Review: Pantech Crux
The Crux has a 3-inch display with a disappointing 240 x 320 pixels. It is bright and colors look good, but every image, icon, graphic and bit of text has obvious, ragged edges. Brightness is great indoors, but it loses luster when outdoors, even under a dense, cloudy sky. Add direct sunlight, and the Crux becomes nearly impossible to use. Using it as a camera outdoors requires guesswork, as the display become useless.
The Crux did a fine job connecting to Verizon Wireless' CDMA 1x and EVDO 3G networks. Signal strength ranged the gamut, but the phone never dropped the connection entirely. It survived the NJ vault test (my local super market) just fine, and maintained a connection while transiting the Lincoln Tunnel. I didn't miss any calls, and all the calls I made went through with no problems. The Crux didn't exhibit any odd behavior when browsing the web, and speeds were consistently good.
Call quality with the Crux was better than average. Calls were loud and clear in the earpiece, with minimal noise, static, or drop-offs. I was easily able to hear conversations in a noisy waiting room with several TVs blaring, Keurig coffee machines brewing, and several kids running around. Volume of the speakerphone was average; good for use at home or quieter environments, probably not practical for the office. The ringtones and alerts were all loud enough for most everyday situations. I always heard the Crux's ringer and SMS alerts. The vibrate alert is also strong enough to be noticed in your pocket while walking around.
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The Crux powered through three days on a single charge. Nothing seemed to phase its battery, which handled plenty of phone calls, text messages, social networking, and light web browsing. Not even Bluetooth appeared to have a noticeable impact on battery life. Casual users should be able to escape for a weekend without a charger weighing them down — as long as you leave with a full charge.
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