Review: Pantech Renue for AT&T
Are, here we are, the crux of this review. After all, the Renue is a quick messaging device, right? Right.
The SMS app is about what you'd expect to see on a low-cost feature phone. The tools are bare bones, but at least there are several modes to the keyboard (predictive software assistance, no software assistance, etc.) and inserting media of any sort is a snap. There are nine pre-loaded messaging templates, but they can be edited at will. The composition screen shows you how many characters you're typing, and messages are threaded into conversations.
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How AT&T treats email on feature phones is ridiculous. It's not free. In order to get email on the Renue, you have to pay $5 extra per month. Considering the Renue's chief function is to do things like, I dunno, send texts and emails, that's pretty lame of AT&T. The email client itself is clunky and generic. It is passable for basic email retrieval and such, but it won't suffice for power emailers.
Twitter and Facebook are on board, but offer a limited experience at best. Rather than full apps, the Renue includes links to the two social networks' mobile web sites. Sure, it's easy to send Tweets, set your Facebook status, and respond to the posts of others, but full apps would be better. You can download a Java version of Facebook, which allows you to respond to Facebook emails, accept friend requests, see your calendar and other features, but it takes some work to find and use.
Instant Messaging? Absent. What the what?
Taken as a whole, I am pretty disappointed with this messaging device's messaging features. I was expecting a more robust set of tools, especially given the Brew MP backbone supporting the user experience.
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