Review: Pantech Breeze IV for AT&T
The B4 includes a basic MP3 player app that can be used to play music you've put on a memory card. It actually has a decent set of features, including an equalizer, the ability to shuffle/repeat tracks, as well a sort via artists, playlists, albums, songs, and so on. The B4 also has an AT&T Music app, which is a browser-based shop for purchasing songs, ringtones, and ringback tones. It is painfully slow to interact with, and has a very limited selection of current hits.
Of course, with no headphone jack, you need to use a microUSB adaptor or Bluetooth headphones to listen to music. Thankfully, the B4 supports stereo Bluetooth.
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The camera user interface is spartan and direct. Press the dedicated camera button to open the camera as well as to take pictures. It opens slowly, focuses slowly, and is painfully slow to capture/store images. Taking a picture of your grandchild? Forget it. They'll never sit still long enough. You can turn autofocus off to speed things up, but the difference is imperceptible.
The software allows users to change a fair number of settings, such as the flash (on or off), white balance (auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent), effect (sepia, negative, black and white, timer, image size, and shutter/sound effects. I wish it didn't take two steps to open the settings menu, though.
It's basic software that works, but I found it to be clunky.
The B4's camera rates 3 megapixels. It's not that great. I found it almost impossible to capture images that were in focus, free of grain, and had acceptable exposure. White balance was often accurate, though. Indoor shots are an absolute disaster, and the flash is perhaps the most useless I've ever seen. Fireflies give off more light. Most people who buy feature phones aren't buying them for the camera. That's clearly the case with the B4.
Ditto when it comes to the video. The B4 only captures QVGA-resolution video and it's pretty much worthless. Everything about it looks crummy. It's grainy, lacks focus, and is often under/over exposed.
MPEG-4 format (viewable with QuickTime)
File size: 521 KB
The gallery app lets you view photos in a list (with thumbnails) or in a grid. Photos can be sorted into user-created folders, if you wish, and moved freely between the phone's internal memory and that of a memory card. Images can be set as wallpapers, sent via MMS/Bluetooth, renamed, deleted, or copied. There are no editing functions at all.
The B4 has a simplistic browser. It sticks to mobile web sites and takes its sweet time downloading and rendering them. Browsing the web without a touch screen is torturous, but the browser functions fine once you learn to navigate the controls with the d-pad. It covers the basics, such as allowing you to set your own home screen, protect your privacy, and manage bookmarks.
The B4's Bluetooth radio functioned well during my tests. I was able to pair it with mono and stereo headphones, as well as my car's hands-free system. Calls via Bluetooth were rather crummy in the quality department, and were not loud enough, either. Music sounded passable when sent to a Bluetooth speaker. The B4 can also connect to other devices to share files, such as photos.
The external display can be used as a clock. It is dark most of the time when the B4 is closed, but, will light up if you press the volume toggle. It's readable indoors with no trouble, but can be hard to see under a sunny sky. You can pick from a half-dozen different clock faces.
Believe it or not, the B4 comes with AT&T Navigator. This $10-per-month app lets users plan routes between two points and enjoy voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. The GPS radio itself is accurate and quite to locate the B4. It's a shame Google Maps or some other, free navigation service isn't available to the phone.
Pantech Breeze IV Hits AT&T Stores for $40
AT&T recently added the Pantech Breeze IV to its lineup of inexpensive flip phones. The Breeze IV is a simple device, but offers a large 3-inch main screen with 400 x 240 pixels, and a 1.44-inch external screen with 128 x 128 pixels.
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