An excellent phone for texting with its full-size QWERTY keyboard that slides out from underneath the 3.2″ touch screen. The Extravert 2 recognizes voice commands and is T4/M4 hearing aid compatible.
The Blu Tank II T193 is our favorite low-cost phone (below $25). With a standby time of 30 days and up to 16 hours of continuous talk time, this phone has a better battery life than any other dumb phone we have tested so far.
Call quality is decent, not great, but good enough for a phone of this price. The earpiece is a bit quiet though. You do have the option to connect a headset, either via Bluetooth or using the 3.5mm audio jack.
There’s a speakerphone option also, which is a bit quiet as well. The speakerphone is good enough for indoors use, but not loud enough to use outside in a noisy environment.
This phone doesn’t have any type of internet connectivity. No browser, no email, nothing.
The Tank II does support texting, but there’s no predictive input (T9). You input letters the old fashioned way, by pressing the number pad keys up to 3 times.
An MP3 player is included, and you can use your MP3 or WAV files as ringtones. Other features include alarms, a file manager, a calculator, a voice recorder, and one game.
The Tank II has a basic camera that can take VGA (640×480) resolution pictures, or record 320x240p videos. At this resolution though, picture quality is extremely poor — which is to be expected for a phone of this price range. There’s a LED flash, and the LED can also be used as a flashlight.
In order to take pictures or videos, you need to insert a microSD card to store them on. The T193 will accept SD cards up to 16GB in size.
An FM radio is included, and it works well even when you don’t have any headphones or headset connected. Most phones require you to connect some headphones so they can use their cable as an antenna, but this one has great reception by itself.
A big plus of this phone is its dual SIM slot, allowing you to use the phone with two different numbers. For example, you can use one domestic and one international number, or alternatively, work and home phone numbers. This phone is also eligible for use abroad, should you plan to take it overseas with you.
A downside of the T193 is that the SIM cards are quite finicky to replace. You have to take the phone’s cover off and then remove the battery. Below the battery there’s a tray that holds both of the SIM cards. Let’s just say the procedure is easier if you have long fingernails…
In summary, the BLU Tank II is a great backup, emergency, or travel phone. It’s strengths are calling, texting, and playing music (MP3 or FM radio). Battery life is excellent, and you can use a microUSB charger. Having two SIM slots is useful if you want to use your phone with various numbers.
|Dimensions||4.8" x 1.9" x .5"|
|SD card slot||16GB|
|SIM card slot||Dual|
|Standby time||30 days|