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printed July 28, 2014
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Review: Pantech Ease

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Screen

The screen on the Pantech Ease is fairly average. It's fine indoors. Not especially bright, but colorful and easy to read. Text is always legible, especially the larger font used in the main menus. Outdoors, the Ease held up fine, but it could be hard to read in bright sunlight. It didn't disappear, like some OLED displays I've seen, just seemed much more dim on a sunny day.

Sound

Sound quality on the Pantech Ease was quite good. The phone uses noise suppression from Audience, so a second microphone helps the Ease filter out background noises. Through the phone's earpiece, calls sounded good, with no audio quality problems. Our callers did report reduced background noise and an overall clean sound on their end, as well.

The Ease has a very loud speaker, which will help this phone's mature target demographic. The speakerphone can scream across a large room or in a loud car on the highway. Ringtones were also quite loud, and I had no trouble hearing them from a different level in my house, or when the phone was buried in a backpack.

The Pantech Ease uses sound profiles, a rarity on most feature phones. This means you can set up the phone to ring or vibrate using different tones and volume settings depending on your situation. You can use the preset profiles for normal use or outdoor use, and there are vibrate only and silent modes. You can also adjust these settings to your liking and save your preferences.

The phone also has a "Readout Mode." This is a text-to-speech feature that lets the Ease tell you, in a very digitized sounding voice, when you have new messages or voice mail. It will also read text messages to you. The voice could be difficult to understand, but if you listen closely you can make out what it's saying.

Signal

Signal strength on the Pantech Ease could have been better, but I never had any trouble placing calls. A couple of calls did not come through, but that might not be the Ease's fault, it could be an AT&T issue. Outgoing calls always connected. For data, it was easy to hold onto a 3G connection, and data speeds were about average on this phone. Simple Web pages loaded quickly enough, but I've seen faster feature phones on AT&T's 3G network.

Battery

Battery life on the Pantech Ease was pretty good. I made it through two days of testing without needing to charge the phone. With very light use, you might even be able to squeeze another half day out of the device. I'm happy to see the Ease uses a microUSB port for charging, unlike previous Pantech phones I've reviewed recently. This makes it much easier to find charging accessories for the device.

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