Pantech Pocket for AT&T: First Impressions

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In a world of 4.3-inch rectangular black Android phones, the Pantech Pocket is refreshingly different in design. Pantech has released a number of feature and messaging phones on AT&T, but the company is slowly making its way into the Android world. This Gingerbread phone also supports AT&T’s faster HSPA+ “4G” network.

Measuring 4.5-by-3-by 0.44-inches thick, the Pocket is a bit on the shorter, squatter side. It is a unique look, however, and its design is definitely eye-catching. It weighs a light 4.4 ounces.

The Pocket has a textured plastic casing, which a Pantech rep told us is built to resist scratches. The textured plastic feels nice in the hand, too.

The 4-inch TFT SVGA display has a 600-by-800 pixel resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The wider display gives it the effect of a very small tablet. The display quality can’t compete with say, Samsung’s Galaxy S II Super AMOLED Plus display, but Pantech isn’t exactly trying to compete with these higher-end phones. The display is bright and crisp and the size is ideal for browsing the web and running apps.

The Pocket’s 1GHz processor kept the Pocket running smoothly during my quick hands-on time. The user interface is pretty basic: It isn’t running native Android Gingerbread, but the overlay is neither obtrusive nor busy. I really liked the virtual keyboard (pictured), which is wider and larger than your typical Android keyboard thanks to the wider display.

I took a couple of test photos with the Pocket’s 5-megapixel camera. Image quality was pretty good. Android purists will be happy to hear that the camera user interface is the vanilla Android Gingerbread version.

According the Pantech, the Pocket is just the beginning for the company’s more advanced phones. The company is also fully on-board with AT&T’s LTE rollout and promised an LTE capable device in the future.

Pricing hasn’t been announced for the Pocket, but the phone is expected to appear sometime in November. We’ll have a full, rated review once we get the Pocket in house, so stay tuned.

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