The t-mobile revel v-plus 5g this phone there’s just something about carrier-specific carrier-branded smartphones that tends to give off a certain vibe that isn’t exactly positive in fact there aren’t really that many carrier branded phones anymore because the big name manufacturers make great affordable devices there’s almost no sense in trying to compete but t-mobile continues to attempt to do so with their own revel brand they made like two or three different rebel phones last year this year it’s just this one new one and honestly this phone is better than expected.
it’s definitely a device for a more specific group of people though obviously you need to be an existing or new t-mobile customer to get it you should also try to get this phone for free using t-mobile’s activation offer if you can don’t think this phone is worth the full 199 retail price we’ll tell you that up front but for t-mobile users who want a 2021 5g device that’s free on their network plan it’s worth considering for sure and also want to stress that whole 5g thing too the main reason to even consider this phone really is because it’s the cheapest 5g phone made for t-mobile now if you don’t care about 5g at all there’s a dozen other phones you should get besides this one but if you want to venture into the world of 5g and you know your area has the coverage again this phone probably fits the bill so assuming you meet all the criteria let’s talk about what this phone offers.
first thing that stands out is its size this is a big 6.82 inch device that’s the screen size but with a fairly large bottom chin and thicker than average bezels framing the display this device is going to feel even bigger than that in fact think this is the largest phone we’ve used this year just based on the total dimensions and even for me reaching the top corner and sides of the screen is a stretch to say the least if you have the chance we’d actually recommend trying out this phone in store because it’s really that big and it may not work for everyone however if a big screen is what you want there’s really nothing bigger than also say too that the design of this phone is kind of unique it’s a totally flat very boxy form factor it’s basically shaped like a brick or an ice cream sandwich it’s just the flattest design with the sharpest edges no curvy contours or flowing tapered sides.
the back is plastic that’s very obvious as soon as you touch it the frame of the phone feels thicker and sturdier it might actually be metal all in all there’s no quality issues really it’s still built well and it does just come in this one color combo black with a shiny pink stripe and t-mobile logo across the back at first i really didn’t mind the whole thing but the more we’ve had this phone now the more we wish it looked a little nicer or more interesting and the imei printed on the back is a bit unsightly but i get it it’s very on brand it’s a t-mobile device and they want you to know that and we guess it could have been a lot worse the rest of the hardware is pretty solid i really like the pronounced tactile volume buttons you get a t-mobile pink power button on the other side that doubles as your fingerprint sensor and it’s plenty fast no complaints there glad to have it at the bottom there’s the good old headphone jack and usb c port for charging just one speaker on this phone one at the bottom there it gets very loud actually but tends to be a bit muffled and muddy the more you crank it up lots of detail in the sound though at lower volumes.
A phone like this you’re definitely going to expect some compromises it’s supposed to be a budget phone after all and the first less than ideal feature on this device is the screen already mentioned that the big size is great watching content on this thing is awesome but at just a 1640×720 resolution 257 pixels per inch the display is the furthest thing from sharp you can pick out all the pixels here and not offering a full 1080p screen is the single biggest miss on this phone we don’t even mind that it’s an ips lcd panel kind of expected that but with as big of a screen as this is you need to have the proper resolution to balance that out now is everyone going to care or even notice probably not but if you are coming from a 1080p screen.
the flip side performance wise this phone was surprisingly good and this is probably where had the lowest expectations but was pleasantly surprised to say the least on paper the specs aren’t too crazy the mediatek density 700 5g processor inside is pretty solid it’s a relatively new chipset that’s benchmarked quite well there’s four gigs of ram in this thing as well which maybe isn’t quite enough if you really push your phone hard throughout the day but everyone’s usage will vary the real nice thing though is actually just the software experience when powered this phone on half expected there to be more t-mobile bloatware and pre-installed garbage than there was default android apps but actually this phone ships with the most bare-bones android experience.
t-mobile didn’t litter this phone with junk and deliver it with half the storage already used up what’s also kind of nice is that if you want to push this phone harder you totally can we’ve played like a half a dozen games on this thing and while some of the apps do default to lower graphics settings you can bump that up in the settings at least to medium graphics or higher on some games and there really isn’t a noticeable drop in frame rate or playability the mediatek processor is definitely doing all the work.
4 gigs of ram isn’t quite enough in some cases to get into the apps quickly or in keeping 10 or 15 apps loaded up and running in the background but if you wanted to play some of your favorite games on this phone we don’t see any issues in doing so personally have no complaints with the performance at all and because this phone is so massive there’s also a big 5000 milliamp battery.
all bad news spec wise the main lens is a 16 megapixel shooter there’s also a 5 megapixel ultra wide lens which is nice to have and a 2 megapixel depth sensor for portrait shots the selfie camera is a 16 megapixel lens up front and actually out of everything so long as you turn off most of the ai enhancements i actually think the phone does snap a good selfie picture so that’s definitely a point there now there’s not a ton in regards to shooting modes and camera features there’s night modes some manual controls a couple other shooting modes that you’ll usually find there’s 2k video which is a weird resolution bump but nice to have suppose not much in the way of stabilization for video though in practice you can tell that while some scenes look kind of decent there’s definitely a lot.