Helio Mysto Review: Slick Slider Doesn’t Do Photos or Video Well

A follow-up to Helio's excellent Drift handset, this svelte cell retains its predecessor's capable built-in CPS radio, robust software bundle, and slim profile. Just don’t expect much from this phones camera or its video playback abilities.

Weighing just 3.3 ounces, the Mysto is light and compact. Sliding the screen upward reveals a well-spaced, comfortable numeric keypad. Like all Helio phones, the Mysto works over Sprint's voice network. Call quality was fine, but I ran into some audio dropouts in testing. The handset supports fast 3G networks, which is a big help when you are surfing or streaming video

Unfortunately, video looks awful. Even though I could watch an MPEG-4 version of Casino Royale in its native 320-by-240 resolution, it played at an unacceptable 2 frames per second.

The music player fared much better. It handled MP3 and unprotected AAC tracks at a wide variety of bit rates, although it couldn’t recognize some WMA files I tried. Using the included wired stereo earbuds-and-mic combo, I heard surprisingly detailed sound. Sadly, the 2-megapixel camera took blurry, washed-out, unusable photos.

It's a good choice for Helio fans who want a good-looking phone that doubles as an MP3 player, but the Mysto isn't enough to bring me over from another carrier.

Helio Mysto Review
Price range: $149
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