AT&T Impulse 4G Review

Even now, buying a “4G” enabled AT&T smartphone still requires you to fork over some serious cash flow, but as we continue to become inundated by them, it’s only inevitable to find them increasingly on the affordable side. Plus, when you’re Chinese manufacturer Huawei, you know it’s going to be close to dirt-cheap. Well people, we’re finally at that level as the Huawei manufactured AT&T Impulse 4G is taking off sporting a tempting on-contract price of only $29.99. Indeed it’s lovely, we’re curious to see if it can find that perfect balance to commit itself as a decent performing smartphone.

The package contains:

  • AT&T Impulse 4G
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide


Essentially an exact facsimile to the Huawei IDEOS X5, the Impulse 4G is a surprisingly decent looking handset that’s far better in build and construction over other wonky Huawei devices we’ve checked out. Sporting a clean look with its soft touch exterior, its neutral design approach and balanced weight enables it to blend in with the crowd – albeit, it’s not something that stands out. Nevertheless, we’re content with its overall appearance since it doesn’t come off as a cheap feeling device, which is generally something we find a lot of in its price category.

You can compare the AT&T Impulse 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

For the price, it’s definitely sweet to find it flaunting a 3.8” WVGA (480 x 800) LCD display, which is able to deliver plenty of crisp looking details. Additionally, its cooler looking color production manages to give it a good pop, but it’s still far from producing the luscious tones exhibited by AMOLED  panels. However, you’ll literally need to look at it straight on since its poor viewing angles tend to fade things on-screen. And yeah, we find ourselves constantly shielding it away from the gaze of the sun.

Even though there is a sufficient amount of space separating its capacitive Android buttons and bottom edge, we’re still constantly finding ourselves accidentally pressing them. Who knows why, but it seems more susceptible when we’re flicking our finger against the lower portion of the display.

Sadly, we’re not a fan of its flat looking power button, but luckily its volume rocker is raised a bit more to offer us a distinctive feel. Much like other handsets, it features a 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port for charging and data connectivity.

Jutting out a tad bit from the surrounding area, we find its 5-megapixel auto-focus camera in the rear –  with its LED flash and speakerphone grill nearby. Meanwhile, sliding off its soft touch coated back cover, we’re given access to its 1,500 mAh battery, microSD card slot, and SIM card slot.



1. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Great video review! I'm curious, how would you score this in the "entry-level smart phone" category? Obviously you gave it a 6.5 compared to all, but in addition it may be good to know how it stacks up to other entry-level's (my mom and little sister would probably be interested). Maybe an 8.5? Thanks!

2. Mercenary unregistered

It's good to see nice phones with low prices,but...what's up with the call quality? I mean is it hard to make the call quality good?Like the htc hd7,LG optimus 7,samsung omnia 7...those are really nice phones but the call quality...!!! I also liked the SE XPeria mini pro TXT as a budget phone..but the same quality!

4. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Good question...It seems these budget smart phones cut corners on everything (screen, processor, camera), including the very thing it is at its core...a PHONE. I would think at the minimum, the call quality has to be good on any phone. Any phone (smart or not) suffering from bad call quality doesn't deserve to be sold. $300 Droid Bionic with whining sound? Pathetic.

5. Mercenary unregistered

As you said... what i like in nokia that all it's phones have good call quality.

3. Mooooo

Posts: 212; Member since: Aug 27, 2011

I used to own an Isuzu Impulse.

7. Sean unregistered

I am not being funny but why is everyone obsessed about viewing angles?? Do you read your phones display from the side?? I certainly do not. And not having great viewing angles means more privacy from anyone sitting next to you. I for one look at my phones display head on not from the side. Stupid

8. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

For this price it should deserve more points in the review.

9. JD unregistered

Just got this phone. Cheap and cool. So far so good.

10. brent04 unregistered

Got this phone Saturday and Im not impressed with a few thing. The text messaging is one of them

11. Itzabitz unregistered

I'm finding that frequently when people call me, they can't hear me. I have to call them back and then it connects properly. In fact, when they call and can't hear me, if I hang up before them and they stay on the line, they connect with my voicemail. Is anyone else having this problem?

12. jodee unregistered

i think im going to get this phone, im excited but , to people who have this phone, what do you think and if you think i should not get this phone is there an at&t phone that does not cost too much that you recommend?(preferably slide)

16. cncskj12

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

the apple i phone 3gs is free right now or .97 cents at sams club

13. dana unregistered

Nice phone but battery life sucks.

14. ashley unregistered

I like this phone but this is my second one in the 3 weeks that ive had it for problems. It shuts off by its self and freezes. This second phone i have only had for 4 days now.

17. BMHarris

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

I've had the same problem. I have to reset my phone at least 5 times a day because features stop working or it just freezes up. Anyone know how to fix that?

22. shelbyxxoo

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

I've been having this same exact problem... it drives me nuts!

15. lyss unregistered

have had this phone for a week now....only 2 things that I have had problems with is the call quality and very short battery life, I have to charge it by 11pm every night or mid day if I plan to have a late night. Kinda annoying because everything else seems to be working flawlessly, not sure how they missed 2 very IMPORTANT qualities....get a car charger folks! Otherwise I do love this phone, very speedy with all features, and you can not beat the price :-)

18. carolyn65

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 23, 2011

This phone has been an absolute nightmare. I have had it replaced three times in 10 days and they all drop almost every call I make or receive. I use my phone for my business so I can't afford these kind of problems. After trying 3 phones that clearly do not work I asked to trade for a different kind of phone. The salesperson said that was not their policy that they could give me # 4 to try. I gave #3 back to them , had to pay a $35.00 "restocking fee" and left without a phone. Needless to say I will be ending my relationship with AT&T as soon as the contract is up.

19. Thullraven

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

Been using the Impulse for a week. Wanted to try an Android phone for awhile. Much about it to like and some things I don't like. I love the customizations I've been able to do. My live wallpaper is very cool. Gaming is good. Surfing is good. Also, for an Android, the battery life has been stellar. Better than my BB Torch 9810. However, I've decided to return to my Torch for two reasons alone, the first which is a deal bteaker for me : Signal Strength and texting. I've installed antenna boosters in the battery compartment but my Torch still has a much stronger signal and I work in an area where I need a strong signal. All the fun of this phone means nothing to me if I can't use it as a phone. Also, texting is ok but not great. The text has to play catch up and errors.are common, but that could be me :) That said, I could have typed this out a lot quicker on my Torch.

20. madisondanielle

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I first off would not reccomend this phone. it deletes all my pictures sometimes and they never seem to restore.But when i go into my camera i can see the previous picture i took so i dont know what the issue is but again i d o not reccomend this phone.

21. nateford1982

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

This phone has had many problems. I've gone through 4 sim card and this my 2nd phone. On incoming calls the connection is bad sometimes and they can't hear me on the other end of the line. When this 2nd phone with the 2nd sim card started doing that, I had enough. They wouldn't do anything for me at the At&t store so after speaking with about 4 different people on the warrenty hotline they made it so I could get an early upgrade. Its only been 4 months since I've had this phone. They waved all the fees and shiping costs and my Samsung Galaxy S II is on the way. I'm only out the original 30 bucks I originally paid for the Impulse. You get what you pay for.

23. jaden153

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 17, 2012

WOSE PHONE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this phone has random spaz attacks when the touch screen wil stop working and you have to pop out the battery. it is also extreamly hard to assign a 3 to a contact that u have downloaded from facebook. i wrote this revew after my phone was completly fryed after attempting to bring up an app. the screen will also cut of if u toch the screen more than once at a time the screen is horrible at recocnizeing swipes and tapps.

25. lynn653

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 01, 2012


24. lynn653

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

we have had 2 impulse 4g phones 1 replced and just recieved the 2nd phone on 8/30/12 and within 24 hrs te same thing happed she hasto remove battery toget it to work she can't hear calls hen they come in she has to hang up and call them back and she doesn't recieve her text messages do they really wat to send me a new phone every week or jus replace it with a phone that works all this is through the asurion CNA an they ropped her insurance coverage becuse of claims against phone

26. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

gangsta phone
Impulse 4G
  • Display 3.8" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Storage 0.512 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(4.00h talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.