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T-Mobile Vivacity Review

By Simon Thomas on 02nd December 2011


3G Total Score Get phone arrow

Pros: The look of an iPhone 4 at a quarter of the price; good camera with some decent editing options; clarity and brightness from the WVGA display


Cons: Body is rather lightweight; onscreen keyboard is sluggish in use

 

Verdict: The T-Mobile Vivacity is a good-looking iPhone 4 clone, which is slightly let down by its sluggish touch-screen

Full Review and Specification for the T-Mobile Vivacity

Well, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – in which case Apple should be feeling rather smug. T-Mobile has come up with the Vivacity – an Android handset that seems remarkably like an iPhone 4. Mind you, as it only costs £99 on prepay, there’s a pretty big clue that it’s not really going to be in the same league…

 

A good imitation

 

A first look might have you fooled though – it has the square, flat body and a trim of silver around the shiny black front. It’s a bit fatter and the camera’s five-megapixel lens sticks out a little on the reverse. Beneath that chassis sits an 800MHz chip and 512 MB of RAM. However, pick up the Vivacity and you’ll be in no doubt that this is no Apple flagship phone – it’s really light, and while its 3.4inch display proves responsive, it is rather sluggish.

 

Mind you, that’s hardly surprising – it’s a quarter of the price of an iPhone 4. Even so,if you’re willing to splash out another 30 quid, you could pick up the Huawei Vision, which has a 1Ghz chip and a 3.7inch screen. On the plus side though, the T-Mobile Vivacity does have a decent, high-clarity 267ppi WVGA screen.

 

Sweet treat

 

At the heart of the Vivacity is Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a pretty recent version of the operating system, and a decent one at this kind of price. There are plenty of features to enjoy – web, email and social networking is really simple to set up. All your contacts from the likes of Facebook, email and Twitter can be synched and Microsoft Exchange and Google calendars loaded into the Calendar app – T-Mobile has preloaded Twitter and Facebook apps, and all mail apps let you reply/reply all, forward, flag and save drafts.

 

If you’re familiar with Android, you’ll recognise the five screens on offer, which can all be customised with your choice of widgets (including news, weather and clocks) and shortcut icons. Plus a useful notifications bar can be dragged form the top of the display to show all your new alerts and events.

 

It’s a shame though, that even though the Vivacity features a capacitive screen, it’s rather sluggish. This is especially noticeable when using the onscreen keyboard – it’s frustrating when you’re trying to type a long message.

 

Slow starter

 

It’s a pity, because you’re getting such a good Gmail experience compared with some of the more powerful, pricier phones on the market, but you’re let down by the slow keyboard. The lag is not so noticeable when surfing the net – your swipes and light touches seem to work really well. The Vivacity has the Dolphin browser on board, which does a great job – offering multiple window support, pinch to zoom and the option to load full versions of sites. There is copy and paste but implementing it can be a tad tricky.

 

Orange tends to fill its phones up with a lot of bloatware, but T-Mobile has resisted the temptation. There are just two preloaded apps – Top Apps and My Account, which helps you keep tabs on how much you’re spending on your mobile account. Of course, access to the Android Market means you have half a million or so apps to choose from.

 

Snap happy

 

Where corners haven’t been cut is with the snapper – which offers good results in daylight. A front-facing VGA lens is also onboard for self-portraits and video calls – images were somewhat faded, but it’s still a nice inclusion at this price point. There is a video recording option on both lenses, but we found the films rather noisy and they had a slow frame rate.

 

Our conclusion

 

The T-Mobile Vivacity’s main rivals are the Orange San Francisco II and the Huawei Vision. The Vivacity wins hands-down on the design front (even if it is a clone), and the snapper and browser are fabulous for this kind of price. However, the sluggish touchscreen could prove too aggravating from some. Even though this handset costs just under 100 quid, you can still get more for your money elsewhere.

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T-Mobile Vivacity Review Scoring

  • Style and Handling
  • User Friendliness
  • Feature set
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Overall Score

T-Mobile Vivacity Phone Specification

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

115x58x10.5mm

Weight:

118g

Display:

16 million colours

Resolution:

N/A

Camera:

5 megapixels

Special Camera features:

LED flash, auto focus

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

Yes

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

WAV, eAAC+, MP3, WMA

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

Yes

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Ringtones customization:

Yes

Display description:

TFT capacitive touchscreen

Website:

www.t-mobile.co.uk

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

Black

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

Android

Connectivity:

WLAN, MicroUSB, Bluetooth, A2DP, Wi-Fi

Announced date:

November 2011

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

512MB

International launch date:

November 2011

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

N/A

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio with RDS

Internal memory:

512 MB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

SMS, Email, IM, MMS

Internet Browser:

HTML

E-mail client:

Push email

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes and downloadable

Data speed:

HSDPA

Frequency:

Quad-band

Talktime:

240 mins

Standby:

200 hours

Display size:

3.5 inches

Keypad:

QWERTY

Audio recording:

Yes


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