The AT&T Avail is like a boring yet stable lover -- it isn't going to bowl you over with anything new and exciting, but it's reliable and there's nothing wrong with it, exactly. If you're looking for a prepaid phone, this is a decent option, especially considering all the features you get for $150 without a contract.
Sure, the Avail a little bulky, coming in at nearly half an inch thick, but it can still fit in your pocket -- the body clocks in at 4.6 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide, so while it's not exactly sleek, it's also not a Galaxy Note. And even though it's made of plastic, it's black coated matte, so it looks fancier than phones with standard plastic bodies.
And the excess girth makes it sturdy -- if you drop this bad boy, it's not likely to break, unless you're standing at the top of the Empire State Building. In addition to making it look nicer, the matte coating makes it more difficult to smudge the phone -- so if you have sticky-fingered children in your life, this is a good option, because it can withstand a few tumbles and it won't end up smothered in noticeable fingerprints.
Here's some bad news: even though your 3.5-inch screen will withstand smudges, the display quality isn't very good. The 320-by-480 pixel resolution sounds decent on paper, but the image quality is grainy, and the screen is way too touchy. Your potential for accidentally calling or texting someone as you sit down will skyrocket, since the screen responds to every little movement. If a butterfly flaps its wings nearby the Avail will probably open an app.
It doesn't have the strongest processor -- the 600-megahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon is totally fine if you're using a few features, but if you try to open a bunch of different apps at once it will slow to a crawl. Also, this is a 3G phone, so if you're a 4G-or-bust type you'll want to look elsewhere.
And the Android Gingerbread OS is fairly standard-issue Android -- no annoying overlays -- although AT&T does pre-load a few semi-irrelevant apps like its own map app, which is really not necessary when Google Maps is already loaded as well. But the bloatware is nothing compared to what some other phones are loaded up with, and the interface is easy to navigate. You might be disappointed it comes with Gingerbread and not Ice Cream Sandwich, but if you really cared that much you probably wouldn't be buying a go phone.
The camera doesn't have a flash, which is a bummer, but the 5-megapixel shooter snaps shots with clear images, although the color saturation is a little dull. There are some cool features in the camera software, like four different effects, geotagging, and the ability to fiddle with contrast and saturation on the phone itself -- so you might be able to restore images to their deserved vibrancy with the software, even if your shots are a little lackluster. You can upgrade the storage with a 32-gigabyte microSD card, and if you do that you'll be able to store a decent number of pictures on the phone -- but if you don't get extra memory, you're left with a measly 2-gigabytes.
The Avail has some flaws -- a mediocre processor, out-of-date OS and 3G, and unexceptional build -- but it's still a pretty good bargain as a no-contract phone. It's perfect backup to keep around in case of emergencies, or if you have a guest coming in from out of the country. ♦
Good free apps for a prepaid phone.
I was told by AT&T and saw all over the Internet that this phone had FM radio. Now I read here it doesn't. I am really pissed off about this deception in advertising. The rest of the phone's features seem okay, but I've only had it a few days...Was this review helpful to you?
I bought this to use with my postpaid account, I was told no data plan was needed since I was buying it off contract; I got a text saying my smartphone needed a data plan and that one was added. It's fast and feature filled. Great apps and keyboard. I rooted the phone and removed the AT&T bloatware.
Poor battery life. Bad data plan. Don't buy this through Wal-Mart. They sell the AT&T Avail Z990G, but it's worse than the regular AT&T Avail Z990, which everyone else sells. Beware.Was this review helpful to you?
what do I love about this phone?absolutley nothing.id love to throw it under a cement truck
this phone sucks big time.it reboots on its own and constently freezes up.great for when you get put on hold for ever then when you finally get someone onthe other end,guess what? REBOOT..please go to the end of the line again... i hope I get mugged and I get rebooted while screaming for help on 911..just so I can sue AT&T ripoff.i shouldve just flushed the 100 + bucks down the toiletWas this review helpful to you?
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