Equipped with a decent camera, the MyTouch Q takes pictures of acceptable if not arresting quality. Details in my test shots weren't as crisp as I would have liked, but in the phone's defense, color was accurate and pleasing. Typically for a smartphone camera, low-light performance was lacking, with plenty of image noise in dark regions. Perhaps the biggest weakness of the MyTouch Q's camera is its slow shot-to-shot time, which in my experience is a few seconds. This has a real impact when trying to capture wildly moving subjects, like my kids, for instance.
There are a few fancy camera modes to choose, such as Panorama and Continuous Shot, plus manual ISO settings. Avid video chatters are out of luck, however, because the MyTouch Q lacks a front-facing camera.
Movies I captured with the MyTouch Q's 720p HD camera were satisfying with smooth and clear playback even on a larger desktop monitor screen. The phone's microphone did an admirable job of picking up audio, too.
I tested the MyTouch Q on T-Mobile's network in New York. The phone's call quality proved to be one of its major strengths. Callers described my voice as sounding warm and lifelike, not digital or robotic at all. Of course, if they listened carefully they could tell that I was calling from a mobile phone. On my end, voices came through the earpiece with plenty of volume, forcing me to turn down the audio a few levels sometimes. Voices coming in via the MyTouch Q's speakerphone also had plenty of impact, though at the loudest setting the audio tended to become distorted.
Running on a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor, the MyTouch Q definitely feels sluggish, creakily churning through menus and mulling over apps that would fire up in a flash on more robust devices. Forcing the MyTouch to power through the Linpack benchmark confirmed my suspicions. The handset managed a score of just 36.9 (single-thread), while for example the high-octane Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (1.2GHz dual-core processor) sped through with a score of 51.5. The Maxx's lead widened further on the multithread portion of the test, where it notched 65.5 compared with the MyTouch Q's 32.7.
A quad-band GSM device (850/900/1,800/1,900MHz), the MyTouch Q is also capable of connecting to T-Mobile's fast 4G HSPA+ data network. At an ideal location in Manhattan, I measured an average download speed of 7.6Mbps while uploads averaged just over 2Mbps, which is pretty quick. In Queens, New York, I clocked mixed but still nimble data performance (4.4Mbps down, 2.7Mbps up).
Powered by a 1,500mAh battery, T-Mobile rates the MyTouch Q's talk time at up to 3.3 hours with almost 12 days of standby time. Informally, I was able to run a video stored on the phone's SD card for over 6 hours in airplane mode before the handset called it quits. Additionally, I consistently made it through a full work day without needing an AC outlet.
T-Mobile MyTouch Q call quality sample
The T-Mobile MyTouch Q's low $79.99 price is hard to pass up even for veteran Android fanatics. With an underpowered single-core processor, slow camera, and low-resolution screen, this is not the next Android superphone. Still, the handset's decent keyboard and speedy 4G data may tempt many T-Mobile subscribers seeking a deal, especially if moving from an older BlackBerry or lowly feature phone.