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T-Mobile myTouch 3G Android smartphone review

Review by Michael Oryl on Saturday July 25, 2009.

t-mobile mytouch 3g · t-mobile · android reviews · smartphone reviews · t-mobile news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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The T-Mobile myTouch 3G is based on HTC's Magic, which is sold by a number of carriers around the world. It is the second Android based phone to be sold in the USA, and builds upon the success of the original T-Mobile G1 by offering more design polish in a smaller, and sleeker package. While the vast majority of our original HTC Magic review we published in May applies to the T-Mobile myTouch 3G, this mini-review and the accompanying videos will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the myTouch 3G version of the phone, should you decide to pick one up.

Physical Aspects

The myTouch 3G comes in 3 different color schemes: white, black, and the merlot version that we tested for our review. Each weighs 117.9g (4.2oz), and is quite pocketable thanks to its 113.5mm x 56mm x 15mm (4.5in x 2.2in x .6in) dimensions. Frankly, it looks larger in photos than it does in person, and the subtraction of the G1's keyboard from the design has left the myTouch 3G with a much better overall look and feel.

The phone is very comfortable in the hand, and is well laid out. We really like the trackball that it offers, but found ourselves almost never using it. That's because the large 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display is far easier to use for most tasks, being both bright and colorful, as well as requiring only the lightest of touches to activate. Haptic vibration feedback during text input only improves and already easy to use touchscreen.

One of the things that T-Mobile is really pushing with the myTouch 3G is its range of accessories. T-Mobile will be offering headsets, protective covers and cases, speakers, and even user designed rear battery covers that can be used to personalize the device. It remains to be seen how myTouch 3G buyers respond to them, but it sounds like a good plan to us.

The myTouch 3G ships with a number of nice accessories in the box. The box, however, is more of a protective case, and is quite nice looking. In any case, pardon the pun, the myTouch 3G comes with a 3.5mm pair of stereo headphones, a mini-USB to 3.5mm headphone adapter, a wall charger that is shaped much like the myTouch 3G itself, and a USB cable. A nice, soft pouch is also included for everyday protection and cleaning.

All in all, the myTouch 3G is a very nicely designed device with solid build quality and a fair number of included accessories.

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Naz @ 5:45:48PM EDT on Saturday July 25, 2009

The best review article I've read in a long time. This is how a review article should be written, by not making it sound like the myTouch vs iPhone. Thank you for this excellent review.

jpa @ 6:47:49PM EDT on Saturday July 25, 2009

amazing phone! The case it comes in is awesome!

Bob Garon @ 7:02:20PM EDT on Saturday July 25, 2009

Great review. I do have a question though. One of the main reasons I got rid of my G1 was because of the horrible battery life. I had it before Cupcake so I'm not sure how that helped the life, but how does the MyTouch 3G compare to the G1 in battery and what is:

"the Battery life is still less than one would hope for, explaining T-Mobile's decision to sell battery extenders"?

What are the battery extenders? I haven't seen that anywhere. I wouldn't want to buy a bulky and heavy expanded battery for an already sexy phone that is slim and sleek so I hope hat is not what you are referring to.


Michael Oryl @ 7:47:32PM EDT on Saturday July 25, 2009

The battery extender is a device that attaches to the bottom of the myTouch 3G. It is not something you would keep attached to the phone, nor is it just a larger internal battery.
Battery life is still an issue for the myTouch 3G, just not as much of one as with the G1.

sameer @ 8:44:46PM EDT on Saturday July 25, 2009

biggest mistake T-mobile has made is not allowed its existing customers to upgrade to g1 families, I doubt any one who is using iphone and palm pre will be stupid enough to quit and join t-mobile. I am plannig to end my contract with t-mobile onl reason is that i am not allowed to extend my contract .I have been asked 400$ to do that if i want o get g1. when my contract ends i have options like iphone pre and g1

JoeyDee @ 8:57:51AM EDT on Sunday July 26, 2009

Thanks for an excellent review: the best I've seen. No hype, no trashing. I was wavering on the MyTouch (my order is in, but I was considering canceling it) until I read this, and now I feel like I know exactly what to expect -- and what not to expect -- when it arrives, and the pluses outweigh the minuses.

coryatjohn @ 11:57:57AM EDT on Sunday July 26, 2009

Nice review. I have one of these phones (the Google Ion) that was given out at the end of May to attendees of the Google IO conference. The phone seems very durable and the battery life is very good compared to other smart phones. It lasts at least a day, often going two days without a recharge.

One slick feature is the recharger is a standard 5 volt unit that came with many other phones (the Razr for instance) so finding additional chargers is easy. It also recharges via a laptop or desktop with the USB cable. Recharge time is about 2 hours.

Excellent phone, Android is very usable and overall a good handset.

scorch @ 12:36:03PM EDT on Sunday July 26, 2009

yeah.. i agree - i am similarly impressed with this review

thanks michael!

http://mobile-phone-ipod-news. @ 7:03:17AM EDT on Monday July 27, 2009

thanks for the information, other times I will come back to this site.

Jeremy @ 12:24:18PM EDT on Monday July 27, 2009

Android 2.0 will have multi-touch. If we update this with 2.0, is the screen capable of the multi-touch? If so, then I'm sold. Otherwise I'll have to wait for Hero.

Tee @ 9:46:06PM EDT on Monday July 27, 2009

The video review was excellent, the best I have seen yet, the writtten review was also very good. I can watch your video all day. Thanks again for an excellent review.

wombatsma @ 11:22:09PM EDT on Thursday July 30, 2009

This is a great review; fantastic info compared to what's available from t-mobile.
I am (was) technically not eligible for upgrade discount, but I'm a good TM customer; family plan, TM at home, 5 lines, etc. I called and asked for an account supervisor and recieved not only the mytouch shipped out priority at the full upgrade discount, (still$199) but a $20 per month discount on my full plan for extending 2yrs, which I was prepared to and happy to do when I placed the call. Doesn't hurt to ask!!

mrhumble @ 10:20:43AM EDT on Friday July 31, 2009

Themes ARE supported on any Android phone that can run the alternate Home Environment applications (Open Home, AHome, etc). To say themes are not supported is incorrect. I have many themes on my phone and most of them include icon packs.

Michael Oryl @ 1:33:08PM EDT on Saturday August 1, 2009

No, just because some 3rd party app can add functionality to a device does not mean that you can say such and such a feature is supported. Just because you might be able to add a Lotus Notes client or an iTunes sync app to a smartphone doesn't mean that a manufacturer can claim that those features are supported. It is possible to load OS X on a PC, but it doesn't mean Dell can claim its Vista machines can run mac apps. Same thing here. It doesn't come in the box, and it isn't offered as a standard feature by HTC and T-Mobile, so for the purposes of 99.99% of users, the myTouch 3G doesn't support themes.

Dani @ 10:51:15AM EDT on Tuesday August 4, 2009

Thanks for the review. I was going to switch from tmobile to the iphone but the review is awesome!!! I am going to get the phone tomorrow!! I am really excited about the apps and the full touch screen.

Graham @ 12:19:42PM EDT on Thursday August 6, 2009

Thanks for the sample photos! I have a 1st gen iPhone and have been looking at the myTouch. I'd heard the camera wasn't all that good, but no one seemed to show any photos. Frankly the photos you have here are quite acceptable, and seemingly no worse than my iPhone. It won't replace my point-n-shoot or my DSLR, but then again as a backup camera it seems okay.

Nice job! Nice phone, too. The balance has shifted. ;)

snelks @ 6:02:38PM EDT on Monday August 10, 2009

The my touch appears to be a G 1 in fancy dress but no meaningful technical changes. In fact it is a step backward since it has no hard keyboard only a touch screen which is difficult for male fingers

Brandino @ 2:25:08PM EDT on Tuesday August 11, 2009

I have had this phone for a day now and I'm loving it! I just switched from a G1 and the battery life is alot better, liking the bigger internal memory, and all-in-all just seems more responsive! As far as the virtual keyboard goes if you put it in landscape mode it is just fine for male fingers! After all I am a 6'1 240lb male that wears a ring size of 13!

jim @ 11:47:42PM EDT on Tuesday August 11, 2009

Snelks, the touch screen works fine with male hands... typing this message with it right now.

LeF @ 11:25:57PM EDT on Thursday August 13, 2009

Long time owner of the G1, bought larger batteries, Android I loved. But...
Just got a MyTouch 2 days ago. Wow, totally excellent, better than you would expect. No battery probs, totally excellent interface. Won't go back. Better than iPhone.
Secret... igoogle.com iGoogle Desktop.
- Sync your Outlook Calendars with iGoogle widget (labs)
- Sync Outlook Contacts to iGoogle with KiGoo
- MyTouch3G / Android fully sync over the 3G

Home run folks. No more iPhone jealousy, you tiger now. Give Hero a time to mature, then...

socrates69d @ 9:01:31AM EDT on Wednesday September 9, 2009

bought one and is fun as hell !!!

knija @ 4:44:23PM EDT on Friday October 30, 2009

Okay it says the my touch supports adobe flash player so how do you install it.

mike S @ 10:22:16PM EST on Sunday November 15, 2009

My favorite accessory for my 3G is a product called the Comfort Base from newpcgadgets. It is a cool desktop holder.

ashiiya @ 11:09:32AM EST on Thursday December 10, 2009

People make this sound not so good, but I've played around with it in various T-Mobile stores and I think it's worth it now, especially when it's not as expensive as it used to be. Planning on getting it.

amanda8787 @ 8:04:02PM EST on Sunday December 20, 2009

will i be able to upload my itunes from my computer to the phone?

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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