Connected: Pantech Pocket smart phone has a lot to like
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There's a lot to like in the Pantech Pocket smart phone, on the AT&T network, starting with the first impression.
When I picked up the Pocket, I was struck by how light it is (4.66 oz), despite its slightly larger than standard footprint. Slipping it into my pocket was not the clunky experience I usually get from smartphones -- the ones that weigh down your pocket and make you sweat as they heat up your skin. I could hardly tell the Pocket was even in my pocket. (There's a Mae West joke in here somewhere.)
Normally, a light phone means a small battery, which often translates into poor battery performance. The Pocket has a small, light battery, which accounts in part for its light weight, but the device does a great job conserving battery power. It hasn't been unusual for the battery to last two full days, where other phones we have carried recently have died in as little as four hours. Plus, the review device consistently charged fully in about an hour.
The Pocket's cover is made of a soft plastic that has a dimpled surface. Both the material and the dimpling keeping the Pocket from falling off tables or sliding when you least want it to slide. (I constantly find the iPhone on the floor because I haven't bothered putting a case on it.)
For most people though, the most noticeable feature will be the size -- its 4-inch touchscreen display is wider than most phones. The extra width means the display is easier to read, and it is a feature that Pantech has smartly pushed in its marketing.
The biggest problem with the Pantech Pocket is also that screen, because it freezes occasionally -- a problem we've seen with other Android phones. The Pocket uses Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
But the screen gets bright and the icons are colorful with great contrast. My son posted a great Spiderman wallpaper on his display. As he slides from panel to panel to see more apps, Spidey only moves slightly; a very cool effect.
Another nice touch from that screen is the continuous scroll. When scrolling through your apps, the scrolling continues through the end of the list and then on to the apps at the beginning. Many phones don't let you do this; they make you go back multiple screens to the beginning.
The other problem we encountered consistently is type-behind. You would type a text message, and it would take some time for the characters to appear on the screen, sometimes all appearing at almost the same time. This is annoying at best; at worst, it causes the user to mistype messages because he can't always tell what he's typing.
The screen that unlocks the phone has a nice touch in that you can drag an icon onto the face of the clock to go directly to a particular function. If you want to text, drag the icon for texting. Or you can similarly go directly to the Web browser, your email or music, or even your call log.
The Pocket has a 720p HD video recorder and a 5 Megapixel camera on the back. It uses a standard USB adapter for charging, and takes microSD & microSDHC memory cards.
First Published July 22, 2012 12:00 am