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printed August 20, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G for MetroPCS

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  7  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Lightray's 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display is an excellent screen. It’s blindingly bright, vivid in color, and rich in detail. It offers the same 480 x 800 pixels that many other mid-range Android devices do, though it doesn't match the HD screens of Samsung's recent high-end products. Outdoors it worked well enough. It wasn't perfect - especially if you want to tell the time - but the camera worked OK outdoors.

Signal

The Lightray works on MetroPCS's 1X and LTE 4G networks. In my neck of the New Jersey woods, the Lightray had no problem finding MetroPCS's networks, though 4G coverage is still spotty enough that it constantly switched from 4G to 1X and back again depending on what was available. Either way, it connected and worked. Data speeds weren't stellar on either 1X or 4G, but they were acceptable for most mobile browsing and app-downloading needs. The Lightray connected all voice calls on the first dial, and didn't drop any calls.

Sound

Call quality was pretty good. I heard some hissing and popping, but it wasn't overbearing or obnoxious. The earpiece produced plenty of volume for use in most everyday environments. You won't hear it over a jackhammer, but you will pretty much everywhere else. The speakerphone offered the same quality as the earpiece, but the max volume setting was disappointingly quiet. Ringers and alert tones can be set to decent levels, but you might miss them if they are not set all the way up. The vibrate alert is plenty strong.

Battery

The Lightray has very good battery life. During my tests, it consistently lasted a day and a half between charges when used in a mix of 3G and 4G coverage areas. That means you can unplug it on Monday after breakfast and go almost to dinner time on Tuesday without a problem. Using Dyle TV, however, is extremely detrimental to battery life. It can kill off a full charge in several hours. If possible, plug in when watching live television.

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