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printed July 23, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G for MetroPCS

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Attain's screen measures 3.5 inches across the diagonal and offers a relatively pedestrian 480 x 320 pixels. The display looks good for the most part, though individual pixels are visible from time to time. It's not as stunning at the company's Super AMOLED displays, but it still does very well. As for brightness, it performs just fine inside, and loses only a little visibility under the glare of the sun.

Signal

Signal performance was a bit problematic. According to MetroPCS's coverage map, I have solid coverage where I live in NJ, but the Attain was never able to capture more than 2 bars of 1x network. I was still able to make and receive voice calls without problem, but the phone dropped calls frequently. It was disappointing that the Attain 4G had trouble even in areas with excellent MetroPCS coverage.

In the data side of things, I was able to bring the Attain to a spot where it found MetroPCS's LTE 4G network. Data speeds were nothing to get excited about, but they were markedly better than what the Attain could attain over 1x.

Sound

Call quality was not very good. First, I heard a lot of popping and noise during voice calls. Second, the earpiece volume is not nearly strong enough. It's far too easy to lose track of a conversation in a moving vehicle or room full of noisy kids. Poor quality plus weak earpiece is not the combination you want. Calls routed to the speakerphone were no better. The volume is severely lacking and the noise issues persisted. Ringers and alert tones can be set to decent levels, but you'll easily miss them if they are not set all the way up. The vibrate alert is plenty strong.

Battery

The Attain 4G has very good battery life. During my tests, it consistently lasted a day and a half between charges, though that was mostly when under 1x coverage and not LTE. That means you can unplug it on Monday after breakfast and go to about dinner time on Tuesday without a problem. The smaller display helps conserve battery, as does using in under 2.5G conditions. In the time that I tested it under LTE conditions, I didn't notice the battery drain faster.

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