The handset also comes with a Genius button. While it's no Siri or S Voice, it uses software from Nuance to make calls, send texts, search the Web, and grab directions through user voice activation. It's a little slow to think, but when I asked it to search the Web for "CNET" and "banana," it was spot-on. Recognizing names, however, isn't its forte. It kept mixing up a few of my friends' names when I asked it to call or text certain contacts. Overall, Genius is easy to use but feels unpolished. Whether it deserves its own hot key below the display is questionable.
Camera and video
The 5-megapixel camera features an LED flash, a zooming meter, geotagging, five white-balance options, three focusing modes including macro, three photo qualities, six photo sizes, and seven color effects. The front-facing camera also has the same five white balances, color effects, photo qualities, zooming meter, and geotagging option, but it only has two picture sizes.
As for video options, users can use a continuous flash (though not while recording with the front-facing camera), set different white balances and color effects (both with all the same choices as the camera), and adjust the video quality.
Photo quality was relatively mediocre in low lighting. Images were grainy, edges were blurred, and there wasn't a wide range of colors. Images taken outdoors with lots of sunlight, however, fared better. Edges were more distinct, colors were more vibrant, and there wasn't much digital noise. Overall, though, the auto white balance in my photos is a little off. There is a slight blue tinge to the images, giving these pictures a cold look.
Video quality was perfectly adequate. Audio was picked up well, images were sharp and in focus, and colors were true to life. Previously, I mentioned that the camera's shutter is slow, but I did not notice any lag between moving the camera and feedback.
I tested the quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900) T-Mobile MyTouch in San Francisco. Call and signal quality were good, none of my calls dropped, there was no extraneous buzzing, and audio didn't clip in and out. Voices came in loud and clear, especially on max volume, and I was told I could be heard fine as well. Speaker quality was also respectable. However, on high-to-max volume, music and calls sounded tinny and harsh.
Listen now: T-Mobile MyTouch (Huawei) call quality sample
Using T-Mobile's 4G network, the phone's data speeds were fast. On average, it loaded our mobile and full CNET pages in 10 and 22 seconds, respectively. The New York Times' mobile site took 5 seconds, and its full site clocked in at 15 seconds. Ookla's Speedtest app, which is 2.99MB, took 28 seconds to download, and showed me an average of 3.95Mbps down and 0.45Mbps up. The 24.25MB game of Temple Run downloaded in 1 minute and 46 seconds.
During our battery drain tests the handset lasted 7.85 hours. Anecdotally, it had a solid battery life. With minimal use (a short conversation here and there, watching some videos, and taking a handful of pictures), the handset lasted a couple of days without a charge and with only about a fourth of its battery drained. But with heavy use, especially with the brightness turned on and lots of calls made, it easily required a good charge during the day. According to FCC radiation standards, the device has a digital SAR rating of 0.733/kg.
Though T-Mobile's method of naming its phones leaves something to be desired, Huawei's MyTouch is consistent with the rest of its family members. Just like the others, it comes with tons of bloatware and, despite being a recent addition to the line, runs on an older version of Android, version 2.3 Gingerbread.
However, this device still offers respectable call quality, photo quality (putting aside the wonky white balance), and network speeds for a reasonable price -- again, just like its kin. Furthermore, of all the MyTouches I've seen (excluding the keyboard versions), Huawei has the best and sleekest design, which gives this entry-level device that extra edge over the others.