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printed October 23, 2014
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Review: Cricket MSGM8 II

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The Cricket MSGM8 II is an inexpensive phone sold with an inexpensive calling and texting plan and no contractual obligations. Unfortunately, inexpensive here also means dated and behind the times. Though the hardware is perfectly adequate, and even enjoyable at times, the seriously low-end messaging features and the sedate, poorly designed interface make this a tough phone to recommend without some advanced warning.

You could also opt for the unlimited data package for a little bit more, and though the phone makes little case for the extra cost, the plan does give you free picture messaging and GPS navigation. The phone doesn't take great photos, but they might be acceptable for picture messaging. GPS is the only truly competent connected app on the phone. The Web browser is simplistic with bad scrolling control, and the MyHomeScreen widgets are sluggish to navigate and useless in practice.

The phone is lacking some key features. There is no music player, no video recorder, both of which are rare gaps, even on basic feature phones. But the MSGM8 II doesn't just lose by omission. Sound quality during calls wasn't great, and battery life was also disappointing. The Cricket MSGM8 II can handle many tasks, but nothing stands out.

In the end, the Cricket MSGM8 II gives you the most basic features in an inexpensive phone that doesn't feel cheap until you turn it on.

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