-Mobile's smartphone lineup. At first glance, you may mistake the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide for its older brother, the myTouch 4G, but don't be fooled by looks. Indicated by the Slide moniker, this phone packs an extra punch with its horizontal slide-out keyboard for those texters out there and a 1.2GHz dual-core chipset for the power users, all while packed in a very familiar package. The myTouch 4G Slide also comes with a 3.7-inch LCD display, 768MB RAM, 4GB built-in memory and an 8GB microSD card and will be availble on July 27th for $199.99 with a two-year agreement after a mail-in rebate.
With some other dual-core flagship devices in T-Mo's lineup like the Sensation 4G and G2x, how does the myTouch stack up? I've had a few hours of hands-on time with the Slide and here are my findings thus far:
- The design of the myTouch 4G Slide is ... well, old. That said, expect the same high build quality as seen in previous myTouch phones. It is essentially the myTouch 4G with a slide-out keyboard bolted on the back (save for specification differences and a slightly smaller display). The physical buttons have been changed to a matte finish and they no longer squeak like they did on the myTouch 4G and the metal battery door has been swapped for a rubberized plastic door. Overall, the design is solid but not my favorite.
- The myTouch 4G Slide ships with the latest version of Android for phones, version 2.3.4, skinned with a modified version of Sense 3.0. If you remember the Espresso version of Sense found on the previous myTouch iterations, the Slide's interface is a fusion of that and Sense 3.0. Not everyone is going to like this Espresso Sense, but I kind of enjoy the break from monotony.
- Unlike the Sensation 4G, the Slide's display is standard definition. It is a 3.7-inch LCD display at 480 by 800 pixel resolution. For me, the screen size is probably my biggest complaint. Having the slide-out keyboard definitely helps, but I would still prefer at least a 4-inch display since I have fairly large fingers. Other than size, I have no complains. The LCD display is plenty bright and color reproduction is great.
- If you're going to add a physical QWERTY on a phone and make it a key feature (it is named the Slide, after all), the keyboard needs to be substantial. This keyboard is decent, nothing better. The individual keys are spaced well and raised just enough to navigate without looking, but there is little to no tactile feedback (mushy keys). The space bar is very close to the raised edge on the slide-out portion, which has made it difficult to fully depress the space bar on the first try. It probably doesn't help that I just came from the DROID 3 to this – the DROID 3 keyboard is easily one of the best I've ever used.
- Shipping with a 1540 mAh battery, you can probably expect the battery life to be on par with other HTC-built phones. I haven't had the chance to really put the Slide to the test when it comes to battery, but I have had it unplugged for roughly six hours now and the battery meter has barely drained with light to moderate use. I will include more detail on battery life in the full review.
- The biggest change in specifications from the myTouch 4G to the Slide is the processing power. The Slide has been bumped to a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. I've experienced a little lag here and there but that has only been while putting it through some stress tests like downloading and installing several applications in the background, loading web pages and launching multiple apps all at the same time. Other than that, it's been a very snappy device.
- Something I have found rather impressive on the myTouch 4G Slide is the camera. It comes with an 8-megapixel camera and dual-LED flash. Unlike several mobile cameras I've dealt with lately, the myTouch doesn't disappoint in the still image capture department. Pictures taken were clear, contrast levels were great and I had no issues with white balance. The auto-focus feature was quick to adjust and the interface is simple and clean. The Slide records at 1080p and video quality is great, audio leaves much to be desired. I've only spent a limited time with the camera, but I've been thoroughly impressed with it thus far.
Don't touch that dial (or uh ... mouse?), folks! My full written review is coming. In the meantime, see what Aaron had to say about the myTouch 4G Slide in his video review below!