Caloosa Middle School
3 out of 5
(Wireless Phone) After owning (and wsihang) the Samsung magnet, I was skeptical about the quality of this seemingly similar phone. However, I found that the Pantech Link is by far one of the best feature phones you can buy from at&t. I'll go over the device step by step. 1. Hardware The keys have a great tactile fell. They are easy to press, and are very domed, which is great for quick, accurate typing. The screen is unusually high resolution for a $10 phone. The 1.3 megapixel camera is plenty, and takes clear, crisp pictures. The video camera is okay. Both allow you to chose how large of an image you want to take. There is an expansion slot for a micro-SD card up to 32gb (iPhone size!). This is necessary as the phone's internal memory is only 80 mb. The back casing has a rubbery grip feel, which is nice. There is a fairly good quality speaker on the back. The volume up and down buttons are small and cramped. The proprietary pantech power Jack doubles as a headphone port, but if you want to use iPod headphones, you need to buy and adaptor. Overall, the phone feels high quality. 2. Connectivity Connects to AT&T 3G network, GSM and EDGE. I'm a Mac owner, so I use the Bluetooth file transfer utility on my Mac to transfer stored pictures, video, music, etc. The phone allows you to transfer files directly on to the micro SD card, which is critical for transferring on songs and videos. On windows, you can use windows media player to transfer songs using a special USB cable, sold separately. Web browser is simple, access to Media net, GPS, Yellow pages mobile, ATT music, ATT mobile email (gmail included) and the app center. Also access to ATT's new online locker. 3. Messaging This phone is first and foremost a phone for messaging. The text messaging application is quite nice. Messages are shown in conversation mode, like on the iPhone. However, words don't wrap properly in their speech bubbles. So texts more than a few words long may have fragmented words around the edges. Also, the speech bubble only shows two lines of text; longer messages must be viewed separately by clicking on them. When you send a message, an annoying and useless prompt comes up to tell you the message was successfully sent. It would be better to show a prompt if the message failed. 4. Calling What you would expect from a modern phone. Voice quality is okay. The Speaker phone and ringer get quite loud, and the vibrate is powerful. You also have the option to record calls, which can be useful. This won't save on external memory, though. It can, however, be put on a computer through Bluetooth transfer. 5. Apps The phone comes preloaded with quite a number of apps and games, all of which, except for the media player, either access the data network or are demos, so if you don't want to pay for data, don't use them. The music player automatically manages all of your songs in internal and external memory. It reads mp3 s and m4a's, but has trouble with artist name and genre. You can add new playlists to compensate for this. All apps, as well as phone, messaging, web browser, and music player, all support multitasking. This can be done by holding down the volume up button. There are icons for all of the above except for the apps, whose icon is the Java logo. Clicking on that will bring up the app manager, which allows you to open, start and stop apps. Unfortunately, pre loaded apps and games can't be deleted. 6. Miscellaneous The phone tells you when you are accessing the data network by showing an orange 3G flame or orange E, as opposed to white versions of each. The file system is mediocre, I don't want to see three different options to buy tones before it lists so songs. Luckily this doesn't appear on external memory. All in all, this device is an excellent purchase for someone who doesn't want to pay for a blackberry or iPhone but wants solid functionality at a great price.