Review: T-Mobile myTouch 4G
The myTouch 4G is a thin, slab-style phone with a large display, weighty feel, and serious attitude. It is made of plastic, metal and glass, and HTC has done a commendable job at using the right amount of these materials in the right places. The sides are rounded, soft-touch plastic, the front is glass, and the back has a metal battery cover. Me likee. The downside here is that the myTouch comes off feeling heavier than most other phones. Sure, it will slip into a thick pocket, but you're sure going to know it's there.
What little area of the myTouch's front face is not chewed up by the display is put to use for navigation controls. Tucked at the very bottom of the myTouch, HTC has placed four physical buttons (Home, Menu, Back, and "Genius" — not search). Sort of tucked below and in between these keys is the optical trackpad. The physical controls and trackpad all feel a bit on the plastic-y side for my taste, but they are easy to find and have excellent travel and feedback. The optical trackpad is a bit superfluous given that this myTouch is a touch phone, but it does come in handy for editing text.
Typical to HTC phones, the volume toggle is placed on the left side of the phone. It is a long, thin dash perhaps an inch and a quarter long. I would prefer it to have bumps, notches or some other physical indicator that let the user know if their thumb is at the top of the bottom. This key also has minimal feedback. The microUSB port for charging and data transfer is below the volume toggle.
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The myTouch has a dedicated camera key on the right side of the phone. it is a two-stage key for auto-focus and activating the shutter. Both stages are well-defined, which will make it easy to take photos. The 3.5mm headset jack is placed on top, as is the power/lock key. The lock key is easy to find with your thumb, and has decent travel and feedback.
In order to access the microSD card, it is necessary to remove the battery cover. Luckily, it pops off with a slight amount of pressure from your fingernail. The battery itself does not have to be removed to replace the microSD card.
One interesting thing to note: there are three tiny electrical contacts on the left side of the myTouch. When asked for an explanation, HTC said, "The contacts are there to allow for possible dock accessories in the future. They would allow the device to be charged while in a dock. As of today, no accessories that use the contacts exist – but the contacts allow for the possibility of such an accessory (or accessories) in the future." In other words, nothing has been announced, but there's a strong likelihood that docks are in development.
CTIA Fall 2010
Phone Scoop is on site in San Francisco to take in all the breaking news and hands-on experiences of the fall CTIA trade show. Be sure to check for full coverage and handset first impressions here.
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