T-Mobile Pulse Mini review

Android on a budget - get a Googlephone for £100

The definitive T-Mobile Pulse Mini review
The definitive T-Mobile Pulse Mini review

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The T-Mobile Pulse Mini has a pretty good 3.2MP camera on board, with a flash too - enough to take some half decent pictures in most instances.

T-Mobile pulse mini

Except that's all they are on the Pulse Mini - half decent, with a lot of blur and lack of clarity in most pics.

Add to that the laughable inability to spell 'autofocus' on our review sample, and you can see why the T-Mobile Pulse Mini has deep-rooted problems.

The LED flash wobbles between over-exposed photos and inadequacy in dark scenes - this isn't the phone to take to the club.

T-Mobile pulse mini

That said, it's what we expect from a phone at this price point; think mobiles made around three years ago and you'll get an idea of the quality.

It does offer some cool features though, like tap to snap auto focus, but thanks to the unresponsive screen this is hard to work as the zoom function will frequently kick in instead.

T-Mobile pulse mini

BRIGHT LIGHT: The Pulse Mini handles contrasting scenes surprisingly well

T-Mobile pulse mini

ALL COLOUR: The Pulse Mini picks out colours well, but fails to register good levels of detail

Video is equally 'adequate' - it's jerky and fairly blurry, so you won't be recording any Oscar-worthy material on it.


However, where the Pulse Mini does pick up a few plaudits is with its media abilities. It features the standard music and video player application, with an FM radio thrown in for good measure.

The FM radio and music player get their own home screen widgets too, making it very easy to use them from the off.

The Pulse Mini also offers a good upgrade from the original T-Mobile Pulse, in that it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, rather than the annoying 2.5mm option.

T-Mobile pulse mini

Music playback is pretty darn poor though - most media files sound like they're being strained through a sieve. In another room. By a toddler.

Basically, we're saying you're very unlikely to ditch your iPod for this phone.

It's also annoying that music starts playing as soon as you plug the headphones in - sometimes you don't want it, so you have to take ages to shut it down before doing what you originally wanted to.

However, the FM radio is alright - it works quickly, scans well enough but can't hold stations as well as most other phones on the market. We could be picky and ask for FM recording to memory card, but it's a bit much for a phone like this.

T-Mobile pulse mini

Video, however, is much better than we expected, playing 3GP and (some) MP4 files, although DivX and Xvid is out of the question.

Video is clear and fast, although the sound quality is once again terrible - probably among the worst we've heard on any smartphone.

The viewing angles are a little suspect too - you really need to hold the phone at the right angles to get the best out of it, which can be annoying if you're in a bright area.

But for some reason in video mode the accelerometer is able to switch the screen from portrait to landscape without a hitch - the only time on the phone it works this well, so we're not sure what that's about.

Scrolling through is also fast - meaning video seems to be the only mode where the Pulse Mini lives up to its potential.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.