"A Prepaid Powerhouse That Won't Break The Bank"4.0 starson by eriktherandom
Pros: -Decent battery life.
-Camera (in great lighting, see cons below for other scenarios).
-Responsive, vibrant screen.
Cons: -Low RAM (512mb, 200 of which is dedicated entirely to the operating system).
-Camera. It performs GREAT in good, natural light, otherwise it's little to be desired.
-Easy to drop.
-Hard to find accessories like cases for.
Summary: While this prepaid phone isn't a powerhouse in comparison to the latest phones on the market, it's definitely a huge leap forward in the development of prepaid phones. While the contract alternatives are far greater, for prepaid this is the best you can get.
I'm not going to go into specs simply because you can see them on CNET anyway.
Let's start with the good elements of the phone. It's very solid built, as most Samsung phones are. It's got a decent amount of weight to it and is very sleek. While you won't notice it in your pocket most of the times, it's got a good solid feel to it. Most "professional" reviewers say it feels cheap. While yes, the battery cover is plastic, the phone can take a beating. It's screen is composed of a very vibrant display with a high pixel density. The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass, which in most normal cases can resist scratches and cracks without the use of a screen protector. I applied a screen protector to mine regardless. You can only really find screen protectors at T-Mobile and Walmart You can find them online, but I find the ones that Walmart sells to be of great quality and go on easily. The phone has a great processor (1 GHz), but RAM is on the low side. You will need to make sure you monitor your RAM usage and close any unneeded applications. When this phone locks up, it LOCKS UP. You have to force restart it by removing the battery.
You will find that most apps will run smoothly, including popular games such as Angry Birds. Netflix was enjoyable to watch, and given the right conditions and speed, very smooth.
T-Mobile installs a bunch of bloatware apps on the phone that run in the backround without you realizing it. You can free up a lot of space and RAM just by rooting your phone and removing them. However, do so at your own risk as you will break warranty if you do.
Coverage is limited in my area (Pittsburgh), so make sure you check the coverage map before you buy this phone. Most areas get 2g support (texting and SMS), but 3g and 4g are reserved for more densely populated areas and more populous cities.
The price of this phone is one of the key selling points. You will pay anywhere from $175 (what I paid) to $250. It depends on where you buy it from. I purchased mine at Walmart to partake in the $30 a month unlimited web and text bundle. It is, without a doubt, the best deal you can get at the moment.
The phone will update right as you buy it to Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. Unfortunately like most devices, it will not update further than Gingerbread.
The GPS is extremely accurate and quick to update. I've replaced my Magellan GPS with my phone. I bought a window mount at Walmart for $24.
One major complaint, and trouble I had, was with the smoothness of the phone. I'm not talking about how nice the operating system runs, I'm talking about the physical phone itself. It's hard to hold on to. You will want to buy a case, a gel or silicon case. HOWEVER, you won't be able to find them, even in Walmart. The only place you can find them is the T-Mobile store, which offers only hard cases. Search around online for a case. Get one with decent grips.
You will also need to get a MicroSD card. Unfortunately, unlike most prepaid Android phones, one is not included. An 8gb works great. Depending on how many pictures you take and how much media and apps you install. The default on-board memory is only 1gb.
The camera is my last big complaint for this phone. Everything runs very smooth and perfect, but the camera was a huge letdown. There are two cameras. Front facing, which is 0.3mp, and a rear facing which is 3mp. The camera can produce very beautiful photos, but only in natural sunlight. Dark settings make for grainy pictures. The auto-focus is indeed a nice feature, but I wish they still put 5mp or more in. The video camera does NOT record HD video, which was another dissapointment.
All-in-all, this phone is great for people who don't want to get into contracts, but who want to enjoy smartphones. It's fast, affordable, and very fun to use. The 4g is amazingly fast (where it's supported), and you can pretty much accomplish any task with just this one phone.
While it doesn't stand up to phones on the current market, it holds its ground as the top player in the prepaid arena.