"Perfect for Entry-level Android users."4.5 starson by fprawlings4
Pros: Relatively responsive Android device for low cost. Intuitive design and function. Runs Android 2.1 OS and has full access to Android marketplace.
Cons: Some physical components of the phone feel a little cheap. Moderate Lag from the processor (only time I have incurred was while installing new shortcuts to home screen or running more apps than I needed to be).
Summary: The main reason I bought this phone was to because most of my online organization is run through google (gmail, google calendar, google maps, etc.). After 3 days of use (so far), I haven't found much that has made me regret buying it.
Prior to buying this phone I heard some negative input about the overall construction of the phone. The body of the phone itself feels pretty solid. The back plastic casing picks up finger prints like you wouldn't believe and feels slick to the touch after holding in your hand for a while but the overall rigidity is fairly strong. The only thing that concerns me about the construction of the phone, at this point, is the unorthodox "pressable" buttons that surround the roller ball (below the touch-screen). These buttons are a single, flat, plastic panel that resembles brushed aluminum. It is flexible enough to "receive" the input you are attempting, but this flexibility makes it feel like you could pull it off of the phone without much effort. There is also a gap between this panel and the touch-screen that is liable to collect some dust-bunnies and crumbs over time. The volume rocker, camera button and power switch are all located on the side of the phone and seem pretty functional. I like that the micro-USB port is covered but it's location at the top of the phone, along with the fact that it is concealed within the same port cover as the headset-jack, seems a little cumbersome.
The performance of the phone is surprisingly good, given the phone's price-point. As you probably know, it runs on Android 2.1. As I mentioned before, the only lag I have gotten from the processor is while accessing the menus required to install a new shortcut to the home screen. Other than that, even with 8-10 apps running, I have not incurred much lag.
The battery life of the phone is also relatively extensive. The fact that I have limited phone usage probably doesn't make me the best judge of battery life, but I have made it through the day with 50% battery life remaining after 10 hours.
Interactiion with the phone is very intuitive. The screen and keyboard are extremely responsive and accurate. The keyboard rotates from "profile" to "landscape" view within a single second of rotating the phone itself (compared to an I-phone and it even seemed to rotate faster). When viewing web pages it seems to take a little longer to "organize" all of the items on screen after rotating. The phone also vibrates slightly when you are typing, which is a nice little feature.
The camera seems decent. The quality of picture is good (in adequate lighting). The lens is concealed in a housing that will probably attract debris.
Usually the phone function of a device like this is the first thing that would be mentioned in a review like this. For some reason I am getting to it last (sign of the times). The sound quality of a call is slightly "tinny" but this does not seem to affect clarity. The call functions are simple until you reach the time where you have to end a call. The only function I have found to hang up is to select the "menu" button on the press button panel and wait for it to load the "end call" function. This has left my voicemails with 4-5 seconds of empty space at the end, but it's not a big deal and I'm sure there might be a more intuitive function to end calls that I am just not aware of. Overall, it hasn't been a big enough issue to even be considered an annoyance.
Finally, one word about cricKet and their infamous customer service. I know that their (outsourced) service personnel is a controversial topic. I, however, haven't had a single issue with them to date. They were extremely helpful in getting my phone number ported over and explained to me every step necessary to reset the device after my number was successfully ported. This isn't to say that I won't run into customer service issues down the road, but so far, they have been nothing but helpful.
In summary, for a price of $150 retail, this phone actually goes beyond what I expected. Only several minor hitches prevent it from getting a full five-stars.