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Hands On with the T-Mobile REVVL 7 and REVVL 7 Pro

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Jun 5, 2024, 7:00 AM   by Rich Brome
updated Jun 12, 2024, 10:41 AM

Carrier-branded phones are nothing new, but T-Mobile's line of REVVL phones is one of the most simple, consistent, and long-running such efforts in the US. Most years, we get two phones: an entry-level model and a step-up model; this year is no different. We checked out the T-Mobile REVVL 7 5G and T-Mobile REVVL 7 Pro 5G for a day and have some first impressions to share. Read on to find out what these phones are like in person.

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Both of these phones are manufactured for T-Mobile by Wingtech, the same company that made the REVVL V, 6, and 6x series. (Wingtech also makes phones for other carriers, like the Cricket Icon 4, Boost Celero5G, and Visible Midnight.) The fact that T-Mobile has stuck with Wingtech for so many generations of these phones is sign that T-Mobile is happy with how they perform, and specifically, that they aren't being returned in droves.

Looking at the specs, the 7 series is nice upgrade over the 6/6x series. Both models get a sharper display with faster refresh, more RAM, stereo speakers, and move to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor. The entry model also has a larger battery. The overall spec sheets are about as good as is gets at these very affordable price points ($200–250).

Hardware

The hardware sticks with the familiar REVVL formula. All REVVL phones in recent years have been very large, and not quite as rounded as I would prefer.

T-Mobile REVVL 7 5G  

The cheaper REVVL 7 is very blocky, with a very flat back and relatively sharp corners where the back meets the sides. I find this makes the phone uncomfortable to hold, and makes it feel even wider and thicker than it is. The flat back looks nice enough with a matte finish and a subtle shimmer effect.

The step-up REVVL 7 Pro is the largest-display REVVL phone yet with a whopping 7-inch display. The back is also matte, but more rounded for comfort, and with a more dramatic shimmer effect. I think it looks noticeably more premium compared to the cheaper model.

T-Mobile REVVL 7Pro 5G  

Both models are a bit of a step up from past REVVL models, some of which have been quite blocky and cheap-feeling.

Thinner bezels around the display mean the Pro model isn't actually that much larger overall, even though the display is much larger. I also find the display to be much higher-quality on the Pro model, with less blue cast and more even brightness. Together with the nicer design of the back, that gives me a strong preference for the Pro model, despite my strong dislike for larger phones. (Believe me, that's really saying something!)

There's much in common between the two models, spec-wise. They cover all the basics like fingerprint reader, headset jack, NFC (for Google Pay), expandable storage, enough RAM, and a 50-megapixel main camera. I would pick the REVVL 7 Pro for its better display and design anyway, but that you also get wireless charging and faster wired charging —for only $50 more — makes the Pro model a no-brainer in my book.

I'll add that not only does the display look much better on the Pro model, but the camera takes much better photos. Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because they're both 50 megapixel cameras, that they're in the same league. I only took a handful of sample photos, but in every side-by-side, the one from the Pro model looked dramatically better, even after transferring them to other devices. The Pro takes decent photos for this class of phone. The non-Pro model takes photos that look like they came from a flip phone. If you care about camera quality in the slightest, do not get the REVVL 7 5G.

One other note about camera hardware: there is technically a dedicated wide-angle camera on the Pro model, but it's only 5 megapixel. It delivers about the detail and quality I expected, and my expectations were low. It's a marketing gimmick at best and I suggest you simply ignore it. Ditto for the 2 megapixel macro cameras on both.

There's not a lot else to say about the hardware. The buttons on both are fine; weight and apparent durability seems about average.

Software

Unfortunately, the REVVL 7 series comes with annoying bloat-ware like "Royal Match", Monopoly Go, Solitaire, NewsBreak (which is in the news recently for pushing AI-generated fake news), Pinterest, Facebook, Temu, Amazon, and a bunch of T-Mobile apps. Most can be un-installed, except T-Mobile Play, a content app.

The software is otherwise a very standard version of Android 14, as designed by Google. It's simple, straightforward, and looks good.

software  

The camera is the one app where phones like this differ and sometimes suffer. But I like the camera app on the REVVL 7 series. It has everything I expect in 2024 in a phone like this.

The camera viewfinder automatically recognizes QR codes without doing anything special. The Pro (manual) mode lets you take long exposures at either 4 or 30 seconds long (why not 10 or 20, I have no idea, but I'll take it.) There are also slow-motion and hyperlapse modes. Both can take video at up to 2K just to max out the hardware capabilities if you want, although they default to the more-common 1080p (FHD).

You can customize the camera mode choices somewhat, so if you want to make it quicker to access Pro or Slow Motion modes, you can. But it won't let you demote Night or Live Focus modes to the "More" menu, nor will it let you promote Google Lens to a main mode carousel.

Summary

I was impressed by the REVVL 7 Pro 5G. It's still probably too big for my small hands. But it offers very decent spec sheet for the price, and the display, camera, and body all hold up under initial scrutiny. I very much like the "clean" software as well.

I was less impressed by the lower-end REVVL 7 5G. It has very significant trade-offs, for a relatively small difference in price. The display and camera are not good. I don't like how it feels in hand. Even as a $200 5G phone, I don't think it's a good value for most people.

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About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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