Since 2009, the myTouch brand has been a main component of T-Mobile’s marketing strategy with Android. The myTouch line produced several phones which enjoyed considerable popularity. All of the phones were produced by HTC, with the last one being the the myTouch 4G slide. T-Mobile has now switched manufacturers, giving LG the responsibility to present new models for their lineup. LG has provided not one, but two models which were released simultaneously a few days ago, and they are the LG myTouch and myTouch Q (each $79.99 with a 2 year contract). Just a letter separates both their names, and it’s no mistake since these phones are basically mirror images of each other. The biggest difference is that the Q comes with a physical keyboard. How good are LG’s offerings to the myTouch line? Which should you get? Read on for the full review.
|LG myTouch||LG myTouch Q|
|Processor||1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon||1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon|
|Display||3.8″ OLED||3.5″ LCD|
|Resolution||480 x 800||320 x 480|
|OS||Android 2.3.4||Android 2.3.4|
|Dimensions||4.82″ x 2.46″ x 0.39″||4.76″ x 2.5″ x 0.51″|
|Video Recording||720p HD||720p HD|
|RAM||512 MB||512 MB|
|Storage||2 GB internal storage/ 2GB microSD card included. Supports up to 32GB.||2 GB internal storage/ 2GB microSD card included. Supports up to 32GB.|
|Battery||1500 mAh||1500 mAh|
|Weight||3.7 oz (105 g)||5.64 oz (160 g)|
Both phones ship with the basics: user manual, terms and conditions, USB cable, AC adapter, battery, 2 GB microSD card, and the phones themselves.
If you’re on a budget but really like LG phones, there are a lot of LG pre paid cell phones available from all the major mobile phone carriers. As you could see by the feature list, these phones are pretty much identical aside from a few minor differences, and of course the physical keyboard. Both the phones have the volume keys to the left side leaving the bottom and right side completely empty. On top they both feature a power/lock button, a headphone jack, and a microUSB port. The only difference is the placement of the headphone jack and power button is inverted and that the keyboardless myTouch has a cover for the microUSB port.
The more significant differences start popping up when you analyze the front of the devices. The Q has 4 capacitive buttons, while the myTouch only has three because it doesn’t come with the Genius button. The next difference is the screens. The Q’s screen is 3.5” LCD (320 x 480 resolution) while the other myTouch features a 3.8” OLED (480 x 800). This is one of the key differences between both devices, which I’ll discuss further. Above the screen you’ll notice a second key difference, that the Q lacks a front facing camera. This could be a deal breaker for some, especially those who love video chatting.
Turning the phones over reveals the third distinction between the phones: the Q has an LED flash next to it’s camera lens which unfortunately the other myTouch doesn’t have. The built quality on both phones is excellent, with the Q feeling of slightly better quality, maybe due to the extra weight that it gets because of the keyboard. Now that we are on the keyboard subject, let’s analyze it further.
The keyboard for the Q is very comfortable. The keys are laid out in four rows giving you more than enough space between keys to avoid confusion especially while touch typing. They have the right amount of give also, so that you don’t have to think twice whether or not the phone registered one of the key presses. It even comes with some interesting keys, for example one designed to go to your texting application. The only thing that it’s missing, is some directional keys to navigate the phone while in this mode. The original Android, the HTC G1 had a track ball which worked perfectly to control the phone. I wish LG would have included something similar, maybe a digital track pad like the Blackberry Bold, or maybe even something like the Playstation Vita which has touch controls on the back cover, that would have really taken the phone experience to the next level. Instead you’re left to have to stretch your fingers from their comfortable position on the keyboard to touch the screen in order to navigate through out the phone. Even with this slight workout the keyboard makes texting a breeze and is really easy to learn. If you’re not used to typing on a software keyboard then the Q has you covered.
This is definitely one of the biggest difference when deciding which phone to get. The Q has a decent sized 3.5″ LCD screen which has decent colors, even though the resolution could be higher. On the other hand the other myTouch has a beautiful 3.8″ OLED display that produces vivid colors and truly deep blacks. There isn’t any competition in this department, its obvious that the Q falls short in this department. This bigger display is also ideal for using the software keyboard whether your Swype-ing away or just using the stock keyboard, its a nice fit.
Both of the phones come with a fairly good 5 megapixel camera that takes very accurate photos. The camera also comes with an excellent autofocus feature which makes sure that you capture all the detail of your subject. There are of course different modes that you could play around with which makes it great to start snapping photos. Now, one important difference is that the myTouch doesn’t have flash while the Q has an LED flash next to its back facing camera which is perfect for taking photos in less than ideal circumstances. On the other hand, the Q lacks the front facing camera that the other myTouch has so you have to pick between what’s more important to you here. Below are some photos demonstrating the quality that you could expect from the cameras.
The video recording on these devices comes out average with some lag apparent here and there when recording in 720p. Check out a video sample to see what to expect.
Both phones perform above average, with some minor slow down coming up every now and then. It’s also not unusual to be browsing a web page and then you respond a text, only to go back to the browser and the home page is greeting you rather than the website you were on. It’s definitely nothing that the brakes the experience that LG is trying to sell, but unfortunately its there and can’t be ignored. For those who like benchmarks, enjoy the scores in the gallery below.
There were no problems with either phone when I came to the making calls, everything sounded loud and clear. The speakerphone was decent volume also which is perfect for those moments when you’re driving.
The GPS on both phones isn’t the best. It took upwards of 1 min to lock on to six out of six satellites in the area. Of course it didn’t pick up as many satellites as other phones I was able to review, so I would say that the GPS is about average at best. One thing to note is that the Q seemed to take slightly longer to lock on to more satellites.
I had 4G turned on always with these devices while syncing and running my regular daily apps and feeds and I managed to get out about 17 hours of usage without having to recharge. Not to shabby right?
Both phones come with a skinned version of Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) courtesy of LG. LG doesn’t really add or change much of the stock build which makes me wonder if they could have implemented more. For example the lockscreen informs you incoming text messages and missed calls, yet there’s no option to go directly to these notifications from the lockscreen. The only option available is to slide the lockscreen up to unlock it.
Once passed the lock screen you will noticed 5 home screens that are filed with various widgets and application shortcuts. The app drawer comes with three different layouts to display your apps, category, page and list. By default it comes with the category layout which splits your applications into three categories, recent, downloads, and applications. Your able to add your own categories, like games for example and then put the apps that fit said description into those categories allowing for further organization. The page layout is organizes them in pages like Samsung’s TouchWiz, while the list put them into one endless list that you could scroll through. Other than that the rest of the changes are minor sticking very close to the stock Android.
So which of the two should you get? It all depends on how you use your phone, and what you expect from it. If you hardly ever use a front facing camera, but you like snapping a couple of pics every now and then with the back facing camera, then the Q would be the ideal choice since it comes with a LED flash. However maybe you want a slimmer phone and you feel comfortable texting without a physical keyboard, then the other myTouch would be ideal because it also comes with a superior display.
These are just two points that could be discussed when choosing between these two phones, at the end of it its up to what you value more in a phone. If LG would have combined the best parts of both phones (and maybe added more speed into the mix), we would have a very nice phone with a spacious physical keyboard, which would have been great in this market where less and less phones come with a keyboard.