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So far, I'm not overly impressed by this phone. Junk.
on November 9, 2011
Please read my 7/9/12 update.
My fiance and I both have LG Chocolate Touch phones. After nearly 2 years of use, my phone works perfectly, but her internal speaker started to fail, probably the result of too many drops in the driveway, so I replaced her Chocolate with a Pantech Hotshot, primarily due to the lack of basic phone choices (those that don't require a data plan). Out of the box, my first impression was that the candy apple red color looks nice. The touch screen on the Hotshot is the same size as the Chocolate (3.2 inches), but the Hotshot is a bit longer (by about 1/2 inch) and 1/2 the thickness of the Chocolate. It's so thin, in fact, that it's somewhat difficult to hold flat in your hand. I'm hoping a silicon case will add some thickness and make the phone easier to hold. The touch menu of the Hotshot is similar to the Chocolate, but I find myself continually pressing the camera button on front to activate the phone, which it doesn't do. The On/Off button is oddly situated on top of the phone. On receipt, I fully charged the Hotshot and the next day my fiance and I took it into a Verizon store to transfer contact data from the Chocolate to the Hotshot, and for activation. The Hotshot died 1/2 way through the transfer process. Verizon gave it enough of a charge in-store to complete the transfer and activate. We got the phone home and left it on the wall charger overnight. By the next evening, and without any use whatsoever, the phone was showing no bars on the battery indicator. Assuming a defective battery, I contacted Pantech and Amazon for a replacement. Pantech requires return of the old battery before they'll issue a replacement, which is fine if you don't mind being without a phone for 3 weeks. Amazon, a company with the best returns policy of any e-tailer I've dealt with, sells the phone only and doesn't have a surplus of batteries and spare parts to give, so they arranged for a replacement phone to be shipped to me, along with a return label for the defective phone. At the time I purchased the Hotshot it was newly released and so there weren't many reviews. In hind sight, I wish there'd been more reviews or that I'd done more research on Pantech products prior to purchasing the Hotshot because a common complaint among owners of this brand of cell phone is that they suffer from shorter than average battery life. According to the specs, a full battery charge is supposed to provide 5 hours of talk time and 14 days standby, but based on other reviews I read and my own experience with this phone, those claims are grossly overstated. The replacement phone is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I'll post a follow-up to this review to report the length of battery life I'm experiencing with the replacement phone.
UPDATE 2/6/12: The replacement phone is working well and doesn't suffer from the same short battery life as the first phone. My fiance (there's a ring but no date) reports that after some period of prolonged use, she really likes the phone and says the speaker quality is better than the LG Chocolate it replaced. Also, after I wrote my original review, I purchased an inexpensive silicon case, which adds the bit of thickness this phone needed to make it easier to hold and use. I, on the other hand, am not entirely sold on this phone (especially its length, which is longer than the LG Chocolate) so I'm holding out replacing my LG Chocolate until, in my opinion, a suitable (basic phone not requiring a data plan) replacement comes along.
UPDATE: 7/9/12: For the past few months, the phone has been acting up with the touch screen failing to respond. Generally removing the battery and replacing it will correct the problem, so I replaced the battery thinking it was at issue, given the problem I had with the original battery, but the touch screen problem persists. I never experienced these sort of problems any of the LG or Motorola phones I've owned, not even after 2 years of ownership. Based on my experience with this phone, I'll never buy another Pantech product or recommend Pantech to anyone. FYI, my 3 year old LG Chocolate Touch continues to work flawlessly.