Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced the latest addition to its MyTouch family, the myTouch 4G Slide. The specs look pretty standard for this summer’s slew of high-end smartphones: 4G connectivity, a 3.7-inch Super LCD screen, Android 2.3 and a dual-core processor. All of this is great and everything, but what really caught my eye were the camera’s specs. In fact, T-Mobile claims that the Slide has the most advanced camera of any smartphone available.
As the name implies, the HTC-built MyTouch 4G Slide has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard in addition to a 3.7-inch WVGA super LCD touchscreen. For a slider phone, I was surprised with how thin the Slide is at only 0.54 inches thick. For comparison, the keyboard-less myTouch 4G is 0.43 inches thick. It weighs a manageable 6.5 ounces.
he Slide has an 8-megapixel camera and an HD camcorder that can shoot video in up to 1080p. It also has an array of advanced features. As phones beat editor, my camera knowledge is pretty basic, so I went to our cameras beat editor, Tim Moynihan, to decipher some of these specs and features for me.
The camera has a backside illuminated sensor, which is fairly standard in the most recent crop of point and shoot cameras these days, which works well for low-light situations without need for a flash. The Slide’s F2.2 lens is a wider aperture than many recent cameras, which also translates to better low-light shooting without the flash.
BurstShot is a really unique feature for a phone camera. This mode takes pictures in rapid succession as you hold the shutter button down (paparazzi style). BurstShot is useful for snapping photos of quick-moving objects, like kids and pets.
[Click to enlarge] Macro exampleMacro mode lets you take close-up shots of objects like the Furby, pictured here. You can get as close as about three inches to your object before the camera starts to lose focus. Tim says that this is pretty good, but there are point-and-shoot cameras that can shoot even closer.
The user interface is sort of a mash-up between the latest version of HTC Sense and the custom-built UI we saw on the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G. According to T-Mobile, the MyTouch rocks the same version of Sense (Sense 3.0) as the HTC Sensation (also on HTC). The latest version of Android, Gingerbread, is running underneath Sense.
You get a new customizable lock screen, which works similarly to the newly announced lock screen in iOS 5. You can pick a theme for your lock screen (the phone offers quite a few of them to choose from) and then select four apps that you visit most frequently. When you turn on your phone, you’ll see the four apps at the bottom of the screen. To unlock the screen, simply drag the circle into position over an app, at which point you’ll jump straight to that app. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to go through multiple menus to reach your e-mail or other frequently accessed items.
The Slide’s dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (the same you’ll find in the HTC Sensation and the HTC EVO 3D) easily handled all the apps and media-heavy sites we threw at it. We also tested the phone using Qualcomm’s new benchmarking app, Vellamo. The Slide scored an 803, placing it right behind the HTC Sensation, also on T-Mobile.
When I hear about phones with a single headlining feature, like say a really powerful camera, I worry that the rest of the phone isn’t up to snuff. This isn’t the case with the MyTouch 4G Slide, however. The Super LCD touch display, slim design and software place the Slide at the top of this year’s mega-smartphones. Of course, if you’re a serious photographer, the camera on the Slide probably won’t cut it for you. But if you snap a lot of photos with your phone or don’t want to carry both a phone and a standalone camera at all times, the MyTouch 4G Slide can get the job done.