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printed August 1, 2014
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Review: Pantech Laser

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The Laser is somewhat polarizing to me. Pantech has done a wonderful job at reducing the girth of what is a traditionally larger type of handset. The hardware isn't top-notch, but it is very good, and many will appreciate the small footprint it offers with the large, high-res screen. The keyboard is less than awesome, however, and that's a key feature on a phone such as this.

It gets only some of the basics entirely right. Call quality was pretty good, despite varied signal performance, and battery life was above average. But the messaging features felt only half-realized, with email and social networking shortchanged with weak applications. AT&T's $5 monthly fee for email access on a device such as this is usury, plain and simple.

The media features are an afterthought at best. The music features are weak and require users to make the effort to get an adapter or a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Even though the camera has a 3-megapixel sensor, image quality was below average. The browser was handicapped by a user interface that is difficult for fingers to interact with on a touch screen.

What is the Laser good for? Well, it's a heck of a good text messaging phone, and since it is a QMD, I suppose AT&T and Pantech can say, "Mission Accomplished!" Would I recommend it? If texting is all you really want to do, then sure. If you're looking for anything more, then you'll need to see elsewhere.

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