Pros QWERTY keyboard, inexpensive, makes calls, small children can't place calls due to confusing menu options
Cons Settings, menus, and commands are frustrating to use. Keyboard lacks parentheses. Volume is never loud enough, even at maximum.
Summary I bought this phone to replace my Samsung t369, which I enjoyed before it's unfortunate swim through the washer. Wow. As the previous reviewer stated, T-Mobile should be embarassed about this phone. I had to give it two stars because it does actually make calls and send texts, but everything about this device is frustrating. For example, to call one of your contacts, you must select the contact, then select which of the contact's numbers you want from a secondary menu, then hit send at which point the phone asks if you want to call the number. Seriously? How many times should you have to highlight a number and press send before the thing understands you want to call THAT number rather than doing something else? The only positive to this is that when my pre-schooler raids my purse, she can't call anyone because it's too difficult.
The camera, even for basic phone, takes amazingly grainy pictures. My previous phone took much better ones and this P.O.C. is always telling me I don't have enough free memory to send any of the lackluster images I do manage to capture on it.
Call quality is iffy and the volume is just not there. If the cat walks through the room, that is too much background noise for this thing.
Periodically, it will begin to behave strangely. For about three or four days earlier in the spring, it wouldn't connect to a tower, but then it mysteriously fixed itself. Likewise last month, it would tell me invalid SIM every afternoon, which could be taken care of by turning it off then on again. This has also resolved all on its own. Each time it does this, I miss calls and am unable to send texts, but then the darn thing doesn't have the decency to finish breaking so I can talk myself into spending the cash for a new one! Die Sparq, die!
Pros It has a QWERTY keyboard, a Calendar, note tool, and a stopwatch tool.
Cons Never seems to get more than 2 bars outside of a city, frequent disconnections, poor sound quality, no memory, periodic deletion of calls, text messages, etc. No volume buttons (must select from presets). Majority of tools rarely needed/hard to use.
Summary Again, I must reiterate, this is the worst phone I've ever had the misfortune to own. I would not recommend this phone under any circumstances. Even the pros have issues. The keyboard is awkward with a oddly shaped spacebar thrust between the v and b keys. There are also a couple buttons that correspond to the screen (in addition to the typical up/left/down/right/select choices, there are a left and right). If you hit either of the buttons, located perilously close to the QWERTY keys. These buttons are already on the top "face," where the answer/end call and digits are. There is no reason for them to be on the keyboard, and they will result in whatever you are doing (be it a string of text messages, phone configuration, etc) to be completely canceled. So you would have to return to the previous screen and redo everything. The phone is also extremely quiet when not in speaker mode, so being outside or anywhere with noise will require it. The phone also has a camera/video feature, though this is plagued with difficulties as well. The camera has a "snap" sound when a button is pressed to take a picture. But this snap occurs before the picture is captured. If hear the snap and attempt to you view your phone more closely to see your shot, it will be a complete blur because it did not finish actually taking the picture. The camera is also low quality, though it is helpful to have options such as choosing from 5 preset sizes, a timer, or a color mode. The volume settings are problematic because, as I mentioned in Cons, there are no volume buttons. That means you need to go into the configurations and select from several presets every time you need change the volume. There is one alternate way to change volume to change from "General Profile" (regular volume, etc.) and "Vibrate Profile" that is to hold the # on the "face" of the phone. Holding it for a few seconds will swap (only) between the two, but then, if you needed something quiet, you wouldn't make the vibration almost as loud as the ringer itself. Oddly enough, on "Silent Profile," other noises (such as the camera snap) will still occur. The face keys themselves are very wide and very short, so it is easy to accidentally hit more than one row, making dialing (or texting with that face) a hassle. As for the service itself, I cannot get a quality connection unless I'm in a city, so when I'm at home in the suburbs, my phone doesn't work about half the time. To close, I'm surprised T-mobile actually offers this handset. I'd be surprised if I could find a worse phone. Anything would likely be better than the "Sparq."