Boost Mobile customers, rejoice! After the long wait, Boost Mobile has finally released a new Android smartphone that is worthy of your attention. Not to knock on the Motorola i1, but a 3G CDMA Android phone with 2.2 easily beats out an iDEN phone that ships with Android 1.5. The Samsung Galaxy Prevail may not be the creme of the crop for smartphones, but it promises to deliver mid-range performance for those on a budget. The Prevail is available on Boost Mobile's $50 Monthly Unlimited plan and only costs $180 with no contract. I've been using the device for about twelve hours so I have a few initial impressions, some good, some bad.
- I'm really liking the hardware design. A lot of users complain about Samsung's plastic phones, but the Prevail actually features a rubbery, black, matte finish, giving it a more sophisticated look. The edges feature very nice metallic molding and every edge of the device tapers in just the slightest amount so that it's very curved and sleek. Nice job, Samsung.
- It is a mid-range device so don't expect a Hummingbird or Snapdragon processor in here. Despite that, the 800 MHz Qualcomm processor should be enough to handle most tasks, and the fact that there is no heavy UI overlay should help. That's my hypothesis at least. I've already had a few problems with performance so we'll see how it does over the course of the review time.
- Again, mid-range device, mid-range camera. However, even considering that, I still think that a 2-megapixel fixed focus camera is shaving it down a little too much. And you can't say that it's not just about megapixel count, but camera quality. I mean, once you drop down to 2 megapixels and no autofocus to help it out, you're pretty much accepting the fact that you're really not going to use that camera for anything. However, further testing will show it's true colors.
- Surprisingly, there aren't very many Boost Mobile custom apps pre-installed. Outside of the necessary apps like ReBoost and My Account, the only other ones are Hookt, Layar, Poynt, SCVNGR, TeleNav GPS, and ThinkFree Office. Some of those apps you might have installed even if they didn't come with the phone so I'd say it's not too bad. It is a Samsung Galaxy device so that's why Think Free Office is thrown in there as well as their handy Task Manager program. On that note, though it doesn't feature TouchWiz, some of the icons are similar and the phone also features some of the same sound effects. Just minor things though. Overall, it's clean stock 2.2.
- The Prevail is a 3G phone that supports Boost Mobile's EV-DO Rev. A network for data. Initial speed tests have been just about what you'd expect. I'm averaging 268 kbps on the downlink and 356kbps on the uplink. The first time I went to PhoneDog.com it took about one minute to load.
In the short time that I've had with the phone, I'm not extremely impressed, but it delivers what it promises - "an uncompromised Android experience while maintaining the great value of Boost’s $50 Monthly Unlimited plan." Basically, you get what you pay for. I've seen a few buggy things happen when trying to use certain programs or run a couple of apps at once. Give me a few more days and I'll be able to give you all the details on exactly how this phone performs.