Though the original Prism and this version both have a 3.2-megapixel camera, photo quality on the newer model appeared to be markedly improved. Yes, the lack of touch focus makes it difficult to get certain objects looking sharp, and photos still had some blurry edges. But objects looked a bit more in focus, colors were slightly brighter, and overall, pictures looked less pixelated. And while the camera remains slow compared with the ones you find on more powerful devices, I felt like the time it took to refresh itself for another photo was shorter than on the first Prism.
Video recording was also solid, but nothing to write home about. Because the camera needed a few moments to adjust for focus, lighting was a bit everywhere. In addition, you can see frame rates registered lower than real time, so if you looked really carefully, video could come off a bit choppy. In general, however, objects were easy to distinguish and audio picked up well.
I tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) handset in our San Francisco offices and call quality was good. None of my calls dropped, I didn't hear any extraneous buzzing or noises, and audio didn't clip in and out. My biggest gripe about call quality, however, was that volume wasn't loud enough. Even when the volume was turned all the way up, my friend's voice sounded a bit low. The speaker yielded similar results; I had to hold the phone closer to my ear than I expected in order to hear anything.
As for me, I was told that I sounded fine and clear. My friend didn't pick up any noise or static on my end, either, and I was easily understood.
T-Mobile Prism 2 call quality sample
Despite lacking 4G, the device clocked data speeds that were consistent and rather fast for 3G. On average, it loaded our CNET mobile site in about 12 seconds and our full desktop site in about 28 seconds. The New York Times' mobile and desktop sites took about 10 and 30 seconds to load, respectively. ESPN's mobile site downloaded in about 9 seconds and it took 18 seconds to load the full site. It took just 2 minutes and 18 seconds on average to download the 33.41MB game Temple Run 2, and the Ookla speed-test app showed me an average of 1.04Mbps down and 1.15Mbps up.
|T-Mobile Prism 2||Performance|
|Average 3G download speed||1.04Mbps|
|Average 3G upload speed||1.15Mbps|
|App download (Temple Run 2)||33.41MB in 2 minutes and 18 seconds|
|CNET mobile site load||12 seconds|
|CNET desktop site load||28 seconds|
|Power-off and restart time||1 minute and 16 seconds|
|Camera boot time||3.5 seconds|
Although the Prism 2's 1GHz single-core processor can execute daily (but necessary) tasks smoothly, you'll notice a little bit of lag with most of the things it does. Actions like unlocking the lock screen, bringing up the keyboard, and switching from portrait to landscape mode and vice versa always took a hair longer than I'd like. It took about a minute for the device to start up the first level of Temple Run 2, but afterward the game didn't stall or quit unexpectedly. On average, it took about 3.5 seconds to launch the camera and 1 minute and 16 seconds to power off and restart the handset.
During our battery drain test for talk-time, the 1,750mAh battery lasted 9.75 hours, and has an adequate usage time. It lasted all weekend on standby with 40 percent of its juice left, and with medium usage it can last a workday without a charge. It has a reported talk time of 7 hours. According to FCC radiation tests, the phone has a digital SAR rating of 1.385W/kg.
If you want a T-Mobile phone with fast data speeds and fast processing speeds, you'll need to fork over more than twice the money you'd pay for the Prism 2. There's nothing wrong with desiring those features, but that's the reality. The dual-core , for example, is one of the carrier's cheapest 4G devices, and it costs $240.
If that's over your budget, consider the Prism 2. Yes, you'll only get the carrier's 3G network, but the speeds are consistent and decent. As one of the only two smartphones from T-Mobile that are under $200, it's an excellent value. I'd prefer it over the carrier's $153.99 Android, packs only a 2-megapixel camera, and has a meager helping of internal storage capacity., not only because the latter's battery is smaller, but also because it doesn't run