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Review: Pantech Pocket for AT&T

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The Pantech Pocket runs Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread that's been customized just a bit by Pantech with some home screen widgets and other minor touch-ups.

The lock screen is perhaps the most useful of the customizations. There's a large ring in the center of the lock screen and it is surrounded by six apps. Drag the app you want into the circle and you go directly there. Out of the box, those apps are the phone, SMS/MMS, email, browser, main menu, and the media player. Yes, Pantech forgot to include one for the camera, d'oh! Lock screen shortcuts like these are a great addition to recent Android devices, and the Pocket's is a good implementation. Pantech told Phone Scoop that users will eventually be able to customize these shortcuts, but for the moment, they can't be changed.

The Pocket has seven home screens that can be customized with widgets, shortcuts, and apps. There is a dock at the bottom that provides access to the phone, messaging, browser, and main menu. This dock visible across all the home screens.

The main menu is a grid of apps, 16 of which are visible at any one time. Slide the apps to the left to access more. The apps slide across in groups, meaning there are four distinct pages of apps (the number of pages goes up if you download more). You can set the main menu to display apps in an alpha-based grid, user-defined grid, or in list form. One neat feature: the Pocket allows users to set a separate and unique wallpaper for the main menu view. There are a bunch preloaded, and they have a whimsical, cartoonish flair to them.

All other aspects of the Pocket's menus behave as you'd expect on a Gingerbread phone.

A note on performance. The Pocket can be sluggish. With a single-core 1GHz processor, it feels a bit underpowered. Apps that appear to be most affected by the processor are the camera, browser, and Google Maps.

We've asked Pantech if the Pocket will be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but we have yet to hear back from them. Now that Android 4.0 is on the cusp of availability, it should probably play a role in your decision-making when it come to picking a new phone.


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