updated 07:35 am EDT, Mon June 22, 2009
T-Mobile myTouch 3G
T-Mobile this morning showed its hand in the smartphone competition this summer by officially launching the myTouch 3G as its second Android phone. A near-identical version of the HTC Magic, the device drops the G1's hardware keyboard for a much slimmer design that depends almost exclusively on the 3.2-inch touchscreen and competes more closely with the iPhone both in shape and control. HTC's smartphone expands on this with haptic feedback for its keyboard and a trackball for one-handed use.
The US carrier's version centers on a bundled third-party app from Geodelic known as Sherpa. Similar to Yelp or similar point-of-interest services, the app uses GPS to find nearby food, entertainment and shopping; Sherpa adds to this by learning from previous behavior to recommend locations based on history.
T-Mobile has kept the full Google branding and so has access to Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and a host of other official apps. However, it borrows the Microsoft Exchange support added by HTC as well as multi-IM chat support for AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo.
Despite FCC filings showing a 5-megapixel camera, the handset has the same 3.2-megapixel camera as the Magic but does have T-Mobile-native 3G and Wi-Fi for networking. A 4GB microSD card is preinstalled to support both music and for the relatively new video recording feature.
In spite of its most immediate competition from Apple, T-Mobile plans to sell the myTouch 3G for $200 on a contract in black, red or white; the carrier ships it on July 8th for existing customers who pre-order and expects wider availability only by early August.
Electronista plans to have a review of the myTouch 3G later today.