Boost Droid review: Boost Droid

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With these hardware components you can make best use of the pre-installed software, most notably the Google Apps suite, comprised of GMail, Calendar, Google Maps and the Android Market. Boost Mobile also include a 1GB microSD card in the box with the phone with over 20 apps selected by the team at Boost Mobile.

If you want to make the most of the internet-connected features of this phone you should definitely consider adding some data to your mobile phone plan. A quick scan over the Boost Mobile rates shows that there are several plans and recharge rates that do not offer any data at all, and instead charge for data at AU$1.32 per megabyte. This could end up chewing through all of your pre-paid recharge very quickly unless you choose a plan that includes a data allowance.

On top of these standard Android offerings, there are a couple of cool custom apps as well. Our review unit has an app called RichPad which is similar to a basic notepad app with the addition of a Paint Note option, letting you draw your reminders rather than type them. There's also an app that turns your phone into a wireless hotspot, letting you share your 3G data with a laptop over WiFi.

Performance

When performing basic everyday tasks, the Boost Droid is a decent little computer. You certainly won't be surprised by any part of its operation, and we discovered some lag when accessing apps with lots of data, like an address book, but it will get the basics done with little fuss. We were disappointed, but not surprised, when we installed Angry Birds and saw this Droid struggled to get passed the loading screen.

The 3-megapixel camera is as expected in a AU$150 mobile phone. The photos are a tad colourless and the focus requires some very steady hands — there's nothing too surprising here. We did notice that using the camera is one of the keys areas where you'll likely struggle with the poor viewing angles on the Boost Droid's screen. Trying to compose a shot of your baby niece is made more difficult when you can't see anything onscreen.

Overall

If your fingers are small enough to navigate the tiny keyboard, if you don't mind the mildly disappointing screen and camera and you can find a use for a phone with a great web browser and access to apps, the Boost Droid will do you proud. That said, if you can live without the Droid's QWERTY keyboard we urge you to take a look at the Huawei IDEOS. For AU$10 more you'll get a slightly faster phone with a better screen.

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