T-Mobile carries a number of affordable phones, including models from its own in-house Revvl brand. While previous Revvl models have failed to impress, the new Revvl 5G is an unexpected winner. For $399.99, it offers fast performance, a sharp display, long battery life, and of course, 5G connectivity. The Google Pixel 4a 5G offers better camera quality for $100 more, while the Moto G Power offers similar performance for $150 less. That makes the Revvl 5G a strong option in the middle, and potentially the right phone for you.
The Revvl 5G sports a pretty standard glass sandwich design, embellished by an attractive pink gradient finish on the back. It measures 6.5 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches and weighs a hefty 7.6 ounces.
In addition to the cool pink coloring, the back is a gently textured glass with a large cutout in the upper left corner for the camera module, as well as T-Mobile branding. A fingerprint sensor is hidden just below the cameras, and it's responsive and easy to reach.
The front of the phone is home to a bright 6.53-inch LCD with 2,340-by-1,080 pixels, for a sharp 395 pixels per inch.
A USB-C charging port and speaker sit on the bottom of the phone, while the top is home to a headphone jack. The left holds a hybrid SIM slot, while the volume rocker and power buttons are on the right. The buttons are easy to reach, and the illuminated power button does double duty as a charging and notification indicator.
Durability is acceptable for the price. Both the front and back of the phone are made of strengthened glass and should be able to with stand minor drops and dings. It also has an IP54 rating, which means it can withstand splashes and rain, but is unlikely to survive a drop in the pool.
The Revvl 5G is optimized to work on T-Mobile's network, and only T-Mobile's network—you can't move it to another carrier. It supports LTE bands 2/4/12/25/26/41/66/71 and 5G bands n2/n25/n41/n66/n71.
We tested connectivity across a 14-mile stretch on the north side of Chicago and never lost 5G coverage. Speeds averaged 71.4 down and 41.5Mbps up, though we managed to clock speeds exceeding 200Mbps down and 70Mbps up around Wicker Park and Fulton Market; we believe this is an area where T-Mobile has transitioned its 5G service to band n41.
Call quality is excellent. Noise cancellation works well, with the exception of some minor construction noise that managed to creep in on one test call. And with a maximum earpiece volume of 87 dB, the phone is easy to hear on a busy street.
The Revvl's stereo speakers are solid as long as they’re not pushed to their limits. At their maximum volume of 96dB, you’ll notice some minor distortion in the mids. A bit lower, however, and audio quality is surprisingly strong and immersive.
The phone also supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor and 6GB of RAM, the same as you’ll find on the $599.99 Samsung Galaxy A71 5G. You get 128GB of storage, of which 109GB is available out of the box. If you need additional storage, the Revvl supports microSD cards up to 256GB.
Performance is solid for the price. We were able to multitask with dozens of apps and Chrome tabs open without any slowdown, and we spent over an hour playing Alto’s Odyssey without experiencing any dropped frames or lag.
On Geekbench 5, a suite of benchmark tests that measure raw computing power, the Revvl earned a single core (SC) score of 622 and a multi-core (MC) score of 1,8893. That’s slightly better than the Pixel 4a 5G's scores of 588 (SC) and 1,579 (MC), though it doesn't quite measure up to the $399 Apple iPhone SE's results of 1,331 (SC) and 3,299 (MC).
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The Revvl 5G has a 4,500mAh battery that lasted just over 10 hours on our battery test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness. More conservative use should yield even better results. When you're running low on power, the phone supports fast charging. It also has reverse wireless charging for using the phone itself to power up compatible accessories. That said, the phone can't be charged wirelessly and you’ll need to have it plugged in to use reverse charging.
On the software front, the Revvl 5G ships with a stock version of Android 10. There are a few preloaded T-Mobile apps, but it’s not excessive by any means.
The phone should get an Android 11 upgrade, as well as two years of quarterly security updates. That said, there’s no roadmap for software updates, and it will almost certainly take longer than the Pixel's day-one updates.
On the back of the phone you’ll find a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP macro lens. A 16MP front-facing camera peeks through the small hole in the top of the display.
In good light, the primary and ultra-wide lenses capture images with good depth of field and very little loss of fine detail. The macro lens does a decent job, but there’s some loss of detail and test shots appear a little flat.
In low light, the primary lens does a good job, but there’s some unnatural blurring in the foreground, likely due to aggressive noise cancellation. The ultra-wide lens takes decent low-light shots, though we noticed edge noise and light flare in some of our tests.
Portrait mode does well with good light. We noticed some minor feathering of detail around faces, but it was only obvious when reviewing images at full size. In low light, however, there are noticeable issues with depth mapping and some unnatural foreground blurring.
The front-facing camera works well in good light, capturing crisp detail with spot-on color accuracy and excellent depth. In low light, some of our test shots looked muddy and featured noticeable noise.
Overall, the Revvl 5G’s cameras excel in good light, but-low light performance is hit or miss. It's just fine for your standard social media shots, but hard-core smartphone photographers will find the Pixel to be worth the extra money.
The T-Mobile Revvl 5G is a surprisingly capable phone for the price. It offers fast performance, a nice display, and strong battery life. The Pixel 4a 5G offers better camera quality and faster software updates, but it costs $100 more. And the Moto G Power delivers similarly solid performance, but it doesn't have 5G. That puts the Revvl 5G in a unique position—simply put, you won't find many other $400 5G phones on the market right now. That makes it a solid choice for T-Mobile customers in 5G coverage areas, as well as anyone else looking to spend less than $500 on a quality 5G phone.