T-Mobile Pulse review

Cheap handset arrives to bring Android to the masses

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The T-Mobile Pulse isn't however a major cameraphone player. The main camera is a modest 3.2-megapixel snapper (there's also a secondary low resolution camera just above the display). It does have an autofocus system built in, but there' s no flash to aid low-light shooting.

The camera certainly isn't one of the best features of this handset, and its autofocus and exposure system seems to struggle when light conditions aren't bright.

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SAMPLE: In decent lighting conditions the Pulse's 3.2-megapixel camera can take reasonable snaps

It fires up from cold with a press of the camera button in around 5 seconds, though once running in the background, you can switch to the camera application in a couple of seconds. The large display provides a good viewfinder screen, which isn't cluttered by too many icons.

In fact, there's aren't a huge amount of settings adjustments you can play with; there's a limited selection of white balance settings plus a few colour effects – the auto system takes care of everything else. Although there is a digital zoom, this doesn't work at top resolution (you can downgrade resolution in the settings menu).

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SAMPLE: Images are lacking in detail, and can appear soft

The camera's autofocus system enables you to get reasonable close up shots, but it's not a sensitive system. Our review model struggled sometimes to get the focus right and with ensuring correct exposure levels in some conditions.

In subdued light we found shutter lag more marked as an issue than in bright conditions; some images taken in similar ways were more blurry and generally the camera's auto system doesn't respond well to lower light environments or vaguely tricky lighting situations.

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SAMPLE: When lighting conditions are more subdued, there appears to be more shutter lag, and it's difficult to get sharp images

When light is very dim, such as in a dark bar or club, shots deteriorate even further and aren't worth bothering with.

In decent lighting conditions we did find colour rendition was acceptable for this grade of cameraphone, if not exceptional. Worryingly, we did have an issue with digital artefacts in some images – random lines running part of the way across photos.

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SAMPLE: Although this shot demonstrates acceptable mid-range shooting, a stray artefact appears as a line across the left middle of the image

This may have been an early pre-production sample glitch – we'll update you on this when we've tried out a full on-sale sample.

You can upload images straight to Picasa or send via Bluetooth or email. Unlike on most other touchscreen devices there's no snazzy photo-tweaking software pre-loaded here; it's all very basic camera-wise, though if you want them, you could hunt for some image enhancement apps on Android Market.

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SAMPLE: You can take some decent-looking snaps where colour balance is fine, but it isn't particularly sharp or detailed

There is a slideshow viewing option, and the photo gallery layout is quite serviceable. However you can't do multiple selections for deleting or Bluetoothing several images at a time, which can be frustrating.

Video capture quality doesn't get the pulse racing either. Again, it's a rather mediocre camera effort, shooting at 352 x 288 pixels resolution at best, running at a maximum of 20 frames per second. Footage looks soft and unrefined on playback. You can load it up directly to YouTube pretty speedily using the handset's fast data connectivity, if you're not concerned too much with the quality.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandTri Band
Service ProviderT-Mobile
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypePrepay Pack
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyUMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameT-Mobile
Product ModelPulse Mini
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)106 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height106 mm
Width57 mm
Depth14 mm
Product NamePulse Mini Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberPULSEMINI
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.t-mobile.com