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T-Mobile Prism review

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

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Our Verdict

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.

For

  • Decent build quality
  • Free Wi-Fi Calling feature
  • Respectable talk time
  • Good voice quality

Against

  • Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
  • Poor camera, slow shutter speed
  • Extremely limited internal storage
  • Underpowered processor

Although most Android handset manufacturers have finally wised up and reduced the number of devices they produce compared to even a year ago, others have stepped in to fill that void. Among them is Huawei, the Chinese creator of entry-level smartphones like T-Mobile's Prism.

Unlike household names such as Samsung or HTC, the name Huawei (pronounced "Wah-way") appears nowhere on the Prism, which is branded front and back with the T-Mobile logo. That's probably just as well for the Shenzhen-based manufacturer, because they should be able to do much better this.

T Mobile Prism

At first glance, the Prism shows promise. Weighing in at a scant 4.4 ounces and measuring a modest 4.58 x 2.31 x 0.48 inches, the handset is certainly pleasant to hold, and plenty light enough to keep up to your ear for lengthy conversations.

It's also a model of simplicity: Aside from power/lock at top right and a volume rocker on the left edge, the handset is devoid of hardware buttons. A row of capacitive buttons along the bottom includes traditional pre-Jelly Bean options for Home, Menu, Back and Search.

T Mobile Prism

The top edge is also home to a centered 3.5mm headphone jack, while a micro-USB 2.0 port at bottom serves double-duty for charging and tethering to a computer. Beneath the back cover is a battery, micro-SD card (2GB included) and SIM card slots. The Prism also includes a green indicator light tucked under the left side of the earpiece.

With T-Mobile's new "Un-carrier" pricing, the Prism can be had for $139.99, which can be doled out at $5 per month for 24 months with a qualifying rate plan after $19.99 down payment.