Pantech Marauder owners will soon see a software update arriving on their QWERTY-sliding handset. Verizon is pushing it out three months after the last one, ushering in another wave of general enhancements and touchups. The notification panel's status bar has been updated so that users can preview application messages directly, and a Google+ button has been added to the Calendar app so that viewers can jump directly to the social network to see event details.
Verizon has just announced a software update for the QWERTY-sliding Pantech Marauder, a phone we reviewed last August. The software update includes the now-standard Verizon Remote Diagnostics support utility, and a substantial list of software changes. The stock email app now supports a combined inbox mode and conversation view, Google Chrome has been added, and the Pantech 'Simple Mode' UI has been enhanced. The phone apparently doesn't reboot after a modem crash anymore, either, which is probably good.
We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.
For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):
- Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
- RAM: 1GB
- Storage: 4GB
- Display: 3.8" 480x800
- Battery: 1680mAh
- OS: Android 4.0
- Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
- Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct
The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.
Verizon just announced a new handset for its 4G LTE network, claiming it's the "perfect crossover for basic phone customers switching to a smartphone." What makes it perfect, you ask? The device features a "dual-interface" setup, allowing users to choose between "starter" and "standard" mode. Basically, while power users try to get their devices to to as much as possible, the Marauder allows users to dumb-down their smartphone. How ironic.
There's probably some appeal there, as the device also packs a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but some rather modest specs for a budget device:
- 3.8" display
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter
- Android 4.0
For those interested, this simpleton of smartphones will be available beginning on August 2nd for $50 after a $50 mail-in-rebate.