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I reverted to a 4G-only phone for a week: Are these devices still worth it? | Technology News

itel recently dropped their new budget P55 series, including the P55 and P55+. But there’s a third model slotting right in between them – the retail-exclusive itel P55T. I’ve been rocking this one as my side phone for a week now, so let’s dive in and see if 4G handsets are still worth grabbing in 2024.

The P55T feels like it’s built like a tank – it’s got some nice heft thanks to packing a massive 6,000mAh battery. The all-plastic body might not have Gorilla Glass up front, but it still feels sturdy enough to take a beating. You won’t have to worry about that though as it comes with a clear case in the box. Flip it over and you’ve got this cool Astral Gold rear panel with a starry, shimmery pattern that gives off a bluish shine when you move it around. There’s also an iPhone-esque camera island, but that third circle is actually a ring flash, not a lens.

itel p55t review (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

The 6.6-inch 90Hz LCD display sports a punch-hole design, which is pretty rare at this price point. Display quality is decent for what you’re paying.

4G in 2024

Let’s talk pricing – at just Rs 8,199, the P55T is easily one of the most affordable phones out there right now. But here’s the thing – you only need to stretch around Rs 2K more to snag a 5G-capable handset nowadays.

So is rocking 4G in 2024 even worth it? I’m based in Noida, and the network connectivity here (at least on Jio) isn’t always amazing. But it does seem to be improving gradually. My main 5G phone can easily pull 20MBps at home and the office, though it does drop down to 4G here and there.

Festive offer
itel p55t review (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

On the locked-to-4G P55T though, webpages were struggling to load properly. Texts on WhatsApp were all good, but general data performance felt frustratingly slow more often than not. It’s possible Jio is shifting resources from 4G to bolster their 5G rollout. This could be a Noida-only problem, though, and I can’t say for sure if it’s better or worse in other cities.

But hey, that’s not the phone’s fault at all. If 4G has been reliable for you so far, the P55T should serve you just fine. 4G LTE is expected to stick around for at least another decade too, coexisting alongside 5G. You’ll just be missing out on those wicked fast 5G speeds that seem to be getting faster each month as operators improve their infrastructure. Although with Airtel and Jio likely ending unlimited free 5G plans by late 2024, who knows how much it’ll cost – maybe 4G ends up being significantly cheaper?

Other stuff

Outside of connectivity, the Unisoc T606 chip under the hood is pretty decent for daily use. I encountered occasional stutters but nothing deal-breaking. It helps that this is running Android 14 Go Edition too – in fact, it’s the world’s first phone on this version. But it is a custom-skinned Go build running itel’s usual UI, so you’ll not be treated to a pure stock Android experience. Still, optimisation is on point – I easily got two days of battery life.

As for the cameras, you’re looking at a dual setup on the back with 50MP and 0.08MP sensors, plus an 8MP selfie cam. For the price, these shooters are actually pretty great in bright daylight conditions.

itel p55t review (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)
itel p55t review (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

Low-light results do get noisy and grainy though. The front camera punched above its weight too – it can grab some Instagram-worthy selfies.


itel p55t review (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

4G is sticking around, so if you’re on a tight budget and can’t stretch past Rs 8K, one of these should serve you well long-term. But if you can push up to Rs 10K, you’ve got way more 5G-ready options to choose from at that range. Make that decision based on your network situation and future needs.

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Zohaib is a tech enthusiast and a journalist who covers the latest trends and innovations at The Indian Express’s Tech Desk. A graduate in Computer Applications, he firmly believes that technology exists to serve us and not the other way around. He is fascinated by artificial intelligence and all kinds of gizmos, and enjoys writing about how they impact our lives and society. After a day’s work, he winds down by putting on the latest sci-fi flick. • Experience: 3 years • Education: Bachelor in Computer Applications • Previous experience: Android Police, Gizmochina • Social: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn … Read More

First uploaded on: 17-02-2024 at 17:49 IST


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