How T-Mobile's $199 Revvl Plus Matches Other Budget Phones
T-Mobile is expanding its lineup of self-branded Android phones. And this time, the carrier is going big with its newest Revvl device.
Starting this Friday (Nov. 17), T-Mobile plans to sell the $200 Revvl Plus, a 6-inch smartphone with a full HD display and dual rear cameras. In addition to buying the phone outright, you'll also be able to lease it for $9 a month through T-Mobile's Jump On Demand Program or pay it off in 24 monthly installments of $8 after you make an $8 down payment.
The Revvl Plus follows on the heels of the Revvl, a 5.5-inch $150 phone T-Mobile released in August to give its wireless customers more budget options. The Revvl Plus adds another phone to the mix, this one boasting specs you'd expect to find on higher-priced devices.
Those features are highlighted by the twin lenses on the back of the Revvl Plus. The phone includes a rear 13-megapixel lens alongside a 5-megapixel shooter. T-Mobile tells us the dual-camera setup will allow you to create bokeh effects where the subject of a photo appears in sharp focus while the background is blurred; it's a feature you'll find on dual-lens camera phones from Apple and Samsung among others. Up front, the Revvl Plus offers an 8-MP selfie cam.
Besides the cameras, the Revvl Plus also boasts a sizable 3,380 mAh battery, which is larger than the 3,000 mAh power pock found on the Revvl. You'll find a fingerprint sensor on the back of the new phone, too.
Count on making some compromises with performance. The Revvl has a quad-core Snapdragon 625 processor, backed by 2GB of RAM. That's a decent midrange CPU, though it won't set any speed records. The Revvl Plus runs Android Nougat at a time when phone makers are beginning to outline upgrade paths to Android Oreo. You're also limited to 32GB of onboard storage, though as with the original Revvl, you can boost things to 128GB via a microSD card.
|Phone||Revvl Plus||HTC U11 Life||LG K20 Plus||ZTE Blade Z Max|
|Monthly Payment||$8 per month ($8 down)||$12 per month ($12 down)||$8 per month ($8 down)||N/A|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||6 inches (1920 x 1080)||5.2 inches (1920 x 1080)||5.3 inches (1280 x 720)||6 inches (1920 x 1080)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 625||Snapdragon 630||Snapdragon 425||Snapdragon 435|
|Battery||3,380 mAh||2,600 mAh||2,700 mAh||4,080 mAh|
The Revvl Plus compares fairly favorably to the other moderately priced smartphones in T-Mobile's lineup. HTC's U11 Life has an impressive camera, although with only one rear lens, and turns in solid performance powered by a Snapdragon 630 CPU; it costs $100 more than the Revvl Plus at T-Mobile, or $4 extra each month if you pay off the phone in installments. The LG K20 Plus costs the same as the Revvl Plus, though there's little to make LG's budget model stand out from the crowd.
To find a really compelling alternative to the Revvl Plus, you could turn to MetroPCS, T-Mobile's prepaid subsidiary, where you can get ZTE's Blade Z Max for less than $100. Like the Revvl Plus, the Blade Z Max features a 6-inch full HD display and dual rear cameras. And MetroPCS uses T-Mobile's cellular network, so you're not making a trade-off on performance.
Our favorite budget smartphone remains the Moto G5 Plus, a 5.2-inch phone with a single rear camera that you can get for $229. (Because the phone is unlocked, you'll have to pay full price.) If dual rear cameras are important to you, you can play up for the Moto G5S Plus, which costs just $79 more than the Revvl Plus.
Whichever model ends up striking your fancy, the arrival of the Revvl Plus is more proof that high-end features such as dual camera lenses are increasingly find their way onto sub-$300 phones, and that the choices for budget phone shoppers have never been broader.
Updated to identify the processor in the Revvl Plus and add information about the cameras.