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AT&T Impulse 4G Review

AT&T Impulse 4G

Posted: , by John V.


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.

AT&T Impulse 4G Review
AT&T Impulse 4G Review
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.

The AT&T Impulse 4G sports a clean look with its soft touch exterior - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
The AT&T Impulse 4G sports a clean look with its soft touch exterior - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
The AT&T Impulse 4G sports a clean look with its soft touch exterior - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
The AT&T Impulse 4G sports a clean look with its soft touch exterior - AT&T Impulse 4G Review

The AT&T Impulse 4G sports a clean look with its soft touch exterior

AT&T Impulse 4G Review

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.

AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Android buttons - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Speaker - AT&T Impulse 4G Review

Android buttons


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.

microUSB on the bottom - The sides of the AT&T Impulse 4G - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Volume keys on the left - The sides of the AT&T Impulse 4G - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
3.5mm headset jack and power button on top - The sides of the AT&T Impulse 4G - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Right - The sides of the AT&T Impulse 4G - AT&T Impulse 4G Review

microUSB on the bottom

Volume keys on the left

3.5mm headset jack and power button on top


The sides of the AT&T Impulse 4G

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.

Back - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Camera - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
Battery compartment - AT&T Impulse 4G Review
SIM card slot - AT&T Impulse 4G Review



Battery compartment

SIM card slot

  • Options

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:12

1. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 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!

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 08:22 2

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 problem..call quality!

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:10

4. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 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.

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:39

5. Mercenary (unregistered)

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

posted on 21 Sep 2011, 09:00

3. Mooooo (Posts: 212; Member since: 27 Aug 2011)

I used to own an Isuzu Impulse.

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 11:51 2

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

posted on 24 Sep 2011, 04:26

8. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

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

posted on 25 Sep 2011, 02:25

9. JD (unregistered)

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

posted on 26 Sep 2011, 15:22

10. brent04 (unregistered)

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

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 19:34

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?

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 14:08

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)

posted on 20 Oct 2011, 17:17

16. cncskj12 (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 08:47

13. dana (unregistered)

Nice phone but battery life sucks.

posted on 16 Oct 2011, 10:26

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.

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 11:43

17. BMHarris (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Nov 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?

posted on 04 Mar 2012, 21:30

22. shelbyxxoo (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)

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

posted on 16 Oct 2011, 13:26

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 :-)

posted on 23 Nov 2011, 20:53

18. carolyn65 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Nov 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.

posted on 01 Feb 2012, 13:07

19. Thullraven (Posts: 26; Member since: 14 Nov 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.

posted on 13 Feb 2012, 12:50

20. madisondanielle (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Feb 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.

posted on 03 Mar 2012, 08:31

21. nateford1982 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Mar 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.

posted on 17 Jul 2012, 19:02

23. jaden153 (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Jul 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.

posted on 01 Sep 2012, 11:10

25. lynn653 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


posted on 01 Sep 2012, 11:09

24. lynn653 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Sep 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

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 15:20

26. ajac09 (Posts: 1482; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

gangsta phone

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PhoneArena rating:
Display3.8 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (246 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Single core
Size4.72 x 2.56 x 0.46 inches
(120 x 65 x 11.6 mm)
4.41 oz  (125 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 4 hours talk time

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