Home Technology The best cheap Android phone I’ve used this year can be had for free

The best cheap Android phone I’ve used this year can be had for free

The best cheap Android phone I’ve used this year can be had for free


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The T-Mobile Revvl 7 Pro is available now for free if you get a new line, to $250 without.
  • The phone has ample storage at 256GB, a large AMOLED display, and a large capacity battery.
  • The cameras are average and the processor isn’t the fastest, especially for demanding apps. 

Affordable Android phones used to be forced to make so many compromises to get to a low price. Luckily, that’s no longer the case, as it’s now harder to justify paying $1,000 or more for an Android smartphone unless it is a vital tool for work or a flashy flagship device.

Also: The best cheap 5G phones: Expert tested

Case in point: T-Mobile recently released the $250 Revvl 7 Pro 5G and I’ve spent about a month using it as a secondary daily driver. There’s a lot to like here with this phone; so much so that its low price is rather shocking. You can even get it for free when you add a line or trade in any phone — even one that doesn’t work — with a qualified plan.

View at T-Mobile

The Revvl 7 Pro 5G is only available in one color called “Azurite Blue”, a very dark blue with a matte finish and a bit of shimmer. The back panel and sides are plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap. 

The display is on the large side at 6.78 inches, but it’s still overall smaller than most other large Android models out there such as the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Its thin form factor also makes it easier to handle and slide into a pocket.

Also: The best cheap phones you can buy: Expert tested

Unlike other cheap Android phones, the Revvl 7 Pro supports 5G, NFC for Google Pay, and even wireless charging at 15W. The fingerprint sensor is in my favorite spot: along the right side in the power button, which also stands out in the classic T-Mobile magenta. 

Some classic elements are also present, including a 3.5mm audio port and a microSD card, making storage not much of a concern.


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

A fairly stock version of Android 14 powers the phone with just a few T-Mobile apps and a bit of bloatware that all can be removed in after you set up the phone. It’s nice to see a phone without duplicate apps (I’m looking at you, Samsung) so that new phone owners can get used to a typical Android experience without all the distractions.

I used the phone as a media player, and was pleased with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 chip’s performance when it came to movie playback. Also, the stereo speakers were surprisingly good for music and podcasts. All of the media lasted for several hours as well, thanks to the phone’s robust 5,000 mAh battery capacity.

The camera on this phone, however, is clearly not the focus, as the photos it takes are just barely acceptable. The ultra-wide (5MP) and macro (2MP) cameras don’t offer much, and even the 50MP main shooter doesn’t have very good color accuracy, with many subjects appearing too bright. That said, in good lighting you can at least capture a clear shot, so it’s better than nothing.


Matthew Miller/ZDNET

If you’re looking for a solid phone that covers the basics, the Revvl 7 Pro 5G has solid cellular reception and enough features to act as a good first smartphone. Additionally, the large display is perfect for clear communications whether the user is young or old, and its large-capacity battery can last up to a couple of days, even with regular use.

ZDNET’s buying advice

Low cost Android phones used to be an exercise in frustration. Today, phones like the T-Mobile Revvl 7 Pro 5G show that a company can get it right for a modest price, while offering an experience that highlights the services included in your plan. The small form factor, nearly 7-inch display, large battery capacity, and lovely AMOLED display make it hard to distinguish this phone from mid- and upper-range models two times the price.

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