Text and IM addicts on AT&T rejoice! Smack dab in the middle of a large holiday-season overhaul of its phone lineup, AT&T this week released the Quickfire, its version of the Sidekick (or the “Sidekick killer”, if you will). The AT&T Quickfire is sure to be of interest to the younger generation as it features a slide-out keyboard for texting as well as a touchscreen.
The Quickfire is made by UTStarcom, which used to be known as Audiovox; this is the first phone from that brand that AT&T has sold since the 5600 nearly 3 years ago.
AT&T Quickfire Design
Upon first seeing the phone, I discovered it is rather large when compared to other text-centric phones. I believe that it was designed this way on purpose so that those who text a lot can grip onto the device with both hands. While AT&T Quickfire could be used with one hand, it would be quite uncomfortable to text this way. Especially since the screen would be slid out to expose the keyboard. I did notice, however, that it seems to be easy enough to grip with one hand when the screen is slid shut.
AT&T Quickfire keyboard is a good size. The buttons are large enough and there is enough space in between each button to help distinguish what you’re typing as to limit the number of mistakes made while texting. The only buttons available when the keyboard is slid shut are the three at the bottom: one for answering/making the call, one for ending the call, and the button in the middle to access a quick menu with options for calls, messaging, email, and internet.
The touchscreen on the AT&T Quickfire is huge. There is no mistaking what you’re trying to push, as the font is large enough for everyone to see. The response time is pretty good for a mid-tier touchscreen phone.
On the top of the Quickfire we find the charger port, microSD slot and power button; the left side offers volume controls and the right side sports a Voice Command button along with camera button. The Quickfire battery and battery cover are fused together so no need for extra parts, and SIM card slot has its usual place underneath the battery.
The Quickfire weighs in at 4.8 oz and has dimensions of 4.3″ x 2.2″ x 0.7″.
AT&T Quikfire Features
The Quickfire’s OS is proprietary – AT&T made the interface very simple to figure out. When you slide the keyboard out, you are greeted with 5 options: Email, IM, Messaging, Address Book, and “more”. Pressing “more” will open up the main menu with all the available options. When the Quickfire keyboard is slid shut, the screen changes from landscape mode to portrait, and provides you with the full menu.
Using the AT&T Quickfire touchscreen itself works pretty well, though it took me a little getting used to. There is no haptic feedback that vibrates when something is touched. You can scroll up and down through the menus, but works a little different than the iPhone-style screens in which your finger “grabs” the screen to scroll; to scroll down, simply slide your finger down, and vice versa to slide up as well.
AT&T Quickfire Specs:
Here’s a listing of what else the Quickfire has to offer.
- aGPS with AT&T Navigation
- Quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band 3G (850, 1900 and 2100)
- MicroSD support up to 32 GB
- 29 MB Internal Memory
- QVGA screen
- 1.3 MP Camera
- Music player syncs with Windows Media on PC, supports MP3 and AAC+ formats
- CV (Cellular Video)
- IM clients for AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo
To enhance your Quickfire music experience, stereo bluetooth has been added. Other profiles for bluetooth include A/V Remote Control and DUN, which allows you to tether your AT&T Quickfire as a modem for your computer via Bluetooth.
The Quickfire offers games such as Sudoku and Jewel Quest, and gives you the option to listen to XM radio from your phone for a monthly fee. Mobile banking is also offered.
AT&T Quickfire’s internet feels reliable and hassle-free internet surfing. I pulled up Unwired View on it and the page loaded within seconds; it showed the page as you would see it on your computer’s browser.
The AT&T Quickfire has a paltry battery life, rated at 3 hours talk time and 12 days of standby. We didn’t have the chance to test out the battery on our own, but we do hope that the battery will last longer when pumping out the large number of texts the phone’s destined to be used for.
We found the Quickfire speaker plenty loud and ringtones were easily heard from across the room. The ringtones that come on the phone are certainly designed for the younger generation but are still MIDI tones, so be prepared to download a couple custom MP3 tones. There were no issues that we could find with the Quickfire call quality.
To be honest, part of me expected the phone to feel cheap, as if it would break into two pieces in the first month. But I came out more impressed with the AT&T Quickfire, and am certain it will be an absolute hit for any hearty texters that enjoy AT&T’s network but yearn for a Sidekick. The Quickfire is now available at any AT&T stores as well as online for $99.99 with 2-year contract after rebates.Click here for best deals on AT&T Quickfire
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