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printed April 20, 2014
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Review: Pantech Pocket for AT&T

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Screen

The Pocket has a 4-inch display with 600 x 800 pixels. That’s 120 pixels wider than a common 480 x 800 display. You can think of those extra pixels as just annexing some screen real estate on the side, or you can think of it as a sharper display with a different shape. Either way, the display looks good; it has sharp graphics and text, clean lines, and no visible pixels anywhere. What disappoints me about the display is the brightness, which just isn't that good. It works fine indoors, but outside it is very hard to see at all. It lacks the vivid "pow" that Samsung's Super AMOLED displays have, but it gets the job done.

Signal

Tested around the metro NYC area, the Pocket performed well. It regularly showed three or four bars of coverage and only dropped down to one bar under the worst network conditions. The Pocket's signal indicator mirrored that of other AT&T devices used in the same spot. The Pocket never lost hold of AT&T's network during my tests. I was able to connect all voice calls on the first dial, though the Pocket dropped two calls while I was using it (albeit traveling in a car). Data sessions were consistent, but never very fast. The browser definitely stalled when the network conditions were poor.

Sound

The quality of voice calls was not that great in my experience. There's a bit of background hiss that never goes away, and I had a lot of conversations break up and fade in/fade out. The earpiece is not quite as powerful as I'd like it to be. It's fine for conversations at home, but anywhere outside or where other people are convening, it’s nearly impossible to hear your callers. The speakerphone had the same quality problems, and was also too quiet. I struggled to hear some calls even at home. Ringers and alerts were OK, but not great. I missed a few calls when I was in another room, even with the volume set to the max. The vibrate alert is good and strong.

Battery

The Pocket performs about as well as most other Android phones when it comes to battery life. You'll easily get a full day out of it, and perhaps a portion of a second, but not two full days. Sporadic users who go to lengths to minimize power drain may be able to stretch it to dinner the second day, but most users are still going to want to charge every night.

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