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Review: Pantech Marauder for Verizon Wireless

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Aside from the lock screen shortcut that takes you directly to the call log, there's little setting the Marauder apart from other Android handsets when it comes to the phone app. The function of the phone dialer, recent calls, and favorites tabs on the top of the screen is exactly the same as on any stock Android handset.


The contacts application, too, is that of stock Android. The one thing setting it apart is a really useful home screen widget. The widget lets create a miniature contact list that is accessible from the home page. It holds at least ten people, and includes their thumbnail photo. Press any of the faces, and a second screen appears with info such as the last call, email, and SMS received by that person, as well as links to the phone app, full contact app, and so on.

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The Marauder covers all of the messaging basics. It runs the stock messaging (SMS), email, Gmail, Google+, Google+ Messenger, Latitude, and Google Talk apps. All of them work well, though they don't present any new features. There's no pre-loaded support for third-party instant messaging, so you'll have to scout through the Android Market to find the right IM apps.

The Marauder comes with both the full Facebook and Twitter apps, as well as some handy widgets for both.

A few words on typing. Aside from the physical keyboard, the Marauder also comes with SwiftKey X for faster touch keyboard input. SwiftKey has its own way to predict words as you type them. I found it to be very accurate — and very necessary. The Marauder's touch keyboard is way too narrow, and the keys themselves are narrow strips instead of nice, round or square shapes. Bottom line: without SwiftKey, typing on the touch screen would be nearly impossible for those of us with fatter thumbs.

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