Boost Mobile Game Phone
- Lots of games, low price
- Sluggish interface, lack of features, poor display
A basic phone for those after something simple. Boost Mobile's Game Phone has a low price tag, but you get what you pay for and the games are the only standout feature of this otherwise fairly ordinary phone.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
A new entrant into the Australian mobile space, Boost Mobile produces low cost, prepaid mobile phones with a difference. We recently received the company's first model, the Boost Mobile Game Phone, which is a fairly basic handset that skimps a little on the bells and whistles. What it does have going for it, however, is the rather interesting range of games that come preinstalled with the package. Sure, this model won't replace your Nintendo DS or Sony PSP, but some of the titles provide a good distraction while on the bus.
Some of the titles you'll find here will probably be surprising. The Game Phone comes with games like Sim City, Need for Speed and even the well known first-person shooter Medal of Honour. Of course most of these are dumbed down versions of the full game and are powered by Java, so don't go in expecting miracles. Nonetheless, we found them an amusing diversion from such tasks as writing this review.
Aside from a healthy dose of distraction, this phone offers little else to the user. We found the interface very sluggish, particularly when running Java. At times it would take several seconds to catch up with our key presses, and the hourglass loading symbol regularly graced the screen even when navigating through just the basic menu.
There were also some other frustrating interface issues, such as only a single key turning the display back on when the phone enters sleep mode. In general, we found the keypad to be fairly comfortable and tactile although the keys were a touch small for speedy SMSing.
The display is fairly poor by modern standards. It is adequate to navigate the menu and play the included games, but the dull colours and lack of resolution really pale in comparison to the screens of other current units. That said, considering the price and basic nature of the handset, we weren't surprised by this.
It does have an impact during video playback, and despite this feature making an appearance we would strongly recommend against using it for any length of time. The size and quality of the display make this a less than enjoyable experience. Similarly, the music player and radio, while both operating fine, are hampered by the poor quality from the included headphones and lack of a 3.5mm jack. We spent a few minutes with each and while less discerning consumers may be satisfied with the audio output, we were really left longing for a port to connect our third-party headphones.
On the plus side the radio tuner received good reception, even inside our office. Furthermore it allows you to store preset station settings as well as record directly from the radio. There is 60MB of space built-in and a micro-SD card slot for further expansion.
Call quality was fairly good, with no distortion or crackling at all. Meanwhile the 1.3-megapixel camera will serve for the occasional wallpaper snap, but the quality is just too low for any serious photography. Aside from the camera, the feature set is a little bare. There is an alarm clock but not much else in the way of PIM functions and Web access is granted via WAP only.
We quite liked the design of the Game Phone. It comes with a slick chrome plastic face and a matte black back plate. It does attract a hefty amount of fingerprints but aside from that it looks attractive.
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