The Good The T-Mobile Comet offers a compact and lightweight design. The smartphone comes with Android 2.2 and a full range of wireless options. The quality of calls is excellent.
The Bad The comet has a small display and does not support multitouch. The plastic piece covering the navigation array began to peel. The smartphone can be sluggish.
The Bottom Line T-Mobile Comet is an Android phone with a compact design and good call quality, but there are better options.
Editors’ note: This review has been updated with in-store pricing.
The T-Mobile Comet is a branded version of Huawei Ideos, which is an inexpensive Android phone. It is certainly budgetary; entry-level smartphone is $ 9.99. US with a two-year contract (as an alternative, you can get it as a prepaid option for $ 200) and offers some nice features such as Android 2.2, compact design and excellent call quality. However, it also suffers from a smaller display and sluggish performance, and our review units have a design flaw. We suggest spending just $ 20 more on the LG Optimus T, which offers the best hardware and features, free of charge with a contract.
At just 4.09 inches by 2.16 inches, 0.54 inches wide and 3.6 ounces, the T-Mobile Comet is a small tube. This is of course easy to travel with curved edges and rounded corners to keep it comfortable, but we have some concerns about the overall build quality. This is not so much durability as the handset feels quite sturdy, but the plastic object covering the navigation area began to peel off almost immediately. This may be a solitary situation, but we received two survey units, and it happened on both. In one case, just pressing the plastic cover solved the problem, but in the other case, the left corner kept popping back, which only got worse as more dust and debris accumulated on the adhesive strip.
The T-Mobile comet is compact and lightweight.
The comet has a 2.8-inch WVGA (320×240) capacitive touch screen. An affordable entry-level device should expect a lower resolution display, and we found the screen quite bright and clear. It is also quite responsive as it logs all our touches and scrolls through lists and menus smoothly. However, there is no support for multitouching, and the smaller display size definitely interferes with web browsing and multimedia. It also allows you to create a tight onscreen keyboard, but turning on Swype makes it easier to swipe from key to key than clinging to small buttons.
Below the screen, you get touch keys for the back, menu, home, and search shortcuts, followed by the talk and end keys and the navigation bar D. Note that the outer silver ring is used as the directional keyboard and the large black button in the center is the selection key. With the touch screen we didn’t have much need to use the D-pad, but it’s useful when trying to click on the links on a web page.
On the left is a volume rocker and a power button and 3.5mm headphone jack on top of the device. The camera is located on the back and the microSD expansion socket is located behind the battery.
The T-Mobile Comet comes with an AC adapter, USB cable, 2GB microSD card and reference material.
T-Mobile Comet ships with Android 2.2, which is great since some high-end smartphones don’t even work with Froyo. With it, the smartphone offers features such as voice dialing via Bluetooth and the ability to save applications to an SD card. The OS also technically supports Flash 10.1 Player, but due to hardware limitations, Comet does not. You still get all the standard Google services, but fortunately, T-Mobile doesn’t cover the phone too much with unnecessary services.
Comet’s voice features include worldwide four-way roaming, loudspeaker, speed dial, smart dial, voice commands, conference calls, and text and multimedia messages. The phone also supports 3G and has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unlike the LG Optimus T, Comet can’t make calls over Wi-Fi.
The smartphone can handle multiple email and social networking accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo, Exchange, Facebook and Twitter. We had no problems adding Gmail, Exchange, Facebook and Twitter accounts to the review, and we received messages and updates without any problems. Comet offers a unified inbox and calendar, though you can choose to keep your accounts separate if you prefer.
The multimedia capabilities of T-Mobile Comet are fairly standard. The built-in music and video player supports a variety of music and video codecs including MP3, AAC, AAC +, eAAC +, MPEG4, WAV and MIDI. The music player interface may be better, but it does support full playlists, move / repeat modes, and use as ringtone. The phone also has an FM radio and a dedicated YouTube player. The comet only has 149MB of internal storage, but as mentioned earlier, T-Mobile includes 2GB of microSD cards, and the expansion slot can accept up to 32GB of cards.
The image quality was not the highest.
The comet has a 3.2 megapixel camera. Editing options are quite limited, but you get white balance settings, digital zoom, geotag, and video. The image quality was almost what we expected: grainy with dull colors. However, you can reveal the objects in the photos, and the pictures taken outdoors are better. The video quality was rather murky.
We tested the four-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS / HSDPA) T-Mobile Comet in New York and the call quality was pretty good. For our part, the sound was clear, there was little background noise, and the voices sounded rich and full. Friends also reported good results and had no major complaints.
Sample call quality for T-Mobile CometListen now:
The quality of the speakers was also impressive. The calls sounded rich and full without any of the subtlety and hollowness that often conjured up loudspeaker calls. In addition, there was enough volume to talk in noisy environments. We had no problems pairing the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveler Bluetooth headset or the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active headset.
We did get a fairly solid 3G coverage in Manhattan, though there were spots such as Midtown where it ranged from 3G and EDGE. More than 3G full CNET sites appeared in a minute, while mobile sites for CNN and ESPN were downloaded in 7 seconds and 12 seconds respectively. YouTube videos are downloaded in a matter of seconds and are played continuously and with audio and audio synchronized. It is possible to switch to high quality, but with such a screen with low resolution it does not make much difference.
The comet is powered by a 528MHz processor, and although we have never experienced any major problems or delays, the smartphone can sometimes be sluggish. He always registered our teams, but the phone could hang for a couple of seconds before running the application or task.
T-Mobile Comet comes with a 1200 mAh Li-ion battery with a nominal talk time of 9 hours and up to 12 days standby time. In our battery tests, the Comet turned out to be significantly less than the promised talk time, offering only 5 hours of continuous talk time. According to FCC radiation tests, Comet has a digital specific absorption coefficient of 1.27 W / kg.