If you want a prepaid phone, the Fusion 2 tops the list of AT&T's affordable GoPhones. It's as basic as it gets, so only consider it if you're on a budget. If you have more to spend, aim for a better device.
The Fusion 2 improves upon its predecessor, the predictably named Fusion, only in title. As far as hardware and software, both devices hover extremely close together. The Fusion 2 is more like the Fusion 1.1. So why would you want it?
Well, AT&T's cheap prepaid plans can make you forgive even the most egregious flaws. For $40 a month, you can get 1-gigabyte of data with unlimited text and talk. And for $10 more, you can get unlimited data on feature phones. Compare that with $50 for 5-gigabytes of data on a smartphone, and you can see why the Fusion is appealing. It won't break the bank, but it's a bottom-of-the-barrel experience.
The generic shell measures an unremarkable 4.6-by-2.4-by-0.5-inches, which is neither cumbersome nor particularly sleek. Compared to the more sophisticated behemoths that clog the market, you can hold it with ease. But the glossy plastic looks cheap and flimsy, and attracts smudges and fingerprints. The boring design and low-grade material tell the world you're on a budget.
You won't confuse the 3.5-inch screen with a premium smartphone. The tiny 320-by-480 pixel resolution is subpar compared to phones released years ago. Images are blurry and dull, but that's fine if you just text or send a quick e-mail. If you want to browse the Web, you'll be annoyed. And don't even think about watching YouTube -- videos look pixelated and jerky. If you've had Lasik, rub your eyes, because the poor display replicates the feeling of mild nearsightedness.
The 3.2-megapixel camera is as good as you'd expect on a disposable phone like this -- you can snap shots if you want to capture an unanticipated moment, but don't think you can take print-quality photos. Take that point-and-shoot to that special occasion -- because this lens is awful and images turn out blurry and poorly lit.
The Fusion runs on Android 2.3, dubbed "Gingerbread," which is relic at this point. The interface lacks the grace and ease-of-use of Ice Cream Sandwich, which is far smoother. Just like dogs age faster than humans, Android gets old quickly too. And the Fusion runs on software that's exponentially worse by the week.
The phone runs on AT&T's 3G HSPA-plus network, rather than the coveted 4G LTE offered on higher-end devices. But since the Fusion is designed for basics, the slower speeds aren't a big drawback. Luckily, there's Wi-Fi. So if you decide to save some cash and skip the data plan, you can still go online with a hotspot.
The Fusion comes with a travel charger, as if the jetsetter would buy this phone. It also comes with a microSD slot to add up to 32-gigabytes, not that you'll need it. Since there's not much you can do on this phone, only reason you'd want to buy one is if you plan to use it in a better device later on.
Overall, the Fusion 2 is a logical option if you're on the hunt for a cheap prepaid phone. If that's all you want, the basics work just fine, and it's the plain, bare-bones phone of your dreams. But if you can afford better, spend it. This is a throwaway device. ♦
I walked into an AT&T store and plunked down $100 for this phone. After a month with it, I'm finally ready to give my thoughts. But first, some context -- I'm used to the iPhone and iOS, and I was perfectly happy with it until I dropped it in the toilet.
The build quality of the Fusion is a far cry from Apple -- nothing surprising. Huawei, a China company, actually makes it for AT&T, and it does what the Chinese do well -- pack in specs without the polish and refinement.
Huawei and AT&T added their own interface overlay, and there are a lot of ways you can customize it to your liking. I'm not sure how this varies to other Android devices -- since this is my first one -- but it's not bad, though the interface is a bit rougher than iOS.
One nice thing is the FM radio. This feature has become a rarity, it seems. And if you have a limited music library, it's nice to have something to listen to when you're out of the house. The quality is good, and the radio stations come in loud and clear.
The 3.2-megapixel camera, meanwhile, snaps poor photos in the daytime and even worse at night. It's nearly unusable since there's no flash or auto-focus. Don't even bother trying to record video either. Both the image quality and sound recording are poor with a lot of graininess and background noise.
The Fusion has locked up or closed on me a couple times, but nothing too serious, since I've had the same thing happen on the iPhone. But the bigger issue is the lock screen. When I try to wake the phone up, sometimes it won't notice that my finger is entering the password -- that pattern you have to draw with your finger. My finger is moving, but it doesn't know it is. I'm not sure if it's the humidity or a hardware or software problem, but it seems to happen more so when I'm in the bathroom with the shower running or when it's rainy outside.
The Bluetooth seems on and off when trying to pair with devices. One nice thing about the iPhone is that I'd automatically connect to my car and starting playing music when it was within range. The Fusion, by contrast, doesn't always work, and I'll often need to play around with it before it'll connect. I think it might be an issue with the software, but nothing seems to have been fixed so far. When it does connect though, Bluetooth works well. Calls over a wireless headset are crystal clear -- better than the iPhone, in my opinion.
The 800-megahertz chip and 512-megabytes of RAM run rather fast, and Android Gingerbread works as you'd expect, though it's a bit old, and multitasking is a pain in the butt. If you run a lot of apps in the background, the phone has a tendency to bog down though.
I know it sound full of gripes. It lacks the polish of the iPhone, and I wish I could root the device to uninstall the bloatware -- there's quite a bit -- but overall, I've been pretty happy with the Fusion. It's a very capable device, despite the few glitches I mentioned.Was this review helpful to you?
I had doubts when I bought this "low cost" smartphone. And I'm pretty disappointed.
When I try to call people, there's always a delay before it connects -- there's a few seconds of nothing before I hear a ring, and as a result, I don't know if it failed to connect. When it does work, the voices from the other side sound so bad; I have no idea who I'm talking to. In addition, people say they often times can't hear me, so I've developed deja vu from repeating everything twice. It happens quite often.
The camera is a piece of junk too. The lens is too slow to take anything that's not stone-cold still. Don't even bother taking it in anything other than sunny days either. Except for the zoom, nothing is useful.
A few people have mentioned the bloatware -- you can't delete the apps. That's rather annoying. They say you get what you pay for, and I guess they're right because I didn't pay much. Good thing AT&T has a two week exchange policy. I'm going to return in tomorrow.Was this review helpful to you?
Don't buy this phone. I regret my decision every day. The first unit I bought was defective -- this should have been my tipoff. But I was too stupid, I guess. I took it back and exchanged it and the second one.
The simplest tasks like texting are so difficult to do. It keeps entering the letter next to the one you hit. It also keeps putting widgets that I don't want on it -- don't even get me started about the bloatware.
Oh and then there's the problem with my phone automatically calling people in my phonebook -- constantly. If I keep this phone for any longer, I'll have no friends left.
This phone needs a flash for its camera too. Even under bright lights, your photos will come out dark. I want to change phones, but I'm unwilling to pay more for a phone. If this phone keeps it up though, I may just do it. But if I could turn back the clock, I wouldn't have bought this phone. You've been warned.Was this review helpful to you?
This phone isn't as bad as some reviews make it out to be. And it's not as great as others claim. In short, it's a mediocre entry-level smartphone at a cheap price. But the best part of this phone is that AT&T doesn't lock you down with a $60 data plan. What a con job.
My biggest gripe is that it doesn't recognize WMA files -- so I can't play those songs. Another small, but annoying, gripe is the fact that when you remove your memory card, all the ringtones go back to the default. So you have to set everything back.Was this review helpful to you?
The touch display is pretty sensitive, which is nice. The battery life is long too -- I can last more than a day on a single charge -- but sometimes with heavy use, it can drain in a day. And the signal is strong in my area.
One time it shut off mysteriously and didn't turn back on for a couple minutes. When I got it to reboot, it had only half power left, which sort of scared me. It hasn't happened again, though. Also, after opening the back to access the microSD card, the cover seems to wobble.Was this review helpful to you?
The camera is decent... when there's good lighting. In dark environments, it's worthless.
The touch display sucks. It's not very responsive, and yet, sometimes when you talk on it, your cheek will activate something else. I don't get it. The speakerphone is bad -- everything sounds distorted. And the battery life is awful. I've had problems with Wi-Fi not connecting too.Was this review helpful to you?
The battery life is pretty good. The processor is speedy and there's a lot of RAM. So everything runs fairly quickly.
For the price I paid, I'm pretty happy with the phone. It's durable. I've dropped it a few times and it still works. I even dropped it into a puddle.
The display will lock up sometimes. There's also lots of crapware.Was this review helpful to you?
The only good thing about this phone is that it has a good battery life.
Biggest piece of crap phone I have ever owned! It's very slow. My camera and photo gallery apps don't work the majority of the time and I just got this phone 2 days ago. I HATE IT! If you're looking to buy a cheap phone, don't buy this one! Total waste of money.Was this review helpful to you?
You're able to make calls, send texts, use wifi. I think that's about it. Camera is alright, could be better.
The cons is basically the wrong plan information on this website.
"For $40 a month, you can get 1 gigabyte of data with unlimited text and talk" <-- incorrect information
Unless you go with a $50 plan, you will not get ulimited talk and text. if you want unlimited talk and text, plus the 1gb of data these geniuses are talking about, you gotta fork over $65.Was this review helpful to you?
Write a review and share you thoughts.