At an on-contract price of just $29.99, AT&T may have just found the solution to providing 4G capabilities for a very affordable price in a time when getting a 4G phone still hits you hard in the pocket with the AT&T Impulse 4G. Although AT&T might owe it to a certain Chinese manufacturer called Huawei for the low price, we still have to the small task of determining if this phone is a good performer in the 4G phone category.
Although the AT&T Impulse 4G has impressed in some aspects so far, some may start to take a step back when they realize this phone comes with the Anrdroid v2.2 Froyo instead of the latest version of Android. For those who don’t see this as too much of a problem, we are here to inform you that it still provides the usual personalization you get with Android. Moving on to the typing experience on the phone, the layout was a bit cramped making typing a tough task at times. Piling on to that are the unresponsive keys which results in much lower typing speeds. The email is not something new when compared to what we have seen on other Android phones. Nevertheless we will still mention how it is easy to set up with generic accounts as it only asks for our email address as well as password to activate. Depending on the user, it might be good or bad news that the AT&T Impulse 4G doesn’t come with very many preloaded apps. However, there are still a few in there like the AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap , Documents To Go, Layar, AT&T Navigator as well as YPmobile and myAT&T.
It’s not a 4 inch screen, but for the price that AT&T is offering the AT&T Impulse 4G, we think it’s a bargain to have a 3.8 inch WVGA LCD screen on this phone. The screen is capable of providing cooler looking color production and at the same time some pretty good detail. However, it is miles apart from the likes of AMOLED panels. The viewing angles are also poor as you can’t see much if you are not looking at it straight on. As almost every other phone, we need to block the sun with our hands to make out stuff on the screen under sunlight.
So a 5MP camera with LED flash seems like a pretty good deal on the AT&T Impulse 4G. However, the camera isn’t up to par with most of the 5MP cameras other smartphones are offering. The shots are mostly muddy and grainy and the bad color production makes things worse. If that wasn’t enough, the LED flash was another problem as it resulted in bluish hue to shots taken indoors. Albeit offering 720p video recording capabilities, we did not expect much after the disappointment we had seen in the still image capture department. Details are not clear and the audio recording was also bad but one plus was probably the fact that the 28 frames per second capture rate was smooth.
As has been the case with other AT&T 4G smartphones, the speeds the carrier provides have yet again failed to convince us that you can achieve 4G speeds with the AT&T Impulse 4G. What we find here is that the speeds are in the 3G region. Meanwhile in the web browsing section, it’s quite decent. There is support for Flash too. The phone is on the GSM network meaning you can use it anywhere on the planet. Other features include Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, Wi-Fi, aGPS and mobile hotspot functionality.
Moving on to the performance of the AT&T Impulse 4G we found it difficult to understand what our friends are saying as the tones heard on the earpiece were weak. On the other end, there was complains that we sounded choppy. The speakerphone was loud but the voices ended up being choppy here too. Signal strength on this phone will not be a problem as it had good signal mostly. You can get a away with a whole day of heavy usage on a single charge which was great.
Pros and Cons
Screen viewing angles were appalling and call quality on the AT&T Impulse 4G also needs working. The camera is definitely not a highlight on this phone either.