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Review: Pantech Jest

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The screen on the Pantech Jest is unimpressive. It looks washed out, with whites that tend towards grey. Indoors, the screen had a shimmering sort of screen door effect. Colors looked bright, and edges were mostly smooth, not jagged looking. But the screen had a relatively cheap look to it. Outside, the screen faded dramatically under bright sunlight. It was still usable, but I always had to block the glare with a hand or find a shadow if I wanted to perform any task more complicated than dialing a phone number.


Sound quality on the Pantech Jest was not very good. Voices had a muddy sound to them, with some digital noise in the background on many calls. My callers also reported a tinny, digital sound to my voice on their end. The speakerphone sounded clear, but it was very quiet. It was not useful even in a quiet room if my air conditioning was running. The ringtones, likewise, could be difficult to hear over any sort of background noise. On vibrate, the phone was difficult to feel in a stuffed pants pocket.


Signal strength on the Pantech Jest was not very good. The phone uses Verizon Wireless' slower 1xRTT network, and it had trouble holding a signal even on the legacy service. A few calls did not go through in my test time, and the phone lost many outgoing text messages, too. In the PhoneScoop Vault West, a local theater in a dead zone, calls were a no-show, and the data network, already sluggish, came to a crashing halt.

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Battery life on the Pantech Jest was not bad. Verizon Wireless promises four and a half hours of talking time, but I got just over five hours on my test unit. The phone also easily lasted through a few days of use. I used the phone casually for three days without needing to charge, so it clearly sips power on standby mode. I stayed away from data apps that continually run and update themselves in the background, like the email and Social Beat apps, so you're more likely to see these results if you stick to basic calling and text messaging and stay away from data.

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