Drop this one in the "noteworthy, but not notable" bucket, but we had some time last night to check out AT&T's Pantech Discover, a phone with a pretty impressive specification sheet given its price point - just $50 on contract.
The Discover has a 4.8" 720p display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB of internal storage, 12.6MP rear camera, LTE, and runs Android 4.0 (OK, that's a bit of a miss). While we wouldn't call this a groundbreaking device in and of itself, the price AT&T will be peddling this particular piece of hardware at is going to make it a very attractive option for the brick-and-mortar crowd (eg, your parents).
Pantech hasn't been going after the bigger manufacturers in the "superphone" category, at least outside of its home turf of South Korea. Until today, that is - at its CES press conference, AT&T announced the Pantech Discover, a flagship-class device that meets and in some cases beats the best that Samsung, HTC and Motorola have to offer. In addition to somewhat typical high-end specs like a 4.8-inch 720p screen, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and 16GB of on-board memory, the Discover boasts a best-in-class camera (at least on paper) of 12.6 megapixels. And that's not even the most surprising statistic: the Discover will retail for just $49.99 on-contract.
Listen up, Pantech Breakout owners – Verizon has just announced an update to build S8995VWCA55F.BB that brings with it a laundry list of tweaks and enhancements. While it's not a bump to the next version of Android, the update is still refreshing, given the Breakout's debut on Verizon is now more than a year behind us.
The update, which should be rolling out to Breakout owners any time now, comes with improved SMS delivery, memory management fixes, enhancements for data connectivity, and improvements made "to reduce SD Card issues" among other things. Here's a full look at update S8995VWCA55F.BB from Verizon's own support document.
Do you own a Pantech Element? Hello? Is this thing on? Well, anyway, if you do, the company is now rolling out an update for the semi-rugged slate that brings Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, along with a host of other changes.
Check out the changelog below, and grab the update on Pantech's website right here (FYI: you'll need a Windows PC to flash it).
New User Features
Enhanced Home screen canvas switcher edit functionality(In the preview of home screen panels, users can change a main home screen panel).
Enhanced Multitasking and Notifications functionality.
Enhanced User Interface : Virtual buttons in System bar, contextual options in Action Bar.
PantechUSA announced via Twitter this morning that its Burst budget phone will finally be receiving an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, in a little less than a week. Curiously, it won't be available over the air. Details haven't been released yet, but the update will be made available on the company's website here.
Major announcement: Pantech Burst ICS update will be available for download on Sept 27 on PantechUSA.com. Stay tuned for more details!
This morning, AT&T announced a new entry-level addition to its smartphone lineup, the Pantech Flex 4G LTE. Extraneous network tech acronyms aside, this phone actually seems to be a fairly serious offering on the budget end of the spectrum.
At just $49.99 on contract, even as someone who dislikes to notion of budget phones in general, the Flex really does look impressive on paper. A large-for-a-cheap-phone 4.3" qHD SAMOLED display accompanies the now near-ubiquitous MSM8960 dual-core processor, which should make for a legitimately speedy experience. The Flex is running Android 4.0, as well, but we wouldn't get our hopes up on a 4.1 upgrade particularly soon.
South Korean manufacturer Pantech still hasn't made it big in the U.S. market, but their partnership with AT&T has proven to be a steady one so far. The Magnus, AKA the P9090 that we spotted earlier this week, would seem to be Pantech's first high-end device for AT&T, and the first photos of the device have now hit the Internet. It looks like a pretty standard slate phone, with the interesting addition of an asymmetrical duo-tone plastic back. Details are pretty scarce at the moment, though it looks like the lighter gray panel is probably a battery cover.
According to the earlier leak, the Pantech "Magnus" P9090 will run on the popular Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 SoC, giving it a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor and an Adreno 255 GPU.
While the name Pantech may not bring about thoughts of high-end superphones right now, it looks like the company may be about to change that with an upcoming P9090 "Magnus." This mysterious device first hit the FCC back at the beginning of August sporting AT&T bands, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0, but now a couple of benchmarks have made their way to Righware, giving us a closer look at what the device's potential innards.
According to the listing, this device is sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8960 with the Adreno 225 GPU. It also shows a resolution of 720x1196 (720x1280), making this the first "HD" smartphone to come to the U.S.
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
Display: 3.8" 480x800
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.
While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer. But is buying a used flagship still the better option for a budget-conscious consumer? After spending some time with a brand new budget phone from Pantech and Verizon, I'm not so sure.