T-Mobile Intros Android-Running Garminfone, myTouch 3G Slide
T-Mobile will begin carrying the Garminfone and the myTouch 3G Slide this June. Both phones run Google's Android operating system and can access T-Mobile's 4G-like HSPA+ network, which will roll out soon in Los Angeles.T-Mobile currently offers more than a dozen devices that can benefit from its HSPA+ technology, and in June it will up that number by two, when it adds the Garminfone and the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide to its lineup. Some users may actually be enjoying HSPA+ speeds already, whether they know it or not. Thanks to its HSPA+ network, T-Mobile said in a May 12 announcement, "the majority of smartphones T-Mobile customers are using today are automatically getting faster without having to upgrade or spend more money."
The carrier has described the HSPA+ technology as 4G-like, offering speeds that are three times faster than HSPA 7.2, which is currently rolled out across its entire 3G network. So far, T-Mobile offers HSPA+ in New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and suburban Washington, D.C. It expects to add Los Angeles to the list soon and to cover more than 100 major metropolitan areas - or 185 million people - by the end of the year.
The Garminfone is the first Android-running smartphone to be fully integrated with Garmin's navigation technology. It offers multiple positioning technologies, on-board maps, walking, driving and even public transportation navigation, as well as voice and on-screen directions with automatic re-routing for factors such as traffic or weather.
Its 3.5-inch screen is paired with a 3-megapixel camera, support for e-mail - including Microsoft Exchange - as well as support for contacts, calendar, social networking sites, instant messaging and a music player. Plus, a brand new Android application, the Garmin Voice Studio, allows users to record and share custom voice directions.
The myTouch 3G Slide is presumably an updated version of the myTouch Slide introduced May 4. Made by HTC, it runs Google's Android version 2.1 and features a 3.4-inch HVGA display, a 5-megapixel camera and an 8GB microSD card for holding music, video and images.
Also distinguishing it from earlier myTouch versions are customizations such as the myModes switch, which enables users to separate their business lives from their home lives. Other new touches are the Faves Gallery application, which offers quick access to and information on one's 20 closest friends, and a Genius Button, which improves on the voice-recognition capabilities of earlier versions. Users can dictate e-mail responses, for example, or tell the phone to send a text message.
In March, T-Mobile began offering the webConnect Rocket USB Laptop Stick, a modem for connecting additional devices to HSPA+ speeds where they're available.
The Garminfone will retails for $199 with a two-year service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan. Pricing details on the myTouch 3G Slide have yet to be announced.