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T-Mobile Tap review: T-Mobile Tap

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A few more advanced features include voice command support, a voice recorder, POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail, stereo Bluetooth, GPS with TeleNav, and a HTML browser. Even though you can use it to view full Web pages, the browser feels a little primitive. You can perform basic functions like enter a URL and refresh a page, but you can't do a keyword search on a Web site or toggle your Javascript settings. To zoom you must slide your finger along the magnifying glass line or with the volume rocker. We much prefer using the volume rocker, as it feels more effective. Yet, you can't zoom out all the way into full page mode, which means a lot more scrollingon such a small display.

The Tap also has a built-in music player. You can load your music via a microSD card, which is helpful since the Tap has only 156MB of internal memory. The player interface is basic but easy to navigate and use. You can create and edit your own playlists, set songs on repeat or shuffle, and there's a graphic equalizer as well. You can also send the music player into the background while multi-tasking in other parts of the phone. A nice bonus is a built-in FM radio, which you can only use with the headset plugged in.

The T-Mobile Tap has a 2-megapixel camera on the back but no flash.

The Tap's 2.0-megapixel camera can take pictures in five resolutions and three quality settings. Other settings include three color effects, a night mode, five white balance presets, three shot modes, a self-timer, and two shutter sounds plus a silent option. Photo quality was not bad. Though images didn't look as sharp as we'd like, colors were bright and vibrant. The camcorder can record in two resolutions (176x144 and 320x240) and with similar settings as the still camera.

The T-Mobile Tap takes decent photos.

You can personalize the Tap with a number of graphics and sounds for wallpaper and ringtones. If you want, you can download more via the Tap's browser. The Tap comes with a number of applications and games. They include Google Maps (complete with Streetview and traffic information), Brain Challenge, Platinum Solitaire, UNO, and Bubble Bash 2. You can download more Java apps and games via the browser as well.

We tested the quad-band T-Mobile Tap in San Francisco using T-Mobile. We were quite impressed with the call quality. We heard our callers with little distortion and plenty of volume. They sounded natural as well.

Callers reported similar good call quality. They did detect some environmental noise and there was a little bit of hiss, but it wasn't a deal breaker. They also reported good volume levels and a natural sounding voice. Speakerphone calls was also quite good, though callers said there was a lot more echo and background sound. On our end, we heard them loud and clear, though their voices sounded a little harsh.

The mono speakers emitted tinny and flat audio, so we would recommend using a headset for the best music- or radio-listening experience. The Tap comes with a wired headset in the package.

The 3G speed on the Tap was good, but not great. We loaded the full CNET front door in around a minute and 5 seconds, which is a little slower than we would have liked.

The T-Mobile Tap has a rated battery life of 5 hours talk time and 10 days of standby time. The tested talk time is around the same, at 5 hours and 15 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.09 watts per kilogram.

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