A Few Days with the T-Mobile REVVL Plus

I made a post expressing my confusion with T-Mobile's REVVL Line of budget-conscious phones a few months ago. I just couldn't understand why T-Mobile would spend the time to market their own phone in a golden age of budget to midrange smartphones, with me at the time using a Moto G5 Plus. Well, I shattered the screen on that phone a few days ago suffering a face-first drop from my pocket. That one hurt. At least it was paid off, so I went off to the T-Mobile store to pickup what I thought was going to be my next phone: the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active. I've always had a soft spot for the Active line with the huge battery, the rugged design, and the at one point IR Blaster to control my TV. However, the phone costs $850, and with a hefty down payment, tax, and activation fee, that adds up fast. So I quickly looked around to see what they had, and then I checked out the REVVL Plus.

What quickly enticed me was the $220 price tag for obvious reasons. The features also enticed me, like the 1080p screen, the huge 6 inch screen, the camera, and especially the larger 3,380 mAH battery. Comparing that to my Moto G5 Plus, the battery is already bigger, the camera is better, and the processor and screen resolution are the same, so that's a win. What worried me was the 2 GB of RAM where my Moto had 4 GB, but I wasn't worried enough. I was torn between the REVVL Plus, and the HTC U11 Life, but skipped on the latter due to the small >3,000 mAH battery, which I read wasn't the strongest, as well as the lack of a headphone jack. I believe in the headphone jack, and as convenient as Bluetooth is, I don't like charging two devices. However, I did like the U11's water resistance. Oh well, maybe next time, HTC.

So I bought the REVVL Plus, and my first few days have been positive. So far, the 2 GB of RAM hasn't been too noticeable. Apps do have to refresh a lot more, and nothing has offered that crisp multitasking like my 6 GB of RAM OnePlus 3, but I wasn't about to wait days to get shipped one of those. The screen is nice, I missed having a large phone like my old Nokia Lumia 1520. It's a bit dull with bright colors, but it's easy to get used to. Speed isn't much of an issue. It feels faster than my Moto G5 Plus, but I can't tell if that's just because I'm more patient with this because it's new. I'm a big fan of phones with the fingerprint scanner on the back, so that's nice to have again like my Nexus 6P had, plus this one is pretty quick. Plus the LED light is also a welcome return. The camera is much sharper on both front and back compared to the Moto G5 Plus. The speaker is very tinny, but it does get loud, so compared to the Moto G5 Plus's clear but quieter speaker, the REVVL Plus's speaker will certainly push through a loud environment, but it won't be the best sounding. The speaker focuses heavily on the highs, but the lows will need to be cranked up loud to hear. Battery life is better, as I can get through a heavy-use day easily with room to spare. The 1080p display is nice too; it's nothing special, but it's still clear with few complaints from me. Also interesting to note: the reception this phone has is much stronger than any phone I've ever had, which is extremely surprising. Why is this $220 phone much better at getting a signal than a goddamn $800(?) Galaxy Note 7? I loved my Note 7, but that thing would lose signal in my pocket the way a high end phone shouldn't.

With an almost bone-stock Android 7.1.1, the $220 REVVL Plus is a damn good phone considering the price. If you don't require a lot from your phone, but like a good camera, large HD screen, and enduring battery life, AND you happen to be on T-Mobile, the REVVL Plus should be placed high on your list. It doesn't feel top notch in terms of materials, but if function over form is your thing, I think you'll be pleased with this phone. However, had the U11 Life had a bigger battery, or if T-Mobile carried the BlackBerry KEYone, or if they had the Moto Z2 Force in stock, this would've been a different post.

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