Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Consumer Reports: T-Mobile Fudged Camera Specs on New Smartphones

A new report from Consumer Reports says T-Mobile hasn’t presented a clear picture when it comes to taking photos with the myTouch and myTouch Q.

The $50 “budget” smartphones, the latest in T-Mobile’s line of carrier-exclusive devices, hit the market earlier this month and offered some features on par with higher-end smartphones. As I wrote in my review of the phones, “the Huawei-made myTouch and myTouch Q … run 1.4GHz single-core processors, have five-megapixel rear-facing cameras, offer good call quality and are equipped with a Nuance-powered voice-command feature,” though I noted that the outdated Android Gingerbread OS might be a drawback for new smartphone shoppers.

But Consumer Reports is shooting down the idea that the cameras actually shoot five-megapixel photos. A blog post published earlier today reads, “According to Consumer Reports engineers, the phones’ rear-facing main camera, supposedly offering 5 megapixels, actually offers a maximum resolution of 3.9 megapixels. The problem showed up on multiple shots taken on several samples of both phones, all with software we ensured was up to date.”

The problem, Consumer Reports continued, stems not from the camera capabilities, but from the fact that the two phones automatically crop images to accomodate a widescreen 16×9 frame. In lopping off some of the pixels, it lowers the resolution of photos, resulting in “wide images that were only fair in image quality.”

Update: T-Mobile says Huawei and T-Mobile are aware of this issue and will be working on a software fix so that the myTouch and myTouch Q cameras can live up to the five-megapixel potential. For now, the Web page for the myTouch still claims a five-megapixel camera.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google