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printed April 21, 2014
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Review: Pantech Pocket for AT&T

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I won't deny that the Pantech Pocket is somewhat odd in appearance. Thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio display, the Pocket is a lot wider than your typical slab-style Android smartphone. For example, it is 3.1 inches wide, where most other Android smartphones are closer to 2.5 inches wide. That extra 0.6 inches may not sound like a whole lot, but trust us when we say you'll notice the difference. On the flip side, it is shorter than many competing models. The shorter-but-wider dimensions give it a unique, squat look.

For materials, Pantech stuck to plastic and glass (no metal in the external shell here.) It feels mostly good to use. I like that the Pocket has a texturized -- yet soft-touch -- material covering the back surface and side edges. It gives the Pocket a lot of extra grip. This textured material wraps around to the front of the Pocket and provides a lip that encircles the display. The lip ensures that if the Pocket is placed screen-down on a flat surface, the screen won't be scratched by said flat surface.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

In the hand, the Pocket feels kind of ridiculous. Unless you're Kareem Abdul Jabbar, there's no way you're wrapping your hand all the way around it; it's just too wide. The depth of the handset measures 11.7mm, which is a bit more than I'd like, but not egregiously thick. It still manages to fit well into a pocket, but man, you know that it is there, thanks to that wide shape.

Aside from the display, the only buttons on the front face of the Pocket are the four Android controls. Pantech opted for physical keys rather than capacitive. They are placed against the bottom lip. I found them easy to find and use, and all four buttons had good travel and feedback.

The volume toggle is on the left edge of the device. It’s smooth compared to the texture of the edge itself, and stands out nicely from the side of the phone. Travel and feed back are excellent, making the volume toggle a very functional button. The microUSB port is on the right edge of the phone. Sadly, there is no dedicated camera button.

The power / screen lock button is on the top of the phone. Instead of opting for a button resembling a thin dash running parallel to the edge (like most other Android handsets), Pantech opted to go with a round button. It is perfect. It may be small, but it sticks out from the edge just the right amount, and has excellent travel and feed back. I really like this little button. Also on top is the 3.5mm headset jack.

The battery cover can be pried off with the help of your thumbnail. It is worth noting that the Pantech Pocket does not use a regular SIM card. Instead, it uses a micro SIM card, similar to the one used in the Apple iPhone 4/4S. That means you won't be able to pull the SIM out and use it in your old AT&T or T-Mobile phone. You have to remove the battery to get at the micro SIM card, but not the microSD card, which can be swapped without turning off the phone.

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