Quick review: myTouch 3G

(updated below)

I’ll write a more complete review tomorrow, but here’s what I think of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G so far:


myTouchGood size. Much slimmer than the G1, the first T-Mobile Android phone. Fits more easily in the hand than the iPhone.

Virtual keyboard. This is something that was a big problem with the G1; you had to use its physical keyboard to enter text. With the latest version of Android, though, you get a virtual keyboard. And — a la the new iPhone OS — it’s available in landscape or portrait mode for most applications.

Speed. It’s not blazingly fast or anything, but it’s considerably speedier than my iPhone 3G at starting up applications. Like the iPhone, it will automatically put a Web page or email message in landscape mode when you rotate the myTouch sideways. But, again, the myTouch does this rotation much faster than the 3G.

My sense, though, from playing with both is that the myTouch is no match for the iPhone 3G S in terms of speed.

Video. Like with the iPhone 3G S, you can take videos with the myTouch and upload them to YouTube or send to your friends directly from the phone.


OS lacks polish. Android, the operating system running underneath the myTouch, is obviously powerful and has a lot of potential. What it lacks is polish. It’s just nowhere near as easy to use as the iPhone OS or Palm’s new WebOS.

For example, if you want to close an application on the iPhone, you simply press the home button. On Palm’s Pre, which runs WebOS, you push the center button, which turns all the running applications into virtual cards, and you flick the application you want to close off the screen.

In Android? I have no idea. Supposedly you can go into the “manage applications” section of the phone’s settings area and close applications there, but I couldn’t get that to work on the myTouch.

You can also download a program called TasKiller, which supposedly will — after you get it up and running — allow you to close other applications. But I couldn’t get it to work either. It not only didn’t show me all the programs I had running at the time, but then the ones I specifically asked it to shut down were still running after I closed out of TasKiller.

But it’s not just that. Both Apple and, surprisingly to an even greater degree, Palm have embraced not only touchscreen technology, but “multi-touch.”

So, on the iPhone, if you want to zoom in or out of a Web page or a picture, you pinch or unpinch your thumb and forefinger. On the Pre, if you want to bring up the task bar-like launcher, you drag your finger up from the bottom of the screen, no matter what application you may be in.

You can’t do anything similar on the myTouch — despite the name. Instead you have to press button, both physical or virtual. To zoom in, you press a virtual one with a magnifying glass on it. To get to the program launcher, you have to press the (physical) home button first.

Search button. This is not so much a con as a missed opportunity. The myTouch has a dedicated search button. The problem with it is that it takes you to a Google search box that allows you to search the Web — and that’s it.

What would be much more useful is if the search button would bring up a universal search on the device — which is essentially what is no in both the Palm WebOS and on the iPhone. It would be great to be able to search your contacts, mail messages, etc. just by pushing the search key. But that’s not what it does.

The screen. The trade off of having the myTouch be smaller than the iPhone is that it similarly has a smaller screen. Indeed, the screen on the myTouch is about the same size as the one in the Pre, which is an even smaller device.

Having that kind of screen on the Pre is not that big of a deal, because the device has a physical keyboard. You don’t have to rely on the screen to enter text.

You do, however, have to rely on the screen to type in text on the myTouch. I have a hard enough time trying to be accurate typing on my iPhone. It’s considerably more difficult on the myTouch — even in landscape mode, because of the smaller screen.

No native Exchange link. Apple built Exchange syncing into the iPhone a year ago. The Pre comes with it also. (As do BlackBerries and Windows Mobile phones.) But not the myTouch.

That presents difficulties for those of us who want to sync our work mail (and calendars and contacts) on our phone.

Limited application selection. I know, the Android marketplace is growing. But the number and diversity of applications is still a small fraction of what you can find in the iPhone App store.

I’ll write more tomorrow after I play with the myTouch a bit more. But right now, while the myTouch is much nicer than the G1, I’d still rank it far below the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre.

UPDATE Actually, the myTouch does have built into the ability to sync to Exchange mail. However, as I understand things, it does not sync Exchange contacts and calendars.

And, from what I’ve seen, Exchange mail is a separate application (called “work mail”). To access Gmail, you open another application (called Gmail). To access other email accounts, you have yet a third email application. Again, not the easiest or most elegant solution.


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  • Confused

    It sounds as though you have no clue how to use this, or any other android phone. With android, to leave an application you press the Home key. If you want to return to any application still running you simply hold the home key, it’s called a “long press”. You don’t have to kill appications since the phone has automatic memory management. Android multitasks better than the iphone, has more apps than the pre and is so much more customizable than both competitors. You really seem to focus on the negative aspects of the mytouch 3G and the positives of its competitors even though the competitors have many more shortcomings. I smell either a fanboy posing as a journalist or someone who just doesn’t “get” technology.

  • The pros and cons are detalied actually.
    But could u upload videos on ur touch directly to youtube if the video formats r wrong?

  • Sun

    Troy Wolverton: Another iphone fanboi reviewing a non-Apple product, seriously get some unbiased people to review, terrible reviewer w/ absolutely biased and a poor writer grammatically and literally.

  • Tom

    This review sounded very biased and perhaps uninformed. I appreciate the ‘effort’ but will take this review with a grain of salt.

  • Tommy

    Hey guys this is a biased review I agree. However I have my mytouch sitting right next to me, downloading the app killer because my music is skipping due to the camera not closing itself. If it works then cool, but I don’t see this as a “feature”. The iphone doesn’t have this problem because they limit your multi-tasking on purpose. They have to, other than the 3gs their none of them can handle multi tasking. It’s not a knock, i like the iphone. It’s a statement.

  • Simone

    Just say it. You either just love iPhone or getting paid to call anything not an iPhone a really bad review. Most of the things you couldn’t do, is in the booklet that comes with the phone. This is the first time I ever read a review done by you. As a reviewer of this review, IT SUCKS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT THE PHONE FIRST AND YOU ARE TOO BLINDED BY THE iPhone TO BE OBJECTIVE.

  • It is a very practicable idea and I am sure that if you work hard, youngsters from India would surely gain a lot.

  • thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it! This post was really interesting.

  • chelsy

    You have no idea how to even operate the android phones, it seems you just wanna dish out the cons on the mytouch and the pros on the iphone 3gs, which in my opinion is a really old and out of date phone,ad te palm pre which is satisfyily similar to the ugly looks of the G1, gets your facts straight, this guy…

  • maddie

    This was an absolutley horrible review. I read the whole thing and you know what I learned? NOTHING!! If you are going to take the time to sit down and give a review make it useful. My 8 year old cousin writes better than you do. Im not here to criticize, i just wanted to let you know that this review did not help and that next time you write a review think of it as a new experience. keep your mind open, you were so focused on making the iphone (or whatever the other phone was) look good that you forgot what you were writing about. thank you for trying but that was a major crash and burn.

  • Some great informations to be absorbed from this post. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative and interesting post with us. Keep blogging.

  • Apple are definately at the top of their game. Bye bye symbian and Nokia ๐Ÿ™‚ Great blog…

  • Thanks for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll keep your info in mind before I make a purchase.

  • Currently, Mobile with touch screen is being developed. Many companies that issue with touch screen mobile phone. Thank you for the information.

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