Pantech Airo A25is
Pantech today showed us their new Quick Messaging lineup, including the Pantech Link and the Pantech Pursuit. Both phones feature AT&T's new Quick Messaging services, including the new threaded messaging, AT&T's online Address Book and the new Remote Vault for uploading and sharing pictures on AT&T's own Web site.
The Pantech Link is a very thin messaging phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. It closely resembles the Nokia E71, though it's much lighter in the hand. The menus are simple AT&T feature phone stock, without too many advanced functions that you'd find on a smartphone. But Pantech is deliberately keeping things simple, and though the company wouldn't reveal pricing for these phones, they maintained that the devices would be competitive in the Quick Messaging space. In other words, they'll be cheap to buy.
The keyboard on the Pantech Link felt surprisingly good. The keys were well rounded and raised high, making for easy, fast typing. The menu wasn't anything special, but the new icons are colorful and the screen is plenty bright. All around, the phone doesn't feel as dense or solid as a more expensive smartphone like the Nokia Eseries, but it does feel well designed. Pantech reps were glowing about the texturized, rubber backing, and it did make for a nonstick surface and easy grip.
Pantech didn't let us take pictures of the Pantech Pursuit, but I did get to spend some time browsing the device. The Pursuit is a cute, squat little touchscreen phone with a full QWERTY slide underneath. Unlike the Pantech Link, the Pursuit felt more solid and dense, with more metal around the phone to give it some weight. It wasn't heavy, but it did have a good weight in the hand.
The resistive touchscreen worked pretty well. The phone has a sliding home screen where you can drop and rearrange app icons, and sliding menus in multiple panels. Like the Pantech Link, the menus were simple AT&T feature phone fare, but the look has been updated for the latest models, and the design is bright and colorful.
The phone also has some intelligent design choices. When you slide open the slider, the phone offers a quick shortcut menu of the most text-heavy apps, like messaging and e-mail. There are social networking apps on board, as well as AT&T music. All the basic feature phone kit, but the phone has an appealing design, and it should launch at an equally appealing price.
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