The Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) phone installs and runs apps with ease on its 1.4 GHz processor. App storage might get a little tight with only 2 GB of onboard memory, especially if you leave a lot of videos on the phone.
I recommend using the free Dropbox service for automatically uploading the phone's videos and pictures to your computer, so you can delete them from the phone and save on space. The phone will also accept up to a 64 GB microSD card, and I strongly recommend adding at least a 4 GB one.
The Prevail II's 5 MP camera (1.3 MP front-facing) takes great pictures, and a side camera button makes using the camera extremely easy. Even if the phone screen is locked, simply press the camera button, aim at your photo target and press the button again to take a picture. The phone also takes HD videos, but its 4" touchscreen plays in WVGA.
The Prevail II measures 4.8" by 2.5" by .5" and weighs 4.6 oz, making it a bit smaller than the high-end phones and therefore easier to carry in a pants pocket.
I did encounter an annoying glitch on the phone, one that appears to be fairly common, judging from the user reviews on Boost Mobile's Web site. After testing the demo Prevail II phone for awhile, it started rebooting itself every few minutes. I was able to resolve the problem by resetting the phone back to factory settings, which isn't something you'd want to do on a regular basis.
However, I believe the issue was caused by low available space on the internal storage. Adding a microSD card for storing your pictures, videos and music files may keep this problem at bay. An incompatible app could also have caused the rebooting issue, but that doesn't seem likely, given how many people seem to have experienced it. If you already have a microSD card installed, a bad one can also cause unpredictable rebooting behavior on an Android phone.
User reviews also complain about the phone not having 4G service. Simply put, the Prevail II uses only the older 3G technology, which works well for email and games like Words With Friends, but for video or Web browsing, not so much. You're better off connecting to Wi-Fi streaming videos anyway, since that'll quickly drain a monthly mobile data allowance.
I love the Prevail II's removable battery, which has become rather uncommon these days. If your battery dies someday, you should be able to replace it rather than ditching the whole phone.
If you like to carry an extra battery, you can do that as well, but you probably won't need to. The Prevail II has impressive battery life, lasting a couple of days between charges, even with apps running in the background and a busy email account collecting messages.
The Prevail II sports an onscreen keyboard similar to other current Samsung phones, with multi-function keys, meaning you can hold in a letter to get a number or symbol, to make typing a bit faster.
Boost Mobile uses Sprint's nationwide 3G mobile network for the Prevail II. They don't charge extra if you go over their 2.5 GB monthly data allotment, but they can slow down the speed significantly. You can easily monitor data usage using a free widget such as 3G Watchdog or by checking periodically under Settings, Usage. You'll probably want to use Wi-Fi whenever possible, since it's faster and won't burn through your mobile data.
With Boost Mobile's low monthly fee of $55 (which can decrease to $40 with 18 months of on-time payments) and no limits on data, voice or texting, it's an ideal choice for teens. You won't have any surprise bills if your kid sends 10,000 texts in a month. Even grown-ups can enjoy saving a lot of money on their monthly mobile phone bill, though.
In addition to not signing a contract with Boost Mobile, you have the option of returning the phone within 30 days if you decide you don't like it. Just save all the original packaging.
All mobile carriers have some dead areas. If you'll need frequent access to a reliable mobile network, I recommend trying a friend's phone that uses the Sprint network in your neighborhood or workplace to make sure you have adequate coverage.
The Prevail II costs $144.99 online with no strings attached. You pay more for an off-contract phone than you would if you had to sign a contract, rather than paying an artificially low price in return for a two-year commitment. The Prevail II's cost fluctuates, so you may want to check back every so often or look for sales in your local newspaper ads.
You won't get as fancy a phone for the initial outlay as you would with a contract mobile carrier, nor does the Prevail II offer 4G LTE mobile service. However, most average users should find that the Pervail II meets their needs.