HTC Magic a/k/a T-Mobile myTouch 3G vs. Nexus One
$300year cheaper than iPhone3Gs/AT&T, Tethering, Google Nav, $840year below Droid. Dwang Negro is AWESOME!
Initial syncing myTouch and PC currently takes a bit more time than iTunes with iPhone.
The Bottom Line:
An iPhone beater, AT&T high-cost defeater. FREE 3G wireless tethering, Google Navigation, no exploding batteries all for $60/mo. Root it, install Dwang and watch friends drool!
In case you can't tell from my Title, on 8/5/09 T-Mobile released the HTC Magic as myTouch 3G in the USA and I was the first person at my local Big Box warehouse to get my hands on one.
Having suffered through 4 iPhone 2g units over past 2 years & 2 months, I hoped I'd discover that someone had finally created a cellular phone that would be better than ANY current iPhone.
If you're looking for comparison to NEXUS ONE, skip to that heading below.
After 30 days of almost non-stop tinkering, I believe I have found a new champion of the Touch Screen phones. Rather than repeating features already posted all over the internet, I will focus on the differences between past/current iPhones and the HTC Magic/myTouch 3G:
1. Service plan savings. With an iPhone 3Gs plan at about $90 from AT&T, I'll be saving approx. $300 a year with T-Mobile myTouch 3G
2. Better service. Cellular service can vary greatly but I'd swear this phone sounds clearer even when I’ve moved to locations receiving only 2 bars. in Vegas, I drove 12 miles on I-215 from my home in Henderson to the Las Vegas airport and unlike AT&T service, never lost phone connection or even suffered poor service.
3. Interface. Desktop offers much more customizable options including ability to add many widgets, app shortcuts and have 3 pane wide screen wallpaper that you can easily create from any image file on your micro SD card. I turned 1 full pane of my desktop into a photo gallery with 4 photos that i can easily move or change anytime. Removing any desktop item is as easy as putting a finger on it for a second, it wiggles and then you drag it to the trash that appears at bottom of screen.
4. Touch. Having suffered through 4 iPhones that would randomly freeze, the myTouch responds very smoothly and has yet to freeze even once.
5. Battery. Apple can kiss my ____ for failing to EVER offer a phone where consumers can quickly change a battery. If this were any easier with the myTouch, my dog could change the battery. Back easily slides off and voila, you can change a battery. After almost a month, not one battery overheating problem.
6. Heat & fire danger. Don't think they'll be any reported fires caused by this HTC unit. The back of it barely even feels warm.
7. SD card slot. myTouch comes with a 4GB micro SD card that mounts/unmounts as a USB drive with click of 1 button so you can easily transfer ANY files to/from any computer via the USB cable and the SD card is hot-swappable. You can upgrade or change the SD card with one up to 16GB. You will get a bit more speed if you install a Class 6 SD card.
8. Sunlight. Screen is much more visible than Apple.
9. Messaging. Text message font is larger and display is wider so you can see more & better without having to scroll like on an iPhone.
10. Bluetooth. Quickly paired it to my AT&T Dect 6 home phone system and my Cardo Scala S-800 headset without having to type in the usual 0000.
11. Wifi. Connected to my Netgear WNR2000 by simply typing in WEP code.
12. Plug. Some people complain about combo mini-USB and headphone jack which requires the HTC 3" long dongle when using 3.5mm headphones. I however, like it because now I can travel with 1 USB cable to power or recharge several devices vs. the Apple cable that mates up to NOTHING else. BTW, you can use an iPhone USB power cube or car adaptor with the cord going to the myTouch.
13. Music. No problem playing ANY tracks I moved from iPhone folder. I'd rate the sound quality at 90% compared to iPhone but I admittedly have audiophile hearing so I doubt most people would ever notice the difference. Volume is comparable to iPhone.
14. Apps. No shortage of free & paid apps that I find comparable to iTunes store. There are also a wide variety of new Uis (User Interfaces) that you can easily download and install to make this phone run faster and look more like the HTC Hero by installing mt3ghero.zip after you root your phone and install Cyanogen v4.04 (details below).
15. Browser. Looks comparable to Apple BUT you can remove this one and add others. The included browser lets you vew and see multiple webpages as thumbnails and move from one to another with a finger touch.
16. Automatic syncing with your Google account data without having to pay for any extra services. Although it's not as automatic as Itunes with an iPhone, I found Companionlink Express to be a very handy utility for moving Outlook Contacts on my PC into myTouch. Only thing it didn't handle perfectly are the photos I use for Contact Pictures which it currently appears I'll have to add manually to each contact.
17. Attachments to messages. You can receive text messages WITH attachments including audio files, images and even some video files.
I find this VERY handy because my office desktop voicemail software (Callsoft) can forward messages with actual voice message or fax image file attached.
18. View documents, Excel and PDF files using any number of free Android utilities. Quickoffice is a free app that works very well.
19. Drag & drop files to SD card from desktop PC. When you are connected to a PC with USB, simply pull down the top notification bar and click "USB Connected" to copy files to/from your computer.
20. Speakerphone volume on the myTouch is excellent. Much better (louder & clearer) than iPhones.
21. Applications. You can add a dictionary or google apps to the myTouch that have not been censored or banned by Apple or AT&T. Hopefully T-mobile won't make the same mistake that was a key factor in my decision to leave the iPhone Dictatorship. Found an excellent FREE music player app called MixZing Lite. Some other FREE apps include Magic 8-Ball, Bubble Level, Flashlight,Magicmarker, Theft Relief and Speaking Pad. Download Ringdroid and you can use any soundbite as your ringtone.
22. USB Tethering. You can connect myTouch to a notebook or Netbook and enjoy 3G internet speed for FREE! With iPhone 2G you must jailbreak & unlock the iPhone. Even then, some hacking is required. With iPhone 3Gs AT&T wants to charge almost $1,000 extra a year to tether. I found a free Android app called PdaNet that doesn't require ANY hacking of your myTouch phone or PC and installs in seconds. Download and install it on your PC. I installed on my MSI U100 Netbook running Windows 7 RC1. Go to Market on myTouch to install on the phone. I followed the simple instructions and in less than a minute I had myTouch signal powering the browser on my netbook at 3G speed.
23. WiFi tethering. See my latest update below. If you've always wanted a way to have FREE 3G internet connection for your notebook ro netbook, this feature alone will save you $700 to $1200 a year over notebook/netbook plans from AT&T, Verizon and other carriers.
24. MobileMe. Apple charges you $100 a year extra if you want email, backup storage, website image posting and a "find my iPhone" service. You can get all these services for myTouch for FREE or less than $1 thanks to Google and Android apps like Theft relief, FindMyPhone, Find My Phone!!! and Find My Phone Lite. As far as storage, I prefer my SD card which is faster and 100% portable.
25. Modding. I've never seen or owned a cellular phone that offers so many different free alternate user interfaces. After you "root" your phone which is basically unlocking it so you can do as you please, you can spen days testing some of the popular and newer ones. However, if you'd like to end up with a faster running myTouch, an interface very similar to the HTC Hero and larger keyboard then i strongly suggest the combo I'm currently running:
Cyanogen 4.1.999 and The Offical Rogers 1.91 MOD.
WARNING: Do not install the OWNER application. It will crash the phone and lock you out so that all you see is the HTC animated logo. If this happens, remove the battery and when you reinsert it, hold down the HOME and OFF buttons so you reboot, wipe data and then reinstall apply the MOD zip file from your SD card.
26. Google Navigation. You don't need a Droid. See my update below.
Adding a protective case. Not much to choose from now since this phone has only been available for a month. Thought I'd found a nice leather case on eBay for $24.98 delivered. Big Mistake. Case arrived in 10 days from somewhere in China. Getting the myTouch into the case was like trying to put a size 6 shoe on size 10 feet. In other words, the case doesn't even cover the entire front of the phone and it blocks access to the pull-down Notification menu of the touch screen. The maker of this case also overlooked or forgot a hole on the back for the camera. Ordered another one for $13.99 delivered from Daydeal that I hoped will be better fit. The rubbery part did cradle the phone without blacking access to controls and plugs but the backing and flip cover have zero padding to protect the case if dropped and there is no belt clip. Next I ordered a leather flip case from Hong Kong. If this one doesn't do a better job, I might have to ask NASA to explore other planets for a decent myTouch case.
Add clock & weather like HTC Hero. The Beautiful Widget app is less than $2 and so far, it's the only app I've chosen that isn't 100% free.
After 3 months of use, I just keep getting happier with myTouch 3G. Do have to remove the micro SD card and use my USB adaptor so I could transfer files from my desktop PC.
I will add more findings as I discover them. My only other complaint so far is that I can't find an Android version of iBeer but with REAL savings using myTouch on T-Mobile vs. AT&T and other carriers, I can practically buy my own brewery!
NOVEMBER 9, 2009 UPDATE: Looked at & played with the new Droid at Verizon. During normal apps, could not see any noticeable difference in screen resolution. Only apparent when web surfing or playing videos. Keyboard looks & feels like a Mattel toy. Comparing the cost of Verizon with tethering to Tmobile with free tethering (via an OS MOD), monthly cost of Tmobile is less than HALF of Verizon.
Another thing in favor of myTouch is new lower $99 price. New price now at frys and possibly other retails who will match it.
NOVEMBER 10, 2009 UPDATE: In the 3 months I've now had a myTouch, neither Tmobile nor HTC have provided any bug fixes. Maybe it's because I haven't needed any! This makes me wonder why after only 3 DAYS on the market, the Droid is being discounted down to as low as $129 and they've already announced an upcoming patch to fix a list of bugs in Android 2.0 system. I'm also seeing a number of reviews complaining about short battery life of the Droid. IMHO, just a few more reasons for me to stick with myTouch 3G that has none of these issues.
NOVEMBER 19, 2009 UPDATE: Google Navigation can now be added for FREE on MyTouch3G. After you root your phone, download and install tommy-dwang1.12_signed.zip which is also the fastest operating system I've ever had on MyTouch3G. Only thing lacking in Tommy Dwang package is wifi tethering for root V1.5 which is an apk file you can download and install from the phone browser. I've also found that only way to turn off tethering is by using Taskiller (free edition works perfectly). Install Tommy Dwang MOD and you may agree that this is currently THE BEST Android phone you can own.
JANUARY 7, 2010 UPDATE: After 5 months and 2 days of enjoying my Tmobile MyTouch3G and only 1 dropped call in all that time, I'm convinced I made the right choice by going with an Android phone and Tmobile service. However, curiosity persuaded me to order a Google Nexus One which should arrive on 1/12/10. I can't wait to compare the 2 Android phones side by side and will post my findings here by 1/16/10. One thing I am sure of is that if you have or get a MyTouch3g and decide to upgrade to a nexus One, the smart way to do it is by buying the new phone for $529 from Google. Last night i phoned Tmobile to find out what i should do to make the switch. First, I found out that I would be hit with a $200 termination fee on my current service plan. Then I'd pay $179 for the new phone and sign a new 2 year contract at $79 a month (only plan being offered for the Nexus One). Since I'm currently paying only $59 for a 300min/unlimited data plan i did a quick calculation and figured out that it's either $529 to Google or $859 to Tmobile to get the Nexus One.
During my phone conversation with the Tmobile rep, I discovered something I had overlooked. Tmobile offers insurance on all their phones. It's $5 a month on the MyTouch3g and the customer service rep speculated that it will be about $9 or $10 a month on the Nexus.
NEXUS ONE. Having fallen in love with the Android operating system over a 5 month period, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on the 'latest & greatest" so ordered a Nexus One (N1) on 1/5/10 and within an hour I received an email with the FedEx tracking # showing it was shipped. You can read my complete comparison of the 2 phones by looking for the Nexus One reviews. After a full week of using the Nexus One, i arrived at the following conclusions:
1. Larger & sharper N1 screen is nicer but unless watching a YouTube video or web page with lots of tiny details, it's mostly hard to tell the difference.
2. Before doing any further comparisons, I installed the latest SuperD black themed MOD for the MT3G from
which instantly added almost everything found in Android 2.1 on the N1.
3. N1 still does almost everything much faster but with each new MOD installed on the MT3G the difference gets slimmer. However, when tested side-by-side, the n1 loads web pages about 4 TIMES FASTER than the MT3G
4. Either HTC or Google decided to change the way you wake the phone from standby mode. While having to press the on/off button on the top of the N1 might avoid some accidental ON, I still find it easier & faster to press the menu button twice on the MT3G vs. having to press the N1 top button AND then slide the unlock bar.
5. Camcorder function can only be accessed via the camera function on N1. I prefer 2 separate icons on the MT3G.
6. 5MP camera vs. 3MP camera is a non-issue for me because I rarely use a phone camera. When i want decent pics, i shoot with my Panasonic Lumix FZ28 or FZ20 (IMHO, Leica glass lenses are excellent).
MAY 26, 2010 UPDATE:
I've installed Android 2.2 a/k/a Froyo and it does things as quickly as my desktop PC that is running an Intel E8400 at 4Ghz. In other words it flies and it is much smoother than V2.1 operating system. Google added software so the phone becomes a hotspot at 3G speed via USB or wirelessly and you can set up a VPN. They also have a new navigation app that works independently from the Google maps app. The Nav app lets you speak, type, use contacts or starred items to choose a destination. Another nice thing is that the 2.2 update found all but 2 of my apps and automatically installed them for me. The home screen and 4 other screens now have a permanent tab at the bottom that instantly takes you to phone mode, app drawer or internet browser which is handy and leaves more desktop space for other app icons, pictures or widgets. Gallery now displays every type of image file I have on the SD card. Prior to this I believe it was only showing JPG, BMP and GIF images. So far I only have 2 gripes with Froyo (Android 2.2). I'd prefer white text against black background for top toolbar and either Google removed the TV.com app from Market or it just won't work in 2.2 version. I watch complete CBS TV shows with that app when I'm stuck in doctors waiting rooms, waiting for paint to dry, etc. If I apply some IQ to it, I'll likely find a way to watch TV shows by the end of today.
JUNE 6, 2010 UPDATE: Inability to run TV.com app sent me back to an Enom MOD but this time I installed the V1.91 newer version. Seems to run about the same as v1.81 except that the SD card is mounted by default so unless you are plugged into a USB from your computer, you might want to turn it off. Happy to say that I can once again enjoy full TV episodes anywhere and at anytime I want as long as i have wifi connection.
Bottom Line: Even if iPhone4 can make a call and give my dog a bath at the same time, I believe my Nexus One will be the best smartphone that the USA is likely to see for the next 6 months to a year. Onyl downisde to Froyo is that now MyTouch3g seems to run at a snails pace compared to Nexus One on 2.2
I hereby send my sympathies to all those being held prisoner by Apple and AT&T for it seems your costs are about to go up again as you get less & less for your money. My Tmobile 3G wireless tethering is still 100% FREE and unlimited.