T-Mobile Prism review

  • $139.99

T-Mobile's Prism looks downright unappealing by the light of the carrier's new subsidy-free pricing

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It goes without saying that T-Mobile offers any number of handsets far superior to the Prism, so the real question becomes: Exactly whom is this handset intended for? It could have some merit as an on-contract freebie, but the carrier's new subsidy-free approach makes this a dubious buy at best.

We liked

The Prism feels solid in the hand, with easy access to battery, SD card and SIM slots. If heavy talk or text is more your speed, the Prism offers a reasonable battery life, complete with respectable noise cancellation.

T-Mobile's built-in Wi-Fi Calling offers relief from spotty connections or limited voice plans. The slim profile and feather-light weight balances out some of our dislikes, but only for casual smartphone needs.

We disliked

The camera - there's no point in buying the T-Mobile Prism to use as even an occasional shooter. You'll likely miss all the best shots thanks to the slow shutter response times. Image quality, color saturation and video frame rates are all on the low end of the spectrum.

Gingerbread is definitely a stale flavor of Android in 2013, especially when the under-powered processor and limited internal storage can barely handle it.

Verdict

If any other carrier offered the Prism, we'd have written it off based purely on specs alone. While T-Mobile doesn't infuse the handset with anything truly noteworthy, it does make a suitable starter device for those finally making the leap from feature phone to smartphone.

While power users and gamers will want to stay far, far away from the T-Mobile Prism, it's also a decent handset for teenagers to keep in touch with parents and friends - or even for less-discriminating users on a budget.