Review: Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE for Boost Mobile
The Prevail LTE comes with the Google Play apps for purchasing and consuming music, movies, books, and magazines. The latest versions of these apps are all fairly good. There's a simple video player on board for any content you might have sideloaded onto the Prevail LTE yourself. The stock YouTube app is available, too.
As for third-party music apps, you're looking at Boost (nee, Sprint) Music and NextRadio. Boost's Music Store is functional, but it isn't as user-friendly as the Play Music app, nor does it have the selection or low prices. I'd advise skipping it. NextRadio is an FM radio app. It has a pretty good user interface and does a great job of finding and connecting to local FM radio stations. You need headphones to listen.
The speaker sounds pretty terrible for music playback. You're best served connecting to solid set of headphones or Bluetooth speaker.
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The Prevail LTE includes a 5-megapixel shooter. The phone does not have a dedicated camera button, but the camera can be launched via the lock screen shortcut. It launches quickly enough.
The camera controls should look familiar to most people. Along the left edge of the viewfinder you'll see a strip of shortcuts. You can customize two of the four shortcuts with options such as the flash, effects, resolution, ISO, metering, and so on. The on-screen buttons to the full settings menu and the front camera are permanent. There are separate buttons for the camcorder and camera on the right side of the screen, as well as buttons for accessing the different shooting modes and the gallery.
The Prevail LTE offers a handful of Samsung's shooting modes, such as Beauty Face, Panorama, Best Photo, Continuous Shot, and Sports. These modes function just as they do on all Samsung phones. Beyond the shooting modes, you still have plenty of options for customizing your shots with the different effects and so on.
In all, the camera performs decently. It takes a second to open and is a little slower to focus in low light than I'd like, but otherwise it's fairly snappy.
Keeping in mind the Prevail LTE's low price point, it actually does a decent job. Most of the images I took had good exposure, accurate white balance, and decent focus. My biggest complaint is the presence of grain. Low-light shots are especially grainy and the flash doesn't help much when shooting indoors. You'll see the best results outdoors on a sunny day, but can still snag decent results in less-optimal conditions if you take a few minutes to tweak the settings before you snap the shot. I wouldn't rely on the Prevail LTE for important stuff, but it's a fine everyday shooter.
The Prevail LTE is limited to recording video at a max resolution of 720p. I was generally pleased with the results, which fell in line with those of the camera. Exposure and white balance were often good, as was focus. You'll see some grain, but it's not terrible. If you want high-quality results, look elsewhere. For day-to-day video capture needs, the camcorder gets the job done well enough.
The Prevail LTE ships with both the older stock Android gallery app and Google's Photos app. As I've mentioned in other reviews, both apps are decent as far as managing and editing your photos are concerned. At this point, the Photos app is a bit better than the old gallery app thanks to its expanded editing functions, automatic uploads, and modern design language I've fully switched to the Photos app myself and haven't looked back since.
The Prevail LTE comes with a typical mix of Google, Samsung, and Boost apps. You can't delete most of the pre-installed apps, but you can at least hide those you don't use. It's a shame users are limited to just 5.2GB on this device for apps and content (thank goodness for microSD cards). Some of the bloaty apps include 1Weather, airG, Amazon, Boost 411, Boost Music, Boost Wallet, Boost Zone (an app store), Gadget Guardian, Galaxy Apps (another app store), NBA Gametime, Scout, and Uber.
I was generally pleased with the Prevail LTE's Bluetooth performance. It paired and connected with headsets, speakers, and PCs without issue. Phone calls routed to a headset sounded good and calls sent to my car's hands-free system sounded great. The Prevail LTE supports stereo Bluetooth, but not the higher-quality aptX profile. That said, music still sounded pretty good through my favorite Bluetooth speaker.
The Prevail LTE ships with the standard Android browser and Google's Chrome browser. Both browsers are highly capable of rendering attractive web sites. Chrome offers a few more features than the stock browser, but as far as how web pages look, they are on even footing. The Prevail LTE was fairly snappy on Boost/Sprint's LTE network. Browsing over 3G was painful at best, but thankfully that happens less frequently than it used to. As long as you have solid Sprint LTE coverage available, the Prevail LTE earns its moniker.
There's a white digital clock on the lock screen. It's big enough to be seen at an arm's length, but the style of the lock screen clock cannot be adjusted. You can, however, choose from three different sizes to make it even more visible if you wish.
The Prevail LTE has Google Maps and — like most Sprint/Boost phones — TeleNav's Scout app for navigation. The GPS radio worked really well. It pinpointed me quickly, though accuracy varied between 25 and about 50 feet. I didn't have any trouble routing directions between points using Google Maps. I find Scout is really useful for local searches. It has an easy-to-parse UI that makes it a snap for finding local restaurants, gas stations, banks, coffee shops, hotels, and so on. It's also good at plotting directions.
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