My Older-than-Osyrus Samsung Intercept recently gave up the ghost. Wanting a Galaxy S4, but not wanting to remain disconnected from the world at large for the time it's gonna take me to save up for one, I opted to get this Piece of Shit $50 phone from Virgin Mobile. Just how shitty is this piece of shit? Read and find out!
My very first impressions were colored by the price of the phone. It's $50 (Give or take a few bucks for taxes and what not). Considering that even a midranger like the Galaxy S2 Runs $300 in some places still, you should expect a cardboard box taped to 80s style black-and-garygreen LCD display with vacuum tubed innards and rubber calculator buttons. But, somehow the good people of Kyocera delivered a completely serviceable device for a killer price. Aside from a few glaring issues its...it's not shitty at all, actually. And it totally puts my old intercept to complete shame.
Build Quality 7/10
The phone is plastic on glass. The back cover snaps prys off with a fingernail and is not at all rigid when it's off the phone. It looks and plays the part of a sub $100 device and there is no shame in it's game here. It is though a solid feeling device. There is zero body flex. The back cover is soft touch textured plastic that grips your hand. It's lightweight and easy to wield one handed, a thing I've had to do often. It's got an air of quality about it that a piece of shit $50 phone has no right to have, honestly.
A 1Ghz Single Core CPU paired with 512MB of RAM isn't going to set anyone's soul on fire in 2013, the year of the 8-core smartphone. Given that though, the phone never chokes on what I ask it to do. Everything feels snappy and responsive. I've edited documents, watched movie trailers, surfed the web, downloaded packages, etc., etc., I've noticed no slowdowns. It even plays 3D games. Let me say that again; this piece of shit $50 smartphone will play 3D games. Hey, Event. Don't you know you're at the lowest end of the low end new phone market? Gaming's for the big boy phones only. What do you think your doing? Stahhhp
That's not to say there aren't a few issues though. If a supervillian locks you in a faraday cage to sap you of your electromagnetic powers - or you just find yourself in an area where their isn't any signal - the phone will eat the battery continuing to look for one. Come on guys. This 'smart' phone shouldn't be dumb enough to do that. It also doesn't really play nice with wifi. If it goes to sleep with the wifi connected, you'll find you have to reconnect when you turn it back on, even though the icon indicates that you have wifi. As a bonus constantly flicking the wifi on and off can cause the phone to freeze. That's a serious bug IMHO that needs to be fixed.
We also need to talk about the network. This is a Virgin(s only) Mobile Device. That means it's on sprints network and all the terrible rumors about subpar networking speeds you've heard about are all too true. I guess I have no right to complain at $25/month, but those guys paying $70 or more where I live have every right to be pissed.
Battery Life: 6/10
I can go two days on a charge with this phone. I'm not the sort of person to be streaming stuff off Youtube (or, uhh...other places...ahem) all the time on the go, nor do I game with it a lot. I do notice though that games will eat the battery. I suspect this to be the case for all smarphones, but not all smartphones have such a small 1500mAh battery to work with either. I still came away impressed with not having to plug it in for two days. My old Intercept couldn't go 12 hours without a recharge new.
This camera is OOOOOFFFFAAAAALLL. Completely unuseable. Worthless. Slightly above security footage. Don't bother with the settings, because the result is going to be bad no matter what you chose. Forget about shooting anything anywhere with reduced sunlight.
I know what you're thinking. "Hey, didn't you say this $50 phone was a piece of shit? It's $50s after all. What do you expect?" I can't give this phone a pass for that because A) It excells in so many other key areas and B) The First galaxy device had a decent camera. That was three years ago. My old Intercept had a superior camera, and it was the low end android device of it's time. This phone is superior to the intercept in every single way elsewhere, I don't think it's unfair to expect the camera to be at least as good. Plus it really mars the device to have such a camera on it to the point where it can't really be recommended to budget shutterbugs out there, even at $50.
Final Verdict: 6/10
An above average phone for a waaaaaay below average price. If network speeds and camera performance don't concern you, then this phone's got everything you need and then some. If you're a shutterbug, or care about speedy networking performance, it's still tough to find better options for $50.