Hands-On: Pantech Hotshot, Jest 2, and Caper
The Caper is small, monoblock messaging phone that has a full QWERTY keyboard.
It is lightweight and feels good in the hand. The overall fit and finish is somewhat on the cheap side, and the materials are not of the highest quality. It is put together reasonably well, but doesn't have the tightest build I've seen.
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It is covered with buttons. Below the smallish display, the navigation cluster has no fewer than six buttons and the d-pad. They have a good feel to them. The action was a bit stiff, but stiff is better than mushy. The keys have a good amount of travel and feedback, and were satisfying to use. The d-pad felt good under the thumb, and the edge was well defined, making it easy to find and use.
The keyboard felt pretty good, but is short of fantastic. The individual keys have a nicely rounded shape, which makes it easier for your thumbs to tell them apart as you move around the keyboard. They are a bit on the loose side, and have too much side-to-side travel for my tastes. The travel and feedback of the keys was acceptable, but I found the "wigglyness" to be off-putting.
There are tons of bottons on the side edges of the phone. The volume toggle is on the left, and has a tight feel to it. The voice command key is below it. Both buttons have a pleasant shape to them. Same goes for all the buttons on the right side, which include a keyboard lock key and the camera button. I wish the camera button were a bit further away from the lock key, as it is all too easy to accidentally lock the keyboard when you mean to open the camera application.
The user interface is the typical (and crusty) Verizon Wireless feature phone interface. Pick up any off-the-shelf feature phone at your local Verizon store and you'll see what the Caper is all about. It is usable, but badly needs to be updated.
In all, it's not a bad little phone that is probably best used by young teenagers as a messaging device.
May 8, 2012
U.S. Cellular has started selling the Pantech Verse, their version of Pantech's Jest 2 for Verizon.
In what has become something of an annual tradition, TCL has unveiled new, unique flexible-display concepts. The newest and most unique is the "360-Degree Ultra Flex", which has a 360º hinge that allows the device to be folded either inward or outward.
After "soft-launching" with the Plex phone last year, TCL is now previewing its first widely-available lineup of own-brand phones: the 10 series, all of which offer premium features for under $500. TCL officially announced very few details of the three phones, but shared more with Phone Scoop in a hands-on session.
Mar 5, 2020
TCL has a new batch of concept phones to show off in 2020 that use flexible-display technology in interesting ways. Two are foldables, including a unique "tri-fold" design with two different hinges allowing it to reach full tablet size when open.
TCL has put out a few folding-screen concepts in the past year, and now they have a new one to show off at CES. It's a little more polished and functional than previous concepts, but it's also definitely not market-ready.
2.4" display 320 x 240 pixels
950 mAh battery
Memory Card Slot, Hardware Text Keyboard