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printed July 24, 2014
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Review: Pantech Breakout for Verizon Wireless

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Screen

The Pantech Breakout has a 4-inch display with 480 x 800 pixels. I found it to be bright, sharp, and easy to read no matter the lighting conditions. The only issue I saw was the glare caused by too many fingerprints on the screen. Otherwise, the Pantech Breakout's display worked well for all tasks.

Signal

The Pantech Breakout has radios to access both Verizon's LTE 4G network and its EVDO 3G network.

LTE performance in New York City was quite good. The Pantech Breakout quickly found the LTE signal once I arrived, and didn't suffer from any of the annoying flip-flopping between 4G and 3G that other LTE devices have shown. During my time in Manhattan, it stayed connected to Verizon's LTE network 100% of the time. This has not happened with Verizon's other LTE devices I've tested, which waffled between 4G and 3G. Data speeds were fantastically quick no matter what reading the signal indicator gave me.

As for the Pantech Breakout's 3G performance, it was rock solid. I had no trouble making/receiving calls, and the Breakout never dropped any calls. Data performance over 3G was noticeably slower than via 4G, but it was still acceptable.

Sound

Voice calls made with the Pantech Breakout were good, but not great. I'd rate them at 3 out of 5 stars. Volume was good enough and most calls were problem free, but every so often the Pantech Breakout screeched at me, causing me to pull the phone away from my ear. It was some sort of interference, and I experienced it in several different locations with different callers. Sinve I haven't experienced this with other Verizon phones in the past, I am inclined to blame the Breakout in this instance. The speakerphone provided excellent volume behind calls, but the quality mirrored that of calls made through the earpiece. It was also prone to distortion if cranked all the way up. Ringers and other alerts can be set to pissing-off-the-dog volumes, and the vibrate alert was nice and strong.

Battery

The Pantech Breakout fared OK in the battery life department. I was only able to test it under 4G conditions for about 6 or 7 hours, but it didn't die during that time. Even so, it drained quickly. It went from a full charge to 40% during that stretch of LTE time. It lasted out the rest of the day under 3G conditions. When only using Verizon's EVDO 3G network, it lasted a day and a half or more. Bottom line, battery life will depend a lot on your network connection and of course how much you use your phone. For the control freak, you can turn off the LTE radio to conserve power.

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