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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cons and Pros of the New Phone: MyTouch Q

Last Thursday I rid myself of my BlackBerry Bold 9700 (BBB 9700) for a new LG myTouch Q.

Old and busted

New hotness?
My list of issues with BlackBerries is endless due to almost 5 years of labored usage.  I will not enumerate these issues as I fear that I'll sound like that Cell Phone Guy who Louie CK always ridicules.

Instead, as a mini-phone review, I'll list the Cons and Pros of the LG myTouch Q when compared to the BBB 9700:

CON - The myTouch is bulkier, but that's largely due to the protective case I've added.  Yet BlackBerry Bold was inconveniently wide in order to allow for the full alphabetic keyboard.

PRO - Because it's bigger, I won't carry it around in my pocket, thus avoiding further risk of genital cancer.

CON - myTouch Q sounds vaguely sexual.

PRO - myTouch Q sounds vaguely sexual.

CON - The actual phone part of the phone is much more difficult to use, and oddly so.  For general device usage, the user can set the screen to shut off automatically after a certain short period of time in order to save battery power.  The BBB 9700 had the same option, but the screen remained on during a call to allow the user to multitask or see call information.  The myTouch does not keep the screen on during a call.  It shuts off, thus ending a call is at least a two step process.  Perhaps a first in the history of the telephone?  Also the 'End' on-screen button is small and surrounded by a bunch of other call options, making the call ending process a precise procedure.  Weird LG fail.

PRO - The Google-run Android software is beautiful to behold and runs very smoothly, most of the time.  The BlackBerry software looks embarrassing and antiquated by comparison.

PRO - The myTouch Q camera is 5 megapixels, shoots solid 720p video, and has a bunch of easy to use onscreen photo options.  The BBB 9700 claims to have had a 3.2 megapixels camera, but the results appeared considerably worse than that; also its level of focus was poor and the video was, technically, sh*t.

CON - A multiple non-intuitive process to get photos from the myTouch Q to a computer via the very USB cord that's charging the phone.  Perhaps this is a Mac issue, but it doesn't appear so.

PRO - Complete connection with all things Google.  So if the user has a Picasa page, then he or she can post the phone pics directly there without taking up any computer hard drive space.

CON - I have a couple of Gmail accounts for work purposes and though the phone runs on a Google platform it rarely notifies me of my new emails, even when I've set it to update or Sync hourly.

PRO - As I was typing that last message, the myTouch informed me of a new email just received.

PRO - Very easy to turn on/off the WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

PRO - The BBB 9700 had two side buttons that were placed awkwardly resulting in photos of my pocket and constant demands that I "Speak a Voice Command".  myTouch doesn't have these buttons.

PRO - Fewer pocket dialings.  Yay!

PRO - Google Maps looks beautiful and has a great navigation setup.  Google Maps for all BlackBerry devices is clunky and at times totally nonfunctional.

CON - This may not be the phone's fault, but a 4G data connection isn't that super.  As 3G was only minutely faster than EDGE, 4G's not consistently better than 3G.  Thus the beautiful Google Maps requires a considerable wait.

CON - The vertical scrolling on the myTouch is not as smooth as it is on certain Apple products.  This results in all sorts of options being selected when the user is just trying to scroll downwards on the myTouch screen.

PRO - Non-iOS touchscreen typing software has improved significantly since my ill-fated brief usage of the Samsung Sh*t, two years ago.  Plus the slide-out keyboard has much bigger buttons than the BBB 9700.

CON - The alarm.  Ugh.  I've been using my cell phone alarm almost every morning for over 9 years.  I set my alarm, I shut off my phone.  My phone turns itself on for the alarm.  The phone I was using 9 years ago could do that.  The myTouch Q cannot.  If you set the alarm and shut off the phone, then you are sleeping in, my friend.  The software doesn't know how to turn the phone on for the alarm, nor does it have an option to allow for this.  The only workaround?  Leave the phone on, turn off the sound, switch on Airplane Mode, and let the battery slowly drain all night.  Serious LG fail.

CON - Most people use an alarm to wake up.  Thus when the alarm goes off, the shut off or snooze button should be very visible for a pair of discombobulated sleepy eyes.  It should not be one of a number of fingertip-sized choices on a screen.  LG fail.

PRO - The screen is beautiful and allows for a lot of customization.

CON - All of the beautiful screen stuff and great Android features run down the battery within hours, even after all sorts of battery-saving actions are taken.  I am constantly recharging the myTouch.

PRO - I can compose blog entries on my phone! (But not this one because I didn't want to run down the battery.)

Ultimately the myTouch Q is better device than the BBB 9700.  The unintuitive antiquated clunkiness of the BlackBerry software, the hideous camera, and the awkward buttons that caused all matters of unintentional comedy were all dealbreakers on both of my BlackBerry devices.  (Yes, there was once another.)  The myTouch Q looks good, runs on decent software, and has a usable camera.  Now if only the phone part worked well... 


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of Android. I'm a big fan of their system and the google integration. On your con about the phone part, go to Settings > call settings > Show dialpad > select box for All calls. There is also a setting that the power button ends a call. Settings > Accessbility

    When you use Google Maps navigation, it downloads a cache file for your route. Thus if you were to drive from LA to DC and at some point lose reception, the nav would still work. Perhaps that is why your experiencing lag times.

    As for transferring pics; why don't you just email yourself the photo? Or download from your picasa site. There are also Dropbox apps that makes transferring data to and from a computer very easy.

    I have also emailed you something you might be interested in. Please check your various accounts I have for you.

  2. DC Mac 12 Fan, CONSIDERABLE thanks for the email!

    I just did that setting that makes the power button the shutoff. That'll work much better than the default setup.

    The myTouch call settings menu is missing the Show Dialpad option, but this might be a device/TMobile issue. Had a chat with TMobile tech and they confirmed it's missing. In fact, I have a feeling that's not the only option missing from the menus.

    I'm definitely using the Picasa Drop Box approach going forward. The navigation thing is fantastic, my issue with Maps is more of a slow LA(?) 4G connection.

    I've been sold on Android from the moment I turned on the phone.

    Thanks again for the email.

    Robert Griffin III

  3. Michael,
    I just received a HTC Mytouch 4g for my work phone and was infuriated about the screen turning off during a call.
    I had a major system upgrade last night and an option was added to the Settings>accessibility screen. When you first access the accessibility screen, a popup may tell you you don't have any applications installed. Press 'cancel' and you will see an option for 'power button ends call'. When enabled, at least on my phone, the screen will not turn off during a call.
    Hope this helps.
    Great post, BTW. Greatly helped me find the solution.

    1. Hi Quinn. Thanks for the comment! I am actually using the power button to end my calls now too. Though the screen still shuts itself off at random times. If I have an earpiece plugged in the screen shuts off immediately. I don't mind it as much as I used to, but it's still an odd setup for a phone. I still love the Android/Google software and the Navigation app works excellently, so I recommend that. Good luck with your phone!

  4. my touch 4g shuts off while im using the phone. When im done leaving a message or im ready to hang up. The power button doesnt turn the screen on. I have no way to end the call unless the other person hangs up first. But if your leaving someone a message your just on for ever. It has been like this since i bought the phone brand new. At first I just adjusted the screen off time to the longest 30 mins. But if your on the phone for 45 mins well your in trouble. I hate the newer the phones the bad quality they are making. I remember having a cheaper phone with better qaulity. I hope they start making phones again with better quality instead of all these new add ons that dont even work. If anyone knows how to change this please let me know. The store claims they all do this. Its in the settings but i find it hard to believe and i cant find how to change the settings if its even possible.

    1. I agree, it is a really strange screen setup for a phone. When my screen shuts off during a call, my main solution is to slide the phone open, then slide it shut. The screen then comes on. Again, we shouldn't be trying to find these weird ways to address the screen issues, instead the phones should be user-friendly. And I agree, my older phones were much better at placing calls, even if they were bereft of a zillion apps. Good luck with your phone!