Sorry, my Note 2 is better than my GS3, imo. I love the bigger screen. And I only paid $37 for my Note 2 (before anyone asks, yes, on contract, and yes, i realize on contract and no contract pricing is not comparable)
anyway, this phone seems like a decent deal for a lower end android.
bought this as a backup phone, rooted and running Gizmolord ROM, even better than most $400 dollar phones I would say. The ROM is pretty stable and the battery is better than or equal to my S3 I would say. I have sold my S3 now.
I'm not the person you quoted, but I paid a similar price as him when I bought mine from T-Mobile during the black friday deal. I believe it was a $300 rebate, and when I ordered it on the phone via customer care, the rep gave me a one-time usage credit for being a loyal customer (~$175).
However, I did need to upgrade to the 'unlimited' plan for one month, but right after I got the rebate card I changed back down to my standard cheap-o plan.
IIRC it ended up being ~$50 after taxes and rebates and credits.
I have one that I gave to my mom after I upgraded but it's actually 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S3 cores and you can't overclock it any more than that. Pretty fast phone in general though some issues with storing things on the SD card because of the skin and Google Music flips out and tries to store all the cached songs on the main app partition and uses up all your space, oh and Google Voice integration is totally broken in the dialer (voicemails crash the dialer, you see the calls as going to the google voice # in the logs, etc.) It's a good phone for the money no doubt but definitely not high end and the camera is plainly terrible.
Your above description tells me that this phone is not worth for the money, specially if you are giving it to your mom. I pity your mom that you gave her this kind of phone with such headaches.
I got in on this deal first time around last year - fantastic bang for the buck at that point in time for sure
Battery life does suck indeed - charging it up 2 to 3 times a day is the norm...
Sometimes there is a problem with the phone charging - it will eventually charge but it can be a nuisance.
Performance is great - very snappy indeed.
Speakerphone is essentially useless - I think this is a problem caused by the microphone - I can't use audio recordings of anything - it's simply not clear and completely hopeless. I have other cheap phones that record very well as a dictaphone.
I get 8m download speed using AT&T with Straighttalk and shows 4G on the display.
Build quality is very acceptable - an iPhone looks pretty clunky by comparison in my opinion.
You can do Skype video calls via WiFi pretty clearly but quality was not great with mobile network in my case.
By yourself a cheap headset and this is a very decent smartphone apart from the battery life...
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