The T-Mobile myTouch 3G fixes G1 issues

The T-Mobile myTouch 3G fixes G1 issues

Summary: A couple of weeks ago T-Mobile sent me the myTouch 3G to try out and I posted my first impressions with a statement in there about no plans to upgrade since my G1 has the same software with the addition of a full awesome QWERTY keyboard. I then committed my wireless data services to T-Mobile and found I had a couple of lines with upgrade discounts available. I was thinking that I would use my upgrade to buy the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 that will be available on 12 August (stay tuned for my full review), but after further use of both the myTouch 3G and T-Mobile Touch Pro2 I decided that the myTouch 3G was the one for me. I was able to buy one for $200 and went with the Merlot (burgundy) color because it was a bit different and yet still professional looking.

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A couple of weeks ago T-Mobile sent me the myTouch 3G to try out and I posted my first impressions with a statement in there about no plans to upgrade since my G1 has the same software with the addition of a full awesome QWERTY keyboard. I then committed my wireless data services to T-Mobile and found I had a couple of lines with upgrade discounts available. I was thinking that I would use my upgrade to buy the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 that will be available on 12 August (stay tuned for my full review), but after further use of both the myTouch 3G and T-Mobile Touch Pro2 I decided that the myTouch 3G was the one for me. I was able to buy one for $200 and went with the Merlot (burgundy) color because it was a bit different and yet still professional looking.

I will get into more details about why I went with the myTouch 3G over the Touch Pro2 in a couple of days, but for now I wanted to talk about a few reasons I am loving the myTouch 3G and bought one when I already have the T-Mobile G1. Let me also be clear that I am keeping my G1 around and may find myself back to using it since I think the keyboard is one of the best QWERTY keyboards available today and may not be able to live without one over the long term.

The G1 is definitely not a sleek and slim device and with all the mobile phones out there today is a bit clunky and geeky. The hinge is as solid as the day I bought it, even though it does make a big clunk when you open or close it. I do notice the display moves up a bit in the closed mode, but no more than it did a few months ago. I also only get about 4-5 hours of usage from the G1 standard battery and have had to resort to my "fatty" battery to go a full day at the sacrifice of size and weight.

G1 issue #1 solved, battery life: The myTouch 3G is a very slick piece of hardware with nice curves, just about perfect width (the iPhone is still a bit too wide to be a super comfortable phone), well spaced hardware buttons, larger trackball that is quite responsive, minimalist design (the left side has a volume button and the bottom has a ExtUSB port, but nothing else is found around the device), and excellent battery life. I am easily getting a full day with the myTouch 3G and that includes syncing my Google Gmail, contacts, and calendar, syncing with Exchange using Touchdown, surfing for an hour+ during my commute, sending and receiving 15 to 25 text messages, and using Twitter for several hours. Not to mention my regular visits to the Android Market and playing with apps.

G1 issue #2 solved, limited memory: In addition to battery life, my biggest pet peeve of the T-Mobile G1 was the limited memory that constantly resulted in low memory warnings until I rooted my G1 and started storing apps on the microSD card. With the myTouch 3G I have a whopping 295 MB available and with over 45 applications loaded on my device I still have 219 MB left to load up on the device. This is killer for me and I can't tell you how excited I am about this memory upgrade.

Hardware buttons: I do like the speed and ease of use of my iPhone 3GS, but now that I am with T-Mobile it is not usable as a phone without jailbreaking and unlocking so the myTouch 3G is the device closest to the iPhone on T-Mobile. One aspect of the myTouch 3G that I like better is more hardware buttons on the front of the device to give me quick access to the phone send and end buttons and dialer. The Google Search button is also nice to have, especially when a press and hold of it launches Google voice-enable search automatically. I have been amazed by the accuracy and response of Google search using this button and it has changed the way I search. I also like having the back, menu, and home buttons.

Predictive keyboard: The iPhone's predictive keyboard works well and is something you just have to use and let run to take advantage of. The myTouch 3G also has a predictive touchscreen keyboard, but there are a couple things I like better about it so far. You are presented with a row of possible word choices as you enter letters so you can speed things up a bit if you just tap one of the words before you finish entering all the letters. The other keyboard feature I like is the haptic feedback where you get a small vibration when you enter a key so you know your touch was registered. You can toggle this on or off, but I like it turned on. The landscape keyboard is also very good for two thumb entry due to the height and nice balance of the myTouch 3G in your hand.

Google Voice: We have all heard about the fiasco with Google, AT&T, and the iPhone. With the myTouch 3G being a device heavily incorporating Google apps you can almost guarantee they are going to fully support Google Voice. I am very happy to say that Google Voice on the myTouch 3G is awesome with a launch page that shows your voicemails and text messages for easy reading. Text messages appear in a threaded format too.

The Google Voice settings let you select to have all of your outgoing calls be from your Google Voice account, only international calls, no calls, or selected calls. The slick thing is that Google Voice integrates right into the dialer so making calls through Google Voice appears almost like a standard call you dial on your myTouch 3G.

Notifications and customizability: The G1 had the best notifications system I have seen on a mobile phone and the myTouch 3G has the same functionality. I love the pull down shade and the ability to ignore them if I want to as well. The new widgets brought with the 1.5 OS also give you the ability to have live data on your home screens, similar to what the Nokia N97 brings to the table.

T-Mobile is stressing the customizability of the myTouch 3G and when you go into the store you will find a full wall section filled with accessories for the myTouch 3G that include cases, new back covers, cables, chargers, and more. Inside the package is a 25% coupon for a SkinIt case too and I plan to order one soon with a photo of my three girls on the back to customize my device. I like how easy it is to customize the wallpaper, ringtones, and more with no special hacking or maneuvering on the device.

The myTouch 3G is not perfect, but it is a much better piece of hardware than the G1 and with the G1 selling quite well for T-Mobile I think the myTouch 3G may do even better. I know the two times I was at the store there were quite a few people buying the myTouch 3G so it seems to be flying off the shelves.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware

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3 comments
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  • I'll skip this one

    I too use a fatty battery in my G1, but right now that is the only thing not to like about it. Because, and I know I beat this point to the ground, I can change the software any time I want, and software improvements filter down to the G1 compatible images on XDA developers.

    And to me at least, the thickness of the phone is not that big of a turn off. It's still much thinner than the brick phones of 5 years ago, and since I use a belt holster I don't worry about how big my pockets are. Also, the fatty battery does make the battery life acceptable, and even if I forget to charge overnight there is still enough charge for me to get it into my car still powered up and be able to charge on the way to work.
    Michael Kelly
    • I'm on the fence...

      I guess what I'm really waiting for is hardware with more horsepower to smooth out the little glitches. I'm still not sure about soft keyboard either.

      As for thickness I just don't see what people are complaining about. Its just a hair thicker than my wife's Curve and and I don't see people complaining about the size of BlackBerrys. Is there some law that a touch screen phone must be ultra thin?
      storm14k
  • not quite there yet

    Same processor as before, how old is that qualcomm chip anyway?
    My list of demands are as follows: Minimum 3.2inch touchscreen with multi-touch support, 3.2 megapixel camera with led flash and video, 3.5mm headphone jack, WinMo 7 or android, and no lag or stuttering, does such a device exist?
    User 13