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printed September 19, 2014
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Review: Pantech Marauder for Verizon Wireless

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Media Camera Browser/Extras  

Camera

The Marauder's 5-megapixel camera is as easy to use as any other on an Android device. As is fairly typical these days, there is no hardware camera button, so you'll have to open the camera with the lock screen shortcut or via the menu itself. It opens somewhat slowly.

At a glance, the only tools visible are the shutter, gallery, and video/camera buttons. Tap the screen gently and a second set of buttons appear or customizing the camera's behavior. Those options run the gamut, and let users control the white balance, scene, resolution, and so on.

This is one feature of the Marauder that fails the speed test. The camera is slow when it matters most: opening the app, and firing off shots. It takes nearly five seconds to load the camera. Once you press the shutter button, the image freezes on the screen, then there's a pause, and then it captures the image. The screen remains frozen for another second or two to process the image before you are returned to the viewfinder.

Bottom line, you might miss shots when your subject is moving quickly.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Photos

Photo quality is so-so, I'm afraid. I found a lot of images were out of focus and grainy. White balance was mostly OK, but images lacked pop and vibrancy. They had a pall over them that made them all seem dim and lacking in life. That said, the Marauder still managed to capture the occasional winner.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Video

Video quality, too, could have been better. The Marauder shoots 720p HD video at its highest setting, and the results are average at best. The device gets lighting and exposure correct, but I noticed some herky-jerky motion and poor sound capture. As with the camera, the Marauder will get things perfect from time to time, but don't count on it for important video recording needs.

Gallery

The Marauder's gallery application is very close to the stock Android 4.0 gallery app. The app automatically syncs your Picasa and/or Google+ photos if you have them, as well as other configurable online accounts, including Flickr.

The basic view includes a mish-mash of photos from all your accounts in one epically huge grid. Using the tools at the top of the page, you can shift the view to specific folders or collections of photos.

The editing features are more fun than functional. Sure, the Marauder allows for cropping, rotating, resizing, and renaming, but it also allows budding artists to apply Instagram-esque filters, eliminate red eye, and highlight faces. I found the tools intuitive and easy to use.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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