We previously reported that several hundred myTouch 3G Slide phones were gifted to select T-Mobile employees last week in Las Vegas. These units were handed out early in a joint effort by T-Mobile and HTC so users could test out the phones and provide their feedback before launch. One of our sources was lucky enough to receive this phone and they were nice enough to provide us with a 30 minute virtual hands on.
First off, we are being told the final name for the phone is the myTouch 3G Slide. No launch date has been provided, but it sounds like the device will launch in May. The phones given out are using the final hardware, but the software is still in beta as T-Mobile works with HTC to tweak it.
The following are some quick notes I jotted down during my tour of the phone. No spec sheets were provided with the devices, but we were able to discover most of the major specs.
Display: It is hard to tell from the leaked pictures, but the Slide will feature a larger display than the original MT3G. Our source compared the display with an iPhone 3G S (3.5 in) and said they were the same size. I was unable to determine if the display was AMOLED or not.
Camera: The Slide features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus. This is an improvement over the MT3G which had 3 MP and no flash.
Processor: We don’t know the exact model number, but I did confirm it has a 600 MHz ARM11 processor. This could be the Qualcomm MSM7227 or MSM7627.
Memory: From what we can tell the Slide features the same 512 MB ROM / 512 MB RAM as seen in the HTC Nexus One. The phone should ship with an 8 GB microSD card.
HSPA+: The source claimed the Slide will be used by T-Mobile to promote their HSPA+ network, but I do not think it supports the full HSPA+ speeds. Instead I believe it supports HSPA 7.2 which is compatible with the new HSPA+ network. Qualcomm just started to sample some of their HSPA+ chipsets (MSM8260, MSM8660 and MSM8270), but those have a 1.2 GHz Scorpion processor which is faster than what is used in the Slide.
Battery: 1300 mAh as reported earlier.
Operating system: This was already known, but the Slide has the latest Android 2.1 firmware (still kernel 2.6.29) and HTC’s new Sense UI. All of the latest Sense UI features like Leap are included, but the UI has been tweaked to T-Mobile’s liking. It is the same UI as the leaked Espresso ROM that was revealed earlier this year. Users can select between 5-7 home screens.
Hardware extras: The Slide features a proximity and light sensor. The external speaker is much louder than the original MT3G. An optical trackpad is used in place of the trackball.
Multitouch: The Browser, Gallery, and Maps applications all support pinch zoom.
Live Wallpapers: Sorry, these are not supported. This is not that big a surprise considering the processor is ARM11 based.
Accounts & sync: Since the device is Android 2.1, it supports multi accounts. There were a few new additions not seen on my Nexus One. Flickr is now an integrated account you can sync. There is also the option to sync your T-Mobile account so they can store your photos.
Software extras: Lots of T-Mobile bundled apps like AppPack, My Account, and more. There is a myTouch Music app which is a semi-clone of Pandora. Quick Office is included along with some games like Abduction. None of the bundled apps can be removed at this time. Swype is the default virtual keyboard, but users can switch to the HTC keyboard or a new one called Dragon Dictionary.
Gaming: Our unofficial gaming benchmark for mid-range Android phones has become Raging Thunder 2. The game was designed for high-end phones like the Droid and N1, but the source claims it plays at an acceptable frame rate on the Slide. This is a surprise because we tried the game in our Motorola Devour review (also 600 MHz ARM11) and it was not playable. The additional RAM found in the Slide could be the reason for the performance boost.
Overall impressions: Our source claims they were extremely satisfied with the Slide (and they came from the G1). The phone is slimmer than the G1 which is nice for those considering an upgrade. The performance of the Sense UI was great and no lag was experienced on the home screen. The battery life is typical of any Android phone and got them through the day.