T-Mobile MyTouch 4G review: T-Mobile MyTouch 4G

The phone book is limited only by the available memory (the SIM card holds an additional 250 contacts), and there's room in each entry for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, IM handles, group IDs, photo caller IDs, and so on. Similar to other Android phones, the smartphone will merge contact information, as well as calendar appointments, from multiple e-mail and social networking accounts, including Exchange, POP3, IMAP, Facebook, and Twitter.

After we set up our device with our various accounts, the smartphone actually presented a list of contacts that had multiple entries and gave us the option to link them on the spot, which was nice since we didn't have to go into the Contacts app and see where there were duplicates.

Aside from the standard Google services and Froyo features outlined in our article here, the MyTouch 4G comes preloaded with a number of extras, mostly entertainment focused, including Rock Band, Asphalt 5, Monopoly, and T-Mobile TV. The last app lets you stream live and on-demand content from channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, ESPN, and VH1. You get a 30-day complimentary trial to the service, but afterwards, you will have to pay $9.99 per month.

All of your own music and video are stored in the phone's Media Room app, where you will also find the FM radio and a preloaded copy of Slacker. The MyTouch 4G has 4GB of internal memory and ships with an 8GB microSD card, though the expansion slot can accept up to 32GB cards.

Last but not least, the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G offers a 5-megapixel with flash, HD video recording, and numerous editing options, including white balance, face detection, ISO, and wide-screen resolution. You can also add effects to your photo, and the camera gives you a small example of what each effect does to the image, so you get an idea of what to expect, which is pretty cool.


The picture quality of indoor shots could be sharper.

Picture quality was good when we took photos outdoors, but they could be better for indoor shots. We could certainly make out the objects in the photo, but they just appeared a bit soft and colors could have been brighter. The MyTouch 4G does have DLNA support (called Screen Share on the phone) so you can stream content from your phone to a DLNA-compliant device like an HDTV.

Performance
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) T-Mobile MyTouch 4G in New York, and call quality was excellent. On our end of the conversation, callers sound loud and clear with rich audio and little to no background noise or voice distortion. Our friends reported great results as well and had no major complaints. We also made calls over Wi-Fi but didn't notice a huge difference in audio quality, as Wi-Fi calls also sounded fantastic.

T-Mobile MyTouch 4G call quality sample Listen now:

Unfortunately, speakerphone quality wasn't all that great. Even with the volume at its highest level, the sound is weak and tinny, so it was hard to hear our friends even in a relatively quiet room. Callers also said that we sounded really far away. We had no problems pairing the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset or the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.

Video calls on the MyTouch 4G were disappointing. First, we tried making a call to CNET's San Francisco office from New York. We used the MyTouch 4G and Qik and our caller used the HTC Evo 4G and Qik both over Wi-Fi. Our caller got the video and audio feeds just fine, but we only received the video portion and no audio. Next, we called a fellow tech journalist who was also reviewing the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G and we both got audio but no video. We tried several times with the same result and toward the end, the audio started to cut in and out and it sounded robotic at times.

Obviously, there are still some major issues to be resolved before video calls become a real option on the MyTouch 4G. Part of the problem is compatibility with other devices. Qik said that for now, video chat works best if the other caller is also using a MyTouch 4G but that they will be releasing an update on November 3 that will allow for interoperability between the MyTouch 4G, HTC Evo 4G, and Samsung Epic 4G. A desktop client is also planned in the near future. Still, as we described earlier, we tried to make several video calls between two MyTouch devices and still had problems.

The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G comes equipped with a second-generation 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and the smartphone was very responsive during our review period. Applications launched immediately, and multimedia performance was just fine. There were very few instances where we experienced noticeable delays. The only time this occurred was when loading the demo version of Asphalt 5, but once going, the gameplay was smooth and a lot of fun.

The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G ships with a 1,400mAh lithium ion battery and has a rated talk time of 6.7 hours and up to 10 days of standby time. The smartphone fell just short of the rated talk time in our battery drain tests, coming in at 6 hours. Generally, with moderate use, we were able to go a full day before needing to recharge the phone. According to FCC radiation tests, the MyTouch 4G has a digital SAR rating 0.938 watt per kilogram.

Here are our official CNET Labs tested results. More smartphone testing results can be found here.

Video battery life (in hours) Audio battery life (in hours) Boot time (in seconds) Web page load time (in seconds)
HTC MyTouch 4G 6.6
21 6 10

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T-Mobile MyTouch 4G (black)

Part Number: MYTOUCHBLKTMB2010 Released: Nov 3, 2010
MSRP: $399.99 Low Price: $105.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov 3, 2010
  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Combined with With digital player / digital camera
  • Service Provider T-Mobile
  • Weight 5 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.8 in
  • Sensor Resolution 5 pixels