In an attempt to distinguish itself from the litany of 4G-enabled Android phones on the market, the Pantech Pocket for AT&T features a very unique 4-inch display with an 800 x 600-pixel resolution. We just went hands-on with the Pocket and found the design intriguing to say the least. Read on for our impressions and check out our video hands on and gallery below.
Pantech is marketing the Pocket to users who aren't overly concerned about their phone's processing power, and instead are focused on its overall usability. When viewed in that light, the Pantech looks like it could be a winner. Its interesting 4-inch 800 x 600 widescreen touch display provides users with a large viewing area. The wider screen means that you get a wider touchscreen keyboard than most Android phones, which makes tapping out messages much easier.
But the Pocket's display also translates into a better viewing experience while looking at your web browser, e-mail, text messages; most anything really. But there is a drawback. Because the phone is so different from other Android devices on the market, some apps will not fit to the screen as they would on other phones. And while we didn't get a chance to see any such apps, we can assume that that might be a bit of an annoyance.
The Pocket's user interface is a slightly modified version of Android Gingerbread. Don't look for anything too groundbreaking here, though. Pantech's changes are mostly made to make the OS feel more inviting for new smartphone users. While playing with the Pocket, we noticed that each of its homepage panels felt nice and open. App shortcuts felt like they had more space to live on the screen and didn't seem crammed on top of each other. At the bottom of the home screen rest four soft-touch buttons that open up apps such as your text messaging program.
One of the more interesting modifications the company made to Android was to the Pocket's lock screen. Instead of a standard swipe to unlock, users are met with a wheel surrounded by shortcuts to different frequently used apps including the phone's text messenger, web browser, music, and of course, standard unlock. When users drag the icons into a small circle within the wheel, they will automatically launch the corresponding app. We tried it out with the music and e-mail icons and were immediately brought to the correct app. It's a very nice touch which both new and advanced smartphone users can appreciate.
Physically speaking, the Pocket had a quality feel to it. Its 4.4-ounce weight and compact 4.5 x 3.3 x 0.4-inch dimensions felt good in our hands. Pantech also covered the rear and sides of the Pocket with a rubberized material that acts like a built-in phone cover. Again, it's a simple thing that should make the Pocket more appealing to mainstream customers.
Pricing for the Pocket hasn't been announced, but AT&T and Pantech better price this phone aggressively, especially with the likes of the Atrix 4G selling at $99.