When reading customers reviews of the Samsung Prevail at the Samsung website, and at Amazon. com, it is clear that some customers really like the Prevail and others are unhappy.
So, WHO are the "happy" Prevail owners? The Prevail runs on the Sprint Network, and does NOT ever roam onto other networks. That means phone coverage is limited to the area shown on the coverage map at the Boost Mobile website.
Looking at the Sprint coverage map, it is clear that Sprint has focused on providing strong coverage in cities with a population of over one million people. So, in Texas, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have a great Sprint signal. But, if you go into the villages of central Texas, or east Texas, there is zero coverage.
Sprint also provides a signal along major interstate highways. I drove from central Texas to Atlanta, Georgia using major highways, and had a 3g signal for the entire trip.
So, "Step One" to being happy with the Prevail is to study the Sprint coverage map carefully in relation to where you live and work. Talk to the staff at the neighborhood Radio Shack, as they are familiar with which companies have a strong signal in a given neighborhood.
Next, after you buy the Prevail, learn how to manage its small internal memory. It has 161mb of internal memory, and needs about 20mb of that open to run programs. So, if you use more than about 140mb of memory, your phone will freeze up.
Currently, I am using just 86mb of internal memory, leaving 74mb open to run programs. How did I do that? I removed every app that I do not use on a regular basis. There are some apps, such as TeleNav, that can't be removed. I moved those to the SD card when possible. If moving to the SD card was not possible, I removed app updates. I also went to Android Market and UNchecked the auto updates box, as auto updates soon fills up your memory. The free "History Eraser" app clears memory of programs that you have closed. Just remember to UNcheck SMS text messages if you like to keep your old messages. "History Eraser" can free up 5mb or 10mb of memory from closed programs.
The other complaint about ALL Android phones is battery life. I only need to charge my Prevail once a day, and after 24 hours, I still have a 20% or 30% charge. I use the power widget that is included with the Prevail to turn OFF Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. I use the free "Data Switch" widget to turn OFF 3G. I manually turn off "locations", "navigation" and "Google Maps". Those apps are 90% of the drain on the battery. With moderate use, I get 24 hours per charge, and with light use, I can go 48 hours per charge.
When I want to check email or read news on the internet, I switch on Wi-fi (or 3G where no Wi-fi is available). After I have downloaded my email, I turn Wi-fi back off, or 3G back off. The phone works fine for phone calls and texting with them off.
Likewise, I turn GPS on only if I am using the Google Navigation service. It is handy to just price the Google Microphone symbol and say "Navigate to Starbucks" and a map to the nearest Starbucks appears on the screen. But, as soon as I am done, I turn off GPS, as it has a massive battery drain.
You can download the detailed owner's manual for the Prevail from the internet. The battery saving power widget is already installed and it takes just a minute to install "Data Switch" from the Android Market.
After you have cleared out your Prevail's memory and learned to extend battery life, you will find out that it is a terrific phone, one that does everything the mega-buck phones can do, and at a much lower price.