If you're looking for an entry-level smartphone, the MyTouch has enough features to keep you happy, plus an updated Android platform that can handle most of the popular apps. And with a WVGA display, it has an adequate 4-inch touch screen that handles video viewing and photography well. But the best part? It's a cheap 4G phone -- costing around $50 with a two-year contract.
The Huawei-made phone has features that make it easy for just about anyone to use. For example, a dedicated camera key lets you take 5-megapixel photos with ease, but they're not amazing. The video recording is equally unexceptional, and the VGA front-facing camera is pretty blurry. So if you're a video chat fan, look elsewhere.
The MyTouch comes in a distinctive black and dark red color scheme, or you can get it in white. It runs Android Froyo, but you can get an update to a customized version of Gingerbread. It boasts some solid specs in the memory department. In addition to 4-gigabytes of internal storage, you can slip in a microSD card, so you'll have plenty of room to store photos, even if they are not top-quality snapshots.
It also features the "Genius" button, a capacitive key under the display that lets you to dictate commands with your voice. By pressing down this button, you can tell it to make calls, write texts, search the web and more. It's not Siri, but this isn't an iPhone, and the Genius Button will help you keep everyday activities organized quite well.
The MyTouch has a slightly bulkier feel than other smartphones, partially because of a curved back. Despite its heft, the rubberized-feeling battery cover, unlike smooth covers, helps hide those dirty fingerprints. It also makes the smartphone easier to hold when you're talking because it gives you a better grip.
But the bulk makes it a bit heavy to hold. Weighing a slightly hefty 4.9 ounces, the MyTouch is great if you like the feel of a solid smartphone, but it can feel like a boulder if you spend a lot of time holding it between your shoulder and cheek.
Gingerbread comes with a ton of pre-loaded Google Apps, including Maps with Navigation, YouTube, Music, Gmail, Messenger and more, and T-Mobile includes several of its own apps, including More for Me, which scouts local deals; a gaming portal called Game Base; the MobileLife Family Organizer, T-Mobile Mall, and a 30-day trial for T-Mobile TV, which lets you stream live TV. It also has three e-mail clients, including a native client, Gmail and Yahoo mail, a second browser atop the include Web browser, two gaming portals and two navigators.
The additions are handy, particularly if you don't like having to look up and download your own apps, but with so much already pre-loaded, it's too loaded with bloatware, which seriously slows down the already less-than-zippy phone. But you can unload just about everything, and those programs may help if you're a new smartphone user.
In general, the MyTouch is a pleasant, sturdy smartphone that comes with several fun features, including a decent camera, a host of pre-loaded apps to make it easy to use, and a nice style that feels decent in your hand. Overall, it's solid, easy to use, and if you're an entry-level smartphone user who still wants a phone with some of the features of the more expensive lines, you'll enjoy the MyTouch. If you're looking for something with a little something extra, however, you'd be better off getting a higher-end phone. ♦
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