The more we use Android the more we like it, especially since developers are creating more great apps every day. Unsurprisingly, our Internet overlord, Google, which created Android, is leading the pack with utterly stunning apps like Google Sky Map, which is only available on Android. With goodies like this available as free downloads from the Android Market, the Pulse isn't just a decent and cheap touchscreen phone with a massive screen -- it's a smart phone with an almost endless supply of creative, innovative features to explore. Until there's a cheap, pay-as-you-go iPhone, that's a benefit you just can't beat.
Even if you don't get stuck into the Android Market, T-Mobile has included a good range of pre-installed apps on the device. For example, the YouTube app kindly offers to play full-screen versions of movie links that you click in the Web browser, and RoadSync syncs you up with the email, calendar and contacts from your Microsoft Exchange email at work.
Hello, can you
hear me? No
Unfortunately, like many of the smart phones currently wowing us with their app-packed powers, the Pulse is crap at actually being a phone. We found its call quality very poor, and calls take ages to connect, or fail altogether. We have the same complaints about smart-phone stars like the iPhone and Hero, so we don't want to single out the Pulse unfairly, but it's hugely annoying and something to be aware of.
The Pulse keeps you connected with Wi-Fi and HSPA for faster uploads and downloads over 3G, and it also has built-in GPS. T-Mobile is pitching it with a free, one-month trial of the TeleNav sat-nav app, but you can stick with the built-in Google Maps for free.
The Pulse comes with 2GB of internal memory and room for a microSD card. We tested it with a 4GB card and it had no trouble recognising our photos and video. There's also a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back, which is fine for the occasional snapshot, and it shoots video too.
The T-Mobile Pulse does a good job of cutting corners to present an Android smart phone at an affordable price. The case may be rather plasticky and the keyboard a touch unresponsive, but we can overlook even that flaw in a phone that offers such huge potential for a puny price. Its big screen, great connectivity and Android features mean this phone will satisfy your Web wanderlust, but be warned: like many top-end smart phones, the Pulse isn't very good at making boring old phone calls.
Edited by Charles Kloet