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T-Mobile MyTouch Q (Huawei review: T-Mobile MyTouch Q (Huawei

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The MyTouch Q uses the usual T-mobile MyTouch theme over Android. Brian Bennett/CNET

Other noteworthy preloaded titles are Slacker Radio for streaming Internet radio, Google navigation for free turn-by-turn GPS guidance, and a basic version of TeleNav (the premium version costs $2.99 per month).

The phone also can make calls over Wi-Fi, if accessing a wireless router is more convenient than grabbing a T-Mobile signal. Keep in mind that the feature still counts against your voice plan minutes. Another service, T-Mobile TV, streams a collection of live channels such as Disney and Fox News, to name a few, but costs an extra $9.99 per month.

Genius button
A longtime feature found on MyTouch handsets is T-Mobile's Genius voice command function. Powered by voice recognition company Nuance, Genius enables the MyTouch Q to perform Siri-like tricks such as looking up the weather forecast, and searching for nearby restaurants and other attractions. Simply hold down the green Genius button then speak your query when prompted.

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T-Mobile touts the MyTouch Q's Genius voice recognition feature. Brian Bennett/CNET

In my experience, Genius worked fairly well, correctly transcribing my questions about current weather conditions and local sushi joints. I was also able to command the MyTouch Q to begin a text to contacts without much trouble. Those expecting Siri-level performance will be disappointed since it lacks more advanced features. For example, I couldn't complete a text message with my voice alone. I had to look at the screen to activate Android's built-in voice dictation mode.

Despite its rock-bottom price, the T-Mobile MyTouch Q has a decent camera and LED flash. Serious smartphone photographers won’t be impressed with its 5-megapixel sensor but average users will appreciate the handset's quick shot-to-shot time of just over a second.

Indoor still life pictures were dark with soft details and washed-out colors. When I activated the flash, subjects in the foreground were often blown out and details in the back were lost. Images taken indoors and under low lighting suffered from the same problems.

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Still life shots were dark and details soft. Brian Bennett/CNET

Moving outside and under strong sunshine improved camera performance with the MyTouch Q snapping shots with bright colors and sharper details. Resolution settings range from 1 megapixels and top out at 5 megapixels. You can also choose from among six color filters including Sepia, Negative, Solarize, and Posterize. There aren’t fancier modes here, though, such as panorama or burst that grace other smartphone cameras.

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Colors were more vibrant in sunshine. Brian Bennett/CNET
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Blue skies and green leaves perk up in sunlight. Brian Bennett/CNET

Don't expect jaw-dropping speed from the T-Mobile MyTouch Q. Driven by a modest 1.4GH single-core processor backed up by 1GB internal memory, this phone isn't a mobile hot rod by any means. That said, the device felt responsive enough whether flipping through its home screens, opening apps, or firing up its app tray.

The handset's Linpack benchmark score of 54 MFLOPs (single thread) completed in 1.55 seconds also confirmed it has some nimbleness. That result is much higher than what the original LG MyTouch Q achieved on the same test (32.6 MFLOPs in 2.57 seconds).

With a fast connection to T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network, the MyTouch Q turned in quick data speeds. I measured respectable downloads at an average of 4.1Mbps, though there were peaks of more than 6Mbps. I also clocked average download throughput at 1.7Mbps.

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4G speeds were acceptably quick. Brian Bennett/CNET

I tested the T-Mobile MyTouch Q on T-Mobile’s GSM network in New York and I’m pleased to say call quality was excellent. Callers described my voice as sounding crystal clear. I didn't hear any hiss or other distortions, though the earpiece doesn't have a huge amount of volume. Similarly, the speaker phone was relatively quiet but didn't buzz when turned all the way up either.

T-Mobile myTouch Q (Huawei) call quality sample Listen now:

As for longevity, the MyTouch Q's 1,500 mAh battery lasted a full work day but definitely needed a recharge overnight. Stay tuned however, for more in-depth battery results soon.

T-Mobile's MyTouch line of smartphones with their mediocre components and dated Android software have never made the hearts of Android experts skip a beat. The $49.99 MyTouch Q by Huawei doesn’t break the MyTouch mold. It continues the tradition of offering all the smartphone basics plus a quick 4G connection at a very low price. While I'm not thrilled by its physical keyboard, it's comfortable enough to get the typing job done. If an affordable keyboard slider, solid Android performance, and 4G is what you crave, right now there's no better deal on T-Mobile. Those who'd like to ditch QWERTY, a keyboardless $49.99 MyTouch (also made by Huawei) has all the same features.

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