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Friday June 20, 2014 8:26 pm

A look at the T-Mobile Test Drive iPhone package [Hands-on]

Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Cell Phones, Features, Handhelds

T-Mobile Test Drive

As we reported a few days ago, T-Mobile has introduced Test Drive, which allows both current T-Mobile customers and those in other carriers (or who have no cell provider at all) to borrow an iPhone 5s from the company for 7 days. That includes unlimited talk, text, and data with the only current T-Mobile device that supports all the wireless band's used by the company. It's an effort to show, not just tell, the US population that it's greatly improved its wireless network and tuned it for massive data use.

After the T-Mobile Uncarrier 5.0 event we were able to get our hands on one of the iPhone 5s Test Drive units, and we've included some images here. Inside the box is what we assume is a refurbished black iPhone 5s, along with a sealed Lightning cable, Earpods, and AC adapter. It's definitely not the Apple unboxing experience, but that isn't the point. As far as storage capacity, our iPhone 5s is a 32GB model, so there is room to try downloading apps, videos, and images.

T-Mobile Test Drive iphone

Gallery: A look at the T-Mobile Test Drive iPhone package [Hands-on]

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I applaud T-Mobile for doing this, demonstrating how much attention they have paid to their network and how their customers use their phones.  Just don’t take this phone with you on a road trip or outside your city for work and try to use it anywhere outside the Top 100 cities in the US, because before you even get out of the suburbs, you will drop to useless EDGE or GPRS service for your data needs, rendering this device pretty much useless.  That is T-Mobile’s fatal flaw, and the one thing that kept them from being ranked higher in PC Magazine’s recent cellphone carrier rankings report.  They are working on this problem and claim they will have all that EDGE upgraded to LTE within a year.  We will see.

What a daring strategy for T-Mobile ... I can see it paying off big time for them!

Won’t work for me.  I would like to save some money on my cellphone bill, but T-Mobile is not the option since they offer nothing but 2G/EDGE for 100 miles around me.  They are going to have to do a LOT of work on their network before they are a good option here.

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