T-Mobile mytouch 4G – Part 1

First off, the reason that I am titling this part one is because I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about once things get rolling and I’m pretty sure I’ll get Facebook and Twitter comments and things on this post.

Secondly, I’m a newbie when it comes to the world of Android.  My only other experience with Android other then playing with my friend’s phones, is when I wrote about how to install Android on an iPhone running iOS firmware 3.1.2 or less. For a while I had been using a jailbroken iPhone 3G on T-Mobile’s network but eventually I got tired of the slow networks speeds and issues with the iPhone firmware.

So, after some research and also after trying out a friend’s mytouch and also one at an area T-Mobile store in PA and also in DC, I decided to buy the mytouch 4G.  Best Buy had a deal that gave you a $100 instant rebate off of the normal $199 the phone cost, plus I had two gift cards from Christmas.  So, it was a pretty sweet deal.

I keep reading online that people say this phone is heavier then other phones but I disagree with that…it seems fine.  I don’t think it is any heavier then most other smart phones on the market.  You turn it on and you are greeted with the T-Mobile mytouch 4G screen before you are taken to the home screen.  Interestingly enough, it didn’t have the standard large number clock that is some what synonymous with Android phones on the market.

I bought it up in PA and immediately after signing in through my Google login for Gmail on the phone, I promptly opened the Android market and downloaded the Ookla Speedtest.net app to see if the hype with all of the 4G speeds were true.  I hit the begin test button and got 4601 kbps down and 1509 kbps upload.  Not bad at all…that made me quite happy actually.  I did a few more as we were driving home to see about the consistency and the lowest speed I got was 1596 kbps down and 861 kbps up while I was syncing some of my apps.  Not shabby at all.

I downloaded a few more apps and things and when all was said and done, I logged into My T-Mobile online and it showed that I had used almost 400 MB of data that night.  Wow!!  There’s a reason to buy their unlimited data plan for $30 per month and not the $10 per month data plan with only 200 MB.

I have to say though, the data coverage back home in the Philadelphia area is way better then the data coverage down here in DC.  At work, just outside of Capitol Hill, my data coverage is around 1000 kbps down at the most which is slightly frustrating to me.  I will say that I have better coverage with voice and that the phone has boosted my network reception for calls but I’m paying almost the same amount for data as I am for voice and I feel like my coverage should be just as good on both especially in a major metropolitan area like DC.  Of course, as I drive around in DC, there are some areas that are better then others but I just wish it was more consistent across the city.  Farther down in NE DC, I’m having a rough time with bandwidth.  Somewhat disappointing to me.  Although, I have to say, right around the intersection of 13th Street and H Street in NE DC, there is amazing bandwidth.  It’s kind of coincidental that there is also a T-Mobile store on that corner.  Interesting if you ask me…

The other issue I keep having is the phone gets really slow at times.  I have an app to kill processes that continue to run in the background on Android, but even with a ton of memory free (over half), it will still run slow for a few minutes and then either start running better, or I’ll just have to reboot it.  I have also killed background syncing and I really only sync things when I open the app.  To me, there is no reason to really have stuff other then maybe your work calendar that is shared with a whole office or company of people syncing in the background.  Just sync it when you open it in my opinion.

I’m not quite sure that my phone is working correctly because it gets really slow just completing basic options and things.  I’m thinking that maybe when I go back to PA next week, I’m going to exchange it for another mytouch just to make sure that there is nothing wrong with this phone.

The hardware is pretty solid.  The LCD screen is 3.8 inches and runs 480×800 resolution and has great color.  The screen is really responsive although I had to consciously push a little harder on it then what I would have normally done with my iPhone but that’s not a big deal to me…just something I have to get used to.  On the top of the phone, you have some notification LEDs as well as a front facing camera.  In the speaker grill, you have an ambient light sensor that by default changes the screens brightness depending on where you are and what you are doing.  Also on the very top of the phone, you have your standard 3.5mm headphone jack for headphones or a headset and along side of that is a power button.

On the bottom, there are 6 physical buttons.  The home button, the settings button, a touch sensitive button that can be used for navigation, a back button, the genius button, and on the side there is a dedicated camera shutter button.  I think the buttons are basically self explanatory especially when you are actually using the phone.

On the back, the phone is pretty beefy with a metal battery door.  Under the door is the battery, along with access to the SIM card and also an 8 GB microSD card that comes with the phone.  Also, there is a 5 megapixel camera and LED flash.

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the actual phone specifications.  It’s pretty sweet and will probably be a decent phone even at the end of my two year contract renewal.  It’s got a 1 Ghz Snapdragon MSM8255 processor along with 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal space.  It obviously has WiFi capabilities on the phone and can handle basically any b/g/n connection you need.  It can also broadcast a WiFi hotspot using the cellular data connection allowing you to tether your phone at no extra charge like some other carriers require.

My first time calling on it was great.  It’s loud and I can hear way better then on my iPhone 3G.  There is no noise reduction but I didn’t have any issues hearing when I was making a call.  However, the speakerphone on the other hand is pretty rough.  Actually…terrible.  The speakerphone is very tinny and the caller is almost unintelligible.  It’s almost not worth using.  That would especially stink when you are using the video chat function since you must use the speakerphone for that.  I guess I’ll just have to use the headphones or get a bluetooth headset.  I should probably get a bluetooth headset since talking on the phone and driving is illegal in DC anyway.

Anyway, I think that’s good for my review of my initial impressions as well as the phone itself.  Maybe in my next blog post, I’ll dive more into HTC Sense and the software that is on the phone and some of the Android apps that I’ve liked and enjoyed so far.

I’m sure this is kind of a hot topic in the world of blogging, phones, and technology today.  So if you have any comments, feel free to post below or email me at jason@jasoncastellente.com

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