MetroPCS' Samsung Craft Is the Worst Cell Phone on Earth

The cheap wireless plans seemed too good to be true. MetroPCS' offer of a 4G connection based on a technology called LTE, the same technology that AT&T and Verizon are both planning on using as they upgrade their networks over the next few years, for only $40 or $50 a month? How could that be possible? Slate's Farhad Manjoo picked up MetroPCS' Samsung Craft to find out. It was too good to be true, he discovered, naming the phone the worst he's ever used.

I've been using the Samsung Craft, MetroPCS' first and only 4G phone, for a couple weeks now. It's a nightmare. I'd call it the worst cell phone I've ever used, but to do so would woefully undersell the sadists who've unleashed this little gadget of horrors upon an unsuspecting public. Everything about this phone seems designed not just to frustrate users but to get us to swear off ever using any phone again. Yes, the Craft is so terrible that I've started to spin conspiracy theories around its release. Specifically, I wonder whether MetroPCS is trying to get us all bummed out about the possibilities of 4G so that it can forgo any major improvements in its network. After all, if this is what 4G is like, maybe we should all stop whining and stick with what we've got now.

To take just one example of what makes the Craft truly dreadful, let me tell you about its Web browser. Do you ever feel nostalgic for the early 2000s, when phones offered "Web access" that always seemed to mangle whatever site you visited? If so, you're in luck, because that's just how it is on the Craft! The phone's browser lacks most of the technologies that go into modern sites. It won't do Javascript, for example, so the full versions of sites like Google Maps don't work. It won't play video from most sites, either. And because most Web sites recognize that you're coming from a super-dumb phone, they serve up low-fi versions of their pages, meaning you'll see text and low-res graphics on most of the Web's major destinations.

Read the full story at Slate.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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