, is an American regional wireless carrier offering talk, text and Internet at 4G speeds without an annual contract. Last week’s announcement of T-mobile and MetroPCS combining
made us wonder whether their network has improved since last year’s review.
MetroPCS provided BSN with one of their Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G LTE contract-free smartphones for this review. This unit is representative of what the majority of MetroPCS users have for 4G LTE handsets.
Last year we reviewed their Samsung Craft 4G LTE phone
MetroPCS $40 per month 4G LTE plan covers the first 250MB of data, then additional charges apply as you download more. There are $40 - $50 - $55 - $60 - $70 per month 4G LTE plans
. Their 4G LTE plans have an impressive list of features, including a $5 monthly add-on for unlimited calling and texting to over 200 destinations in Mexico
. At $70 per month you have unlimited talk, text and data. That unlimited data is at what they claim is “blazing-fast” 4G LTE speeds plus Video On Demand PLUS Rhapsody Unlimited Music.
The MetroPCS 4G LTE coverage map has expanded since we visited them last year
, when coverage was limited to Sacramento County only. As you see in their Northern California map, they have really expanded their coverage – from Modesto up to nearly Redding, California. Later we will show you speed tests from more rural parts of the coverage map.Northern California Coverage for MetroPCS
They now have 4G LTE coverage in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, most of North – Central – South Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles north to Bakersfield, San Diego, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco – Sacramento Valley.
The Galaxy Attain has Google’s Android Gingerbread (Ver 2.3). Many reviewers were put off because MetroPCS LTE phones are not using Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS - Ver 4.0x). However, the Android Developers site
shows over 55 percent of all shipping Android devices are still running Gingerbread. Google claims about 23 percent of the devices have ICS and less than 2 percent with the latest Jelly Bean (Ver 4.1x) are installed on shipping products, so MetroPCS LTE phones aren’t as far behind as some reviewers imply. Android versions shipping as of October 2012
The Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G has a Candybar form factor which measures 4.57-inches x 2.38-inches x 0.46-inches (116 mm height x 60 mm width x 12 mm thickness). The factory weight specification is 4.20 ounces (119 grams). However, on our ultra precise postal scale we measured it at 4.6 oz (130 g).
Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G has a 3.5-inch, 320-by-480-pixel QVGA, 165 pixels-per-inch (PPI) display. BSN found the display worked well except in bright outdoor sunlight. That is a problem with most mobile devices, except for the ruggedized military tablets like Orchard Inc Toughlet and InHand Hydra-T3
which use the Pixel Qi displays
The Attain ships with two cameras: a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The front-facing low-resolution camera is pre-loaded with Google Talk to make video face-to-face chatting simple. The Attain has a real physical camera button, instead of on-screen icon to activate the cameras.
This phone uses a 1GHz single-core Samsung Hummingbird processor and 512MB of RAM. It didn’t seem to have problems with normal use. However, some games were very slow to open. Every once in a while the Attain seemed to stall out and required us to shut everything down. However, if it had one of the new Nvidia Tegra 3 multi-core CPUs
and ran at 1.5GHz the out-right price of the phone would go closer to $500.
The Attain has a 1650 mAh battery, a microSD – microSDHD slot with a capacity of up to 32GB. The claimed talk time is 3.5 hours, yet the best we saw was 3 hours and 5 minutes. Samsung claims stand-by time is 8.3 days (200 hours). However, with Gmail receive turned on we never made it past 20 hours. Even an old HP Palm Pre Plus with its 1150 mAh battery can do more than that for the same Gmail data configuration.Battery stand by time – Galaxy Attain vs Palm Pre Plus
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