T-Mobile myTouch Slide Features Custom Android 2.1, Keypad

T-Mobile added a new HTC-made myTouch smartphone to its line of devices, this one with a dedicated keypad and a tricked-out Android 2.1 OS, offering features such as a Genius Bar, for extra-smart, voice-recognition?ö?ç??based tasks.

T-Mobile added the myTouch Slide to its family of HTC-made myTouch smartphones May 4.

Unlike its myTouch 3G and myTouch Fender Limited Edition siblings, the Slide, as the name suggests, features a four-row QWERTY keypad that slides out from behind its 3.4-inch HVGA display.
Other perks include a 5-megapixel camera, a music player with a preinstalled 8GB microSD card and video capabilities for one-click video upload to sites such as YouTube and Picasa, as well as easily attaching photos to e-mail and MMS messages.
More likely to attract attention, however, are customizations that T-Mobile has made to the Android 2.1 operating system. A myModes switch helps separate work life from home life-or whatever personalities one would like separated. Users can create up to 10 customized modes with individualized themes, home screen apps, widgets and wallpapers.
A Faves Gallery application, with a dedicated button, makes for quick access to a certain special 20 people, whether via e-mail, calling, text messaging, instant messaging or social networks. Should one of your Faves update their status, you'll be among the first to know, with a head's up in a notification pane. And should a direct communication come in from a Fave, a green light on the myTouch Slide makes it clear.
Finally there's a Genius Button, which is said to improve on Google's Dragon Dictation voice recognition technology from Nuance Communications. Dictate e-mail responses, have messages read aloud, tell the Slide to place a call or send a text message-the Genius Bar is said to have an excellent ear, responding with solid accuracy to a user's commands.
"Many smartphones are increasingly powerful in their features and specifications without continuing to improve the main reason that so many people have mobile phones-the ability to communicate with each other," Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile's vice president of product development, said in a statement. "The new myTouch 3G Slide is a smart and sleek phone that fits into your pocket, your budget and your family life with exclusive T-Mobile features that put communication with your closest family and friends front and center."
The myTouch Slide will arrive in June, exclusively from T-Mobile, in a choice of black, red or white. Pricing details have yet to be announced but are expected to be mid-range.
While branded under the T-Mobile label, the myTouch Slide-such as the Google Nexus One-is made by Taiwan-based handset maker HTC. Under its own label, HTC has enjoyed increasing popularity in the U.S. market, thanks in large part to its early adoption of Android.
In the first quarter, HTC garnered 5.1 percent of the world smartphone market-which put it behind Nokia, RIM and Apple, but ahead of Motorola-and shipped 2.8 million handsets, up from 1.4 million a year earlier, according to a May 3 report from Canalys.
The myTouch Slide, with its Android OS, slide-out keypad and likely mid-range price point, may present new competition for the Cliq, from Motorola-which was recently bumped from the top-five worldwide cell phone maker list by Research In Motion.