Top positive review
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Great Phone! Exceeded Expectations (UPDATED 7/26/2013)
on July 18, 2013
(READ 7/26/2013 UPDATE AT BOTTOM)
I bought this phone through Verizon. I've had it for a few days now and can say that is has exceeded my expectations by a long shot.
I am coming from a basic phone, and I also have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 1 with Android 2.3
I was tempted to get a Samsung S3, but decided against it and opted to get this recently released phone for less (free).
Well, I am very pleased with this phone. It came with Android 4.0.x, not 4.1.x as the website states. But, I was able to update the software to Android 4.1.2. So, you will have that update available.
The phone is powerfull, has a peppy screen response, is easy to use and the battery seems on par, maybe even a little bit better than other similar devices.
The screen is large and bright. The internal 16GB storage is very nice and the option of up to a 32GB MicroSD card is very helpful. The abundance of apps on the Google Play Store (Android Market) gives the user an overwhelming amount of options to accomplish their goals, including many free apps that work just as well as many of the pay apps.
The 4G LTE is speedy and I really like the mobile hotspot and tethering options for my other wi-fi devices.
There is a front and rear camera which with the front camera is helpful for face-time with friends and family. The rear camera is nothing special, but is an 8MP, which offers some good High Resolution photo options, but the photos seem to come out a bit darker than one would expect. I've never used my cell phone for any serious photography, so this does not really make much of a difference to me, but may for some users.
A few negatives I have about the phone:
1. I don't like having to remove the rear cover to access my MicroSD card, but this isn't a big deal considering I don't need to access it often.
2. The charger cover flap is a bit awkward as it pulls up and swings to the side, but gets pinched when plugging in your Micro USB cord and I don't see it lasting but maybe 4-5 months before it breaks off.
3. Stereo Speakers on the back would have pulled in a few more buyers for a relatively low production cost.
4. I would prefer my soft-keys (back, home, settings) to be outside of the regular view screen and rather along the bottom, but they do disappear when viewing videos and other items that require the full display.
5. Another 1GB of RAM would have made my choice a lot easier, but it doesn't seem to suffer at all with only 1GB as long as you keep unused programs ended and not running in the background.
This was Pantech's first attempt at a higher-end smart phone and I personally feel they have hit it out of the park on its capability, user friendliness and competitiveness in the market. Now, if they are willing to put in some extra marketing, they may be able to make some real money on their future products.
P.S. Check my other reviews of products here at Amazon for honest and objective opinions.
(UPDATE - 7/26/2013)
After having the phone now a few weeks, I have to continue my support for this product. I have added a Rubber/Plastic 2-layer hybrid case to the phone, as well as a screen protector.
The phone continues to exceed my expectations.
Update on the Camera: I've found that the camera has a zoom that works fairly well, and the photos are not as dark as I previously thought.
Voice input is very accurate when inputting text for messaging or texting with the voice input. I use this option a lot.
One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to modify the vibration settings when you set the phone to silent mode. It seems it vibrates for some things, but not others. One thing it is not currently vibrating for is text messages. I have been searching for the vibration settings, but haven't yet found them, if they exist at all. If not, this was something that was overlooked and is a bad one. I want to set the vibration settings, lengths, intensity, etc...based on any notifications that come into the phone. I can not find any description in any documentation for this yet. If you have this phone and know how to change the vibration settings, please message me and let me know. I can not have audio enabled at work, even though some correspondence on my phone is work-related, and often look down at my phone to see I have 3 text messages from hours ago. If it had vibrated, I would have been able to respond immedately.
Other than the vibration settings, the phone is great and I highly recommend it.
(END OF UPDATE)