T-Mobile Concord Review: Low Price, Low Quality
The Concord is T-Mobile's most affordable prepaid phone, but it's only appealing if your number one priority is finding a cheap, no-contract device.
For $100 plus T-Mobile's dirt-cheap data and phone packages available through Wal-Mart and Target, the Concord is touted as the cheapest prepaid smartphone out there, so if you want a touch screen and data but you're opposed to contacts and high sticker prices, this is your phone. But you have to accept that it's tailored to budget consumers, and it's the price point that's aiming to impress, not the features.
Everything is function over flash: the 3.5-inch touch screen has a 320-by-480 resolution and 161 pixels-per-inch. Images are streaky, edges get fuzzy and colors are dull, but it's still serviceable. You can stream movies, but with the display quality hovers between dreadful and middling, so don't download "Avatar" anytime soon.
The modest features are matched by its modest size -- at under four ounces, it's lightweight, and it stands 4.6-inches tall. It's almost half an inch thick, which is surprisingly chunky considering how light it is. The plastic body, which comes in black or midnight blue, has rounded edges and looks as cheap as it is.
The camera is especially low-rent -- there's no flash, no auto-focus, no front-facing lens, and the main shooter is a measly 2-megapixels, so only take photos in optimal lighting with subjects standing absolutely still. Even then, you'd be straight-up silly to consider using this camera to capture important moments instead of a point and shoot.
Gingerbread is the Android flavor of choice. It's aging rapidly -- over two years stale -- but the quality of the software outstrips the quality of its hardware. And you don't have to deal with an unnecessary interface, because this Gingerbread is vanilla, and remarkably easy to use. It isn't Ice Cream Sandwich, and it's certainly not Jelly Bean, but Gingerbread remains perfectly handy, even if it's not exciting.
The 832-megahertz processor looks puny on paper but it's adequate for running this phone, and you can supplement the memory up to 32-gigabytes with a microSD card. If you get the phone through Target, you can sign it up with a plan called "Monthly4G" -- but don't get the wrong impression, because this HSPA-plus device is a 3G phone.
Overall, the Concord is a low-quality phone, but its low price makes it attractive to certain groups of people. For instance, if you have an accident-prone friend and you want to show them how fun using an Android phone can be without throwing buckets of money away on an expensive handset or a contract, the Concord is a good option. And if you're really strapped for cash but you want access to cheap data with a low start up cost, then the Concord will make sense as well. But if you're not wholly-focused on budget and avoiding a contract, this mediocre display and awful camera make it impossible to recommend. ♦
Other Reviews From Around the Web:
Categories: Android | Functional
Pantech Flex: Training Wheels Included
Enjoy This Article? Get E-Mail Updates -- It's Free!
December 02, 2012
Plenty of problems
The first few hours of owning the phone and I already was having the following troubles:
Phone shuts down approx. every hour and restarts
Won't download email message and let me open them
Constant error messages when I try to open an app.
Basically, a lot of the functions stop working. I have performed a soft re-set which helped for about five minutes. I then performed a hard reset.
These are problems that I found out were common after I bought the phone and was up late do research on the issues.
I plan on taking the phone back and replacing it. I will give the Concord another try in hopes that I just received a bad phone.Was this review helpful to you?
21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.
January 15, 2013
Memory problems solved - somewhat
T-Mobile and the handset MFR have responded to the low memory issues by issuing updated firmware that deletes some of the oversized apps from their initial install. You should be prompted to download the update to your phone a few days after you activate it on T-Mobile's network. I could not find a way to pull the updated firmware, so you have to wait for the network's push to your phone.
This phone is a great first smartphone for me. FroYo is dated, but still very functional.
The phone is sold at a great price point for a no-contract phone. For folks who talk constantly on their mobile phone, this one saves me hundreds a year over a contract plan with a "free" phone thrown in.
Now that the memory issues from too much pre-installed software has been solved this phone is great for its intended market -- first-time smart phone users looking for a low-price entry and no contracts.
You do still have to be carefull with storage on the in-phone memory. Not all apps can be moved to the SD card, and some, like widgets, can't be moved to the SD card and still function as widgets.
The 833MHz processor lags just a bit compared to more powerful phone models.Was this review helpful to you?
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
January 22, 2013
Its really simple and easy to learn to navigate it and its color and shape are almost a perfect size phone.
Everything really does suck on the phone. I had it for two months and I didnt drop it once, and most days it would restart by itself at least 5 times an hour. I thought it was a bad phone after 2 days so I got a replacement but the replacement was even worse! Ive had it about three months and the battery, space, camera, and basicaly everything else is just horrible. I only still have it because I cant afford a new phone right now. I honestly believe its over priced by a smidge. I wouldnt recomend this to anyone!Was this review helpful to you?
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
March 21, 2013
Pros: it is CURRENTLY working.
Cons: UMM, hence the title of my review.. this phone SUCKS. I think the price is too high, but bought it in high hopes it would be a good phone. NOT. My biggest problem is this stupid thing freezes soooo much! It also cuts off and restarts itself very often. The battery life I have noticed recently is getting lower..
DO NOT BUY! Seriously, I had a cheap, very basic flip phone thru T Mobile before this one that was $29 that I used for over 3 years, and it worked soo much better than this piece.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
March 18, 2013
T-Mobile and Best Buy were a match made in hell!
Not a thing. This phone has NO redeeming qualities. In retrospect, I would have paid three times the price for a better phone from another company.
I am very upset I didn't find this review BEFORE I bought the stupid phone! I bought it 3 months ago from Best Buy, in the first week, I brought it back to BB twice because the phone kept shutting down and restarting or freezing up altogether. The BB consultant "showed" me how to 1)"Kill" the running apps so it wouldn't overload the memory and 2)change the apps to not auto-update so the apps wouldn't open on their own and clog up the memory. Once the month-long return period expired, BB asceeded that the phone had software issues and that the problems I had been having were "not normal" (surprise, surprise), of course it was too late for them to take the phone back and I hadn't purchased their "extended warranty" so I had no recourse but to call T-Mobile and fall on my sword for them to take the phone back, which they wouldn't do. Of course, they "helped" me by emailing me directions on how to hard reset my phone, which did nothing to correct the problem. Best Buy told me they might buy the phone back at a fraction of the original purchase price but, after checking their database, told me that the phone had no value... ..another surprise! Apparently the market is flooded with this piece of shit phone that nobody wants to you can't give them away.
T-Mobile customer service and Best Buy will never get my business again. As soon as financially feasible, I am buying a new phone from Radio Shack and sending my Concort ZTE to T-Mobile in a box decorated as a small casket.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
March 16, 2013
Loved the ease and simplicity of the apps and phone. Loved the camera too. Great when it works! Good price but should be considerably cheaper considering all the constant problems we all have with them... .seems like we all have nearly the same issues. Wouldn't you think they would recall them or exchange them?
Turns itself on and off a few times a day... .when trying to use the camera... .it says the card has been moved and you have to take the back off and reset the memory card (which never moved)constantly... .very annoying! The first Concorde I bought fell off my lap and broke the face... .a mere foot to the ground from my lap. Got another Concorde (dumb move!) and got a gelskin for it... waste of money as all the same problems happened again with this one... .only a month old and I can't find the darn receipt to return it! Now that's two cells with the same problems... and it gets messages doulble/twice too. Don't waste your money... .it would be smarter to save and just get another brand! Waste of money!Was this review helpful to you?
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
March 05, 2013
Not the BEST
Only if you want to talk this cell is good, but beware it drops calls and restarts for no reason at least once a day.
The phone will be better if it didn't have that "low space" message ALL THE TIME! I have gotten rod of all the apps that I could have and sTILL! Also, tha camera is horrible and the cell shots down at least once a day FOR NO REASON! Calls drop and most times is very slow. I would only recommend it for somebody that needs a phone quick, just to start talking.Was this review helpful to you?
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
October 04, 2012
Two Weeks and Done
The few good things are that it is inexpensive and the battery life is good.
It constantly says it is low on memory, even though I deleted all unnecessary apps. The camera also sucks. I've had to restart the phone a lot when it acts funny – a lot of forced closes on normal apps like email. It doesn't store many text messages and rejects messages when there are too many. Today I tried to restart it and it just kept reloading the same welcome page over and over. I finally returned the phone to Target. I'm just going to save up money and get a new iPhone.Was this review helpful to you?
26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.
October 18, 2012
Loved it... until it stopped working
Great price. Easy to use for those unfamiliar with smartphones. I thought the display was pretty good, and the touch screen keypad was easy to type on. Did what I needed it to do (run an app to receive and accept substitute teaching job notifications).
Well, it basically stopped working less than two months into ownership. I agree with the previous review: Restarts were necessary for the phone to work properly, and the memory seemed ridiculously small (I had to put basically everything on my SD card, and I had downloaded maybe 5 apps!). The camera is really, really bad. Like way worse than a disposable camera. I could have dealt with all this, but then the volume during calls became extremely, uncontrollably loud. Like, ear splittingly loud. Tried the restart; didn't work. The sound is just all out of whack. The same day, the phone starts randomly restarting about every hour. Definitely going back to Target. It's a shame, because I didn't need any bells and whistles, just a cheap phone that would actually work.Was this review helpful to you?
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
January 09, 2013
Worst Phone Ever!
The color of the phone is nice and it has a decent size screen for such a small phone and that's about it.
Everything. Low memory. Horrible camera. No Instagram. Majority of the apps aren’t compatible with the phone. Battery live is useless. Just a horrible phone. I wouldn’t buy this phone for my pet gerbil.Was this review helpful to you?
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
March 13, 2013
3rd T-mobile prepaid phone in 3 days
Bought the phone expecting the apps listed in the user manual. However,it only has 12. The phone freezes up on calls and won't let me hang up. I was trying to save money by using a prepaid service. This is the 3rd T-Mobile phone I have had in 3 days. The Samsung Galaxy II kept freezing up as well,and half the time I couldn't make or receive calls, 2nd phone wouldn't take sim card as instructed, now this one is junk! Spent 2hrs at Walmart today, with a sales rep trying to help me get a phone to work. I'm done with T-Mobile phones.Was this review helpful to you?
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
blog comments powered by Disqus