Review: T-Mobile Concord -- Low Price, Low Quality
Everyone hates contracts. Somehow we got used to cheap phones, subsidized phones. There's just something about hearing those words, "Free with a two-year contract." Free jumps out at you, and so you sign on the dotted line, but you forget how long two years can be. Best case scenario: you forget about it. Worst case: you can't forget about it.
Well, if you've been burned, and you swore never to get yourself locked in, the Concord is for you. Not only is it T-Mobile's cheapest device, it's prepaid, so you don't have to sign anything.
It's sold at Wal-Mart and Target stores, and for $100 plus a dirt-cheap data and phone package, you can have a touch screen Android phone. Sound too good to be true? If you weren't born yesterday, you're right. It looks okay on paper, but it's a shoddy device that runs on awful hardware and outdated software.
Bottom line: you get what you pay for, and in this case, it's not a lot. The price is amazing, but the phone isn't.
The Concord is all about function over flash, or rather function and no flash. It comes in black and midnight blue, with a rounded, chunky design that's actually more compact and lightweight than it looks. It measures just 4.6-inches tall, and clocking in at a here four and a half ounces. You can thank the cheap plastic for that. A strip of chrome runs along the edge to add some style, but well, it's like putting lipstick on a seal. When you're this plain, there's really no point in hiding it.
The 3.5-inch display is puny, and the 320-by-480 resolution is grainy. At 161-pixels per inch, you can see jagged diagonal lines with the naked eye. Images are streaky, edges are fuzzy and colors are dull. It's serviceable and you can stream videos, but it's so patchy, it wasn't very enjoyable. It's not all bad, though. The touch is responsive and swipes, taps and transitions were smooth.
It comes with a 2-megapixel camera. And as you can expect, it's pretty bad. Photos are bad -- edges bleed together and colors are dull, with a heavy dose of noise. You really have to shoot in bright lighting, standing still, otherwise pictures come out blurry. And since there's no flash, it's especially bad in low-light. You do get functions for white balance, exposure settings and color effects, though. Oh, you can also record grainy photos up to 10 minutes in length, but of course, there's no second lens for video chat. If you're snapping photos for Facebook, it's fine since nobody can tell the difference, but it's just an awful camera.
It runs on Gingerbread, which is really old. Two years don't sound like much, but like dog years, that's like 14 human years. You'll get the standard Google apps, like Gmail, Maps and YouTube, and just as a bonus T-Mobile added three of its own: one for tethering, another to buy overpriced MP3s and games and AccountInfo to check your billing. The great thing is, it's a stock version of Android, with little bloatware. There are also basic programs like an alarm clock, calculator and calendar, and voice functions like a sound recorder and voice search. The music player is predictable bare-bones, as is the e-mail client. But you get "Docs To Go," to edit and view Word, Excel and PowerPoint to work on the road. If that's the case, you may want to ask the boss for a better phone.
The 832-megahertz chip looks weak on paper, but it's a weak phone, so it actually runs smoothly. On the plus side: the battery life is outstanding. I lasted about a day and a half. It runs on T-Mobile's 3G service for rates of around 3-megabits per second. You can expect webpages to take around 20-seconds to load. You get around 512-megabytes of storage, which is fine, since you can't do much with it. But if you need more, you can pick up a microSD card.
The Concord is cheap. That's it. The display is grainy, the camera is just a mess and the software is ancient. I can't really recommend it. Even if you're strapped for cash, you can find a better smartphones at the same price.
Anything is better. Seriously. But when you get this cheap, most of the phones are very flawed. Still, check out the Pantech Marauder. It gives you two version of Android, standard and an easy mode to make things easier. There's also the Kyocera Rise, which gives you a slide-out keyboard, and the Samsung Galaxy Stellar. But beware: it's nothing like the high-end Galaxys, and quite the opposite of stellar.
Out of the bargain bin, though, the best is probably the Pantech Flex, for a dirty-cheap price, you actually get respectable features -- like an 8-megapixel camera, a 4.3-inch touch display and 4G LTE. Of course, it sounds better on paper than it performs, but beggars can't be choosers. And it's far better than the Concord. ♦
Categories: Android | Functional
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I Want More Stuff Like This!
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?
21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.
Regret I bought it... keeps freezing
Nothing. Even the price is definitely too high.
I bought this phone as a present, a new phone for my wife (hers was old) and expected it to be simple, but at least reliable! But no such luck. This stupid thing freezes in waiting mode from time to time and stops receiving calls. It also stops reacting to screen touches, so the only way to reboot it is by removing the battery! This is definitely the worst phone I ever had. Will try to exchange it for something else at T-Mobile or just sell it for a low price (since no one will pay good money for this dumb device) and buy a normal phone. This isn't a phone. It's a joke.Was this review helpful to you?
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Wife loves it
This seems to be the perfect first smartphone. The battery life seems to be excellent. My wife loves it. Transfer and setup with T-Mobile was extremely easy.
We haven't yet found anything that we dislike about the phone after the first month. It doesn't seem to be consuming any more $ that the old dumb phone was.Was this review helpful to you?
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Worst phone ever
Pros: Trying to come up with something I like about the concord. Let's see, it fits in my pocket and thats the only thing I can come up with.
Cons: Where do I begin? I brought this phone 3 months ago, from Walmart on their Family Mobile plan. One day after, I couldn't return the phone, it started having problems. Low/no memory, everyone sounds mumbled, even on the other end. People tell me that I sound mumbled. It cuts in and out, it gets very hot when I talk for very long. I have to shut the phone off at least once a day and restart it, or I won't get any of my calls, texts or messages. Even then, I sometimes get a message, without the phone ringing or showing up on the caller ID, that I missed a call. The battery life is poor. Everything about this phone sucks. I'm so done with this phone.Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
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?
31 out of 32 people found this review helpful.
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?
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
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.
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
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?
32 out of 36 people found this review helpful.
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.
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.
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?
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
It works fine for voice and text, uses Google maps/GPS offline, so functions as a GPS unit after down loading the area maps using wifi. The camera is functional, I use it to remember products and prices of items in stores by taking a quick pic.
I have not had any issues and like the phone.Was this review helpful to you?
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
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?
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
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?
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
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?
8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
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?
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
At first, the phone was perfect. It ran smoothly, no problems at all. But now, it's just a plain mess, and I can't seem to find any help to fix it!
Right now, the apps for my Android Concord will only work if connected to wifi. I've turned it off and turned it back on countless times, took the battery out and put it back in, but nothing is working! At one point it froze up with odd options like
'continue usual reboot'
etc, but when I tried to update it, it said my software was already up to date.
Now, it recently just started doing this this morning. I even tried a factory data reset, and still, it only works when connected to wifi. I know it isn't my connection in general, because I'm still able to make calls/send text messages, it's just the APPS! (With the exception of the Kik app. It works without wifi. Though when I try to use Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pandora, they won't work.) When I try to use YouTube it tells me to check my connection settings and system time. I'm really frustrated with this phone right now. Plus, the storage space is lousy! I'm constantly needing to make more space on my phone in order to have the apps I want. I'm not sure if anyone else is having these problems, but I'm really, really upset!
0 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
First one no workee, exchanged at WalMart, no prob
I'm just an occasional cell phone user, for traveling. With the $2/day unlimited service, only when used, this phone costs me virtually nothing, and has every function I need. Android works great. GPS navigation, works great. Voice commands work flawlessly.
Photos are adequate. I have a great digital camera. I wanted a phone.
When the first one failed I returned it to WalMart, exchange with no problem. The second one has worked for 5 months with no problems whatsoever. Great battery life.
For $79 bucks and no contract, I find it hard to understand how anyone can complain about this phone. It has a warranty and they honor it.
The first one was defective, but I had no problem exchanging it at WalMart. Yeah, it's cheap. If you don't want a cheap phone, pay more.Was this review helpful to you?
0 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
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