Review: T-Mobile myTouch 4G
You know the drill here. The Android Market is up to 100,000 apps. You want apps, the Android Market is your path to nirvana. Given the sheer volume, there's very little that isn't available. The myTouch 4G also comes with T-Mobile's App Pack. This service recommends a bunch of different apps for a number of different categories, such as entertainment, fitness, music, news, etc. I couldn't discern any rhyme or reason as to why T-Mobile selected the apps in these categories that it did. Some were free, others cost money. Some were rated well, others poorly.
The myTouch 4G supports both stereo and mono Bluetooth headsets. I had no trouble pairing with a number of different devices. Sound quality of phone calls through mono headsets was merely "acceptable." Sound quality through stereo headphones and speakers was actually a bit better than the mono headset. I was also able to pair the myTouch 4G with my computer and pass files back and forth with no problems. The Bluetooth file manager worked like a charm.
The clock and weather apps have been really downplayed on the myTouch 4G when compared to other HTC phones. They are there, and can be added/customized as you'd expect, but they aren't front and center out of the box. A number of different clock faces are available, and you can always check the time quickly with a quick press of the lock key. It also has the desk clock app, which can be used when the phone is sitting on a desk or charging at night. It lets you see the time, weather, and a few other bits of data.
The myTouch 4G is preloaded with a handful of games, including Asphalt 5, Monopoly, and RockBand. Sadly, these are demos. Of course you can choose to pay for the full version. Still, they show off the gaming powers of the device. I gave the Asphalt 5 demo a spin, and enjoyed testing my driving skills via the myTouch 4G.
Instead of offering Google Search as the native search function, the myTouch 4G carries forward the "Genius Button" concept. Press it, and rather than a simple search box, you get a voice-activated search tool. There are four main categories: Call Someone, Send Message, Search Web, and Find a Business. Basically, the app wants you to say the word "Call" then add a contact name. Or say "Send" and then choose a contact name. Or "Search" for something on the way, etc. Once you get the hang of it, it works OK. I much prefer a regular old Google Search box. Thankfully, you can choose to add the regular Google Search tool to the home page.
The myTouch has Google Maps preloaded. Oddly, TeleNav's app isn't on board, and it usually is packaged with T-Mobile phones. No matter, Google Maps with its Navigation feature works just fine for getting around town -- or out of town, as the case may be. Google Maps provides a straight-forward version of mapping and navigation. The GPS locked onto satellites quickly, and it was accurate when determining location (especially if you set the phone to get help from wireless networks).
Wi-Fi Calling / Hotspot
The myTouch offers Wi-Fi-based calling. Don't confuse it with the UMA-based calling featured offered by older T-Mobile phones. This feature allows users to make phone calls via Wi-Fi in their homes (or though any open access point). Unlike UMA, if you walk outside and lose the Wi-Fi signal, the call ends. There is no transition to the cellular network as on UMA handsets.
The hotspot feature is infinitely more useful. For a mere $15 extra per month (hey, that's cheaper than AT&T or Verizon), myTouch 4G users can turn the phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. I successfully connected five other devices at once to the myTouch 4G. Using browser-based speed.net on my laptop, I was still able to get a respectable 3.6Mbps on the downlink.
Google has done a great job of making the software easy to use. Seriously, any dummy could do it. It's so much better than the (unapproved) third-party tethering apps for Android.