T-Mobile’s myTouch 3G Slide: A QWERTY Slider for Work or Home

T-Mobile USA today introduced the myTouch 3G Slide, a Google Android 2.1 handset with a slide-out QWERTY keypad and a unique Genius button for voice-activated functions. Also new to this handset are myModes and the Faves Gallery, both of which help separate work from home life and enhance social networking activities with a user’s most important contacts. A price has not been announced for the myTouch 3G Slide, which is expected to be available in black, red or white through T-Mobile retail stores in June.

Upon first glance, the myTouch 3G Slide appears to be an incremental upgrade to the currently available myTouch 3G in the form of three hardware changes: the camera sensor is bumped up to 5 megapixels, the old trackball is replaced by a new optical trackpad and of course, there’s that sliding hardware keyboard. But the software functionality of the myTouch 3G Slide makes clear that this upgrade is more than just incremental.

With the Nuance Dragon Dictation-powered Genius feature, users can speak to make calls, dictate texts or emails, or search the web. While the Genius sounds similar to current voice-to-text features found in other Android 2.1 phones, it can also read text messages aloud — something I can’t do on my Nexus One. The Faves Gallery, meanwhile, prioritizes the communications and social networking status updates with up to 20 contacts. A Faves widget and notification system helps call attention to messages from important contacts. Lastly, the myModes is a profile-switching feature that offers customizable themes for work and home life, showing important apps and widgets based on a user’s “mode.” myModes can automatically switch themes depending on the time or location.

The myTouch 3G Slide’s radio is capable of  theoretical 7.2 Mbps downloads and supports T-Mobile’s 21 Mbps HSPA+ network — currently implemented in Philadelphia, parts of Las Vegas, New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, and Washington, D.C. My Google Nexus One provides the same 7.2 Mbps capability and testing that handset on the HSPA+ network provided super speeds, so I’d expect a similar experience with the myTouch 3G Slide where HSPA+ is available. T-Mobile expects its HSPA+ network to cover 185 million people in more than 100 markets by the end of this year.

Additional features of the phone include a 3.4-inch touchscreen with HVGA resolution, up to seven home screens, and an 8 GB memory card. Pre-installed software includes Swype for fast text entry and DoubleTwist for media synchronization.

Images courtesy of T-Mobile