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printed November 27, 2014
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Review: Pantech Pursuit

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  

The short, squat quick messaging phone has become quite a popular form factor in the last year or so, but most of these devices have either looked like a compact makeup case or they've been chunky and awkward. Enter the Pantech Pursuit, a nearly square phone that looks and feels fun from the first time you pick it up. It's got a great, playful blue color with a clean white band around it, and it feels much happier than the blacks and dark colors I've seen on similar devices. It makes me think there should be more blue phones. The phone has a mix of textures, from a scaled band around the screen to the shiny sparkle of the keyboard to the circular tile on the back panel. It's a lot of colored plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap at all. There's a density that makes the Pursuit feel like a quality device.

On the left side of the phone there's a volume rocker, and it was a bit stiff for my taste. There's also an external microSD card slot. On the right side, there's a camera button, which is nice and big. You get a screen lock / power button, which is tiny. Then there's the multitasking key. Seriously, multitasking on this simple, quick messaging device. Also, it does a magic trick that I'll discuss below.

Finally, Pantech uses a proprietary port for charging and headphones. I hate proprietary ports, especially on a device from Pantech, who doesn't make many phones. That means accessories and replacement parts are hard to find (I know from experience), even in AT&T stores. Pantech, and every manufacturer, should just use microUSB, and preferably a separate 3.5mm port for headphones. The Pursuit doesn't come with a headphone adapter or a handsfree microphone, so Bluetooth will be the easiest bet to avoid using this port.

Beneath the screen are three touch buttons: Send, End and Back. I'm not a fan of touch buttons, but these three were pretty responsive to my taps.

The 4-row QWERTY keyboard slides open with a solid click. Pantech has done a fine job assigning keys. The period, comma and question mark get their own key, and Pantech even fits a dedicated ".com" key onto the bottom row. It's surprisingly convenient. Keys felt pretty good. On a device this size, my favorite keyboard is still on the Nokia Surge, because it has more travel and a better, springy feel, but the Pursuit keyboard was good enough.

 

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