HTC myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile) Review
For the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of playing with HTC’s latest Android slider phone, the myTouch 4G Slide. I feel that to be entirely forthcoming, I must prefix this review by saying that this is not an advertisement for the myTouch 4G. In the time that I’ve had to test it out, I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed it. Find out more after the jump.
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Incredibly fast phone running the latest Android 2.3.4
Brilliant screen and usable buttons
Amazing 8 MP camera with great features
Feels sturdy and well built
Not the thinnest phone we have tested
Full QWERTY keyboard might not be right for everyone
The HTC myTouch 4G Slide from T-Mobile is one of the best Android phones we’ve tested. It’s brilliant camera, fast performance, and overall build quality makes it an enjoyable experience to use every day. Unless you really don’t want a fully QWERTY keyboard, this should be the phone for you on T-Mobile.
For the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of playing with HTC’s latest Android slider phone, the myTouch 4G Slide. I feel that to be entirely forthcoming, I must prefix this review by saying that this is not an advertisement for the myTouch 4G. In the time that I’ve had to test it out, I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed it.
As a quick overview, the myTouch 4G Slide sports a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, a beautiful 3.7â€ display, a stunning 8 MP camera, and a full QWERTY keyboard. All of these features are tied together well by HTC’s Sense UI on top of Android 2.3.4, making for a great mobile experience.
As mentioned above, the hardware specs of the myTouch 4G Slide are impressive.
- 3.7â€ Super LCD Screen
- 1.2 GHz Snapdragon Processor with 768 MB of RAM
- 1 GB ROM and 8 GB MicroSD card included
- 8 Megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash
- VGA front-facing camera for video chat
- Full physical QWERTY keyboard
- 4G capable radio
The full QWERTY keyboard is definitely an attractive feature of the phone, as it appeals to those who are still in love with physical, tangible keys. I’ve never been a huge fan, but this phone’s execution of the feature is excellent with very usable keys that are perfectly sized, even for those of us with relatively large fingers. Similarly, the keyboard has a LED indicator for CAPS lock which is a nice touch.
The rear-facing camera will be dealt with separately below, but the front-facing camera is just as you’d expect. Low quality VGA that gets the job done. Nothing to write home about.
The phone’s construction feels solid in your hand, and has a nice weight at 6.5 oz, and a very respectable depth of .54 inches, making the Slide very pocket friendly. You get the typical power, home, menu and back buttons, a volume rocker, and a power button in the top left corner. You also get both a dedicated camera button, and replacing the typical search button is a genius button which allows for voice activated actions.
In addition to these buttons, there’s a button in the center of the phone’s row of buttons that seems like it would perform actions similar to the iPhone’s home button. However, it’s actually a sort of nub mouse (similar to those on laptops of a few years ago), designed to help with navigating menus. However, it is a bit superfluous, as I found it more difficult to use than simply tapping the screen.
Battery life on the device was entirely acceptable, scoring a solid 9 hours of typical usage, including watching videos, making calls, and browsing the web.
Few phones deserve a dedicated section to their camera, but the myTouch 4G slide is most certainly an exception. Beyond it’s 8 Megapixel sensor with dual LED flash, the camera features an extensive set of features and shooting modes. As I did with the specs of the phone, it might be easier just to list off some of them.
Picks a usually optimal setting for the photo
Creates automatically stitched panoramic images by simply holding the camera button while sweeping the phone. It works great, albeit the stitching can get a bit goofy at times. All in all, a great feature.
- ClearShot HDR
Similar to the iPhone, it takes three photos in rapid succession and creates an HDR photo. They look fantastic in well lit situations, and provide a certain halo-esque glow to your pictures.
This mode takes multiple photos in a quick burst to capture every second of the action. Sadly, they end up a bit blurry because of the camera’s inability to expose them quickly enough. It does work, but you won’t get crystal clear images.
- Night, Action, Macro, and Portrait
Your typical point-and-shoot settings. They work well and create good color balancing and exposure timings.
Control all sorts of fancy camera features like white balancing and ISO settings. While not entirely powerful, it helps when none of the presets work quite how you’d like.
Tie all of these features together with tap-to-focus and easy zooming, and you have a powerful camera that produces gorgeous photos for a camera phone (or even a point-and-shoot). The dual LED flash is powerful, and HTC even includes a built in flashlight application. There’s even a dedicated camera button that helps when you’re trying to get a shot off in a hurry.All things considered, the myTouch 4G Slide has one of the best cameras on a phone that we’ve tested for both the number of features, and the quality of the photos themselves.
Software and Performance
As I mentioned earlier, the Slide runs Android 2.3.4 with a HTC Sense UI. Replacing the typical lock screen with horizontal tabs that are slid across the screen is a ring that you pull from the bottom of the screen. Other than some aesthetic changes, the phone runs a pretty basic Android setup that seems unobtrusive and resource-friendly.With the combination of a powerful 1.2 GHz Snapdragon, 768 MB of RAM, and a bare-bones UI, the myTouch 4G Slide feels quick and nimble. Also of note is the 4G performance, which I clocked at 8 Mbps at times. I was very impressed with T-Mobile’s growing 4G network which has surprisingly expanded from big cities.
As you can see, the myTouch 4G Slide is one of the top performing phones (trailing behind two tablets) that we have Vellamo test results for. While this is just a benchmark, it well represents how quick the device is while browsing the web and doing day to day tasks.
Similarly, it passed the Quadrant Pro test with flying colors scoring a 1733, which is up there with the most powerful smartphones.
So if it’s not immediately obvious, I’ve grown quite fond of the HTC myTouch 4G Slide from T-Mobile. It’s a well constructed phone that comes with the latest Android OS, one of the fastest dual core processors, and the best camera we’ve tested. There’s nothing not to like about this phone. Looking for the best Android device right now on T-Mobile? Look no further. Unless you need the thinnest phone money can buy or you despise full QWERTY keyboards, there’s no reason to not consider the myTouch 4G Slide.
If you really feel you won’t use the camera much and you don’t like full keyboards, take a look at the Sensation 4G which gives you virtually the same phone without those features. However, I’m a strong proponent that you stick with the myTouch 4G Slide. The camera, regardless of how often you use it, should justify your purchase. If it doesn’t, everything else about the phone should. The myTouch 4G Slide is available from T-Mobile for $199.99 with a new two-year contract and qualifying plan.