The Good The Pantech Breakout runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Android 2.3 Gingerbread is dressed up with a handy custom UI, and the phone has good call quality.
The Bad Breakout doesn’t have a flash, and it has a bad front camera, jerk and shutter lag.
The Bottom Line If you’re not thinking about a camera or video, Pantech Breakout is a fast and easy Android phone for Verizon.
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Only in June did Pantech release its first Android phone for the US market Pantech Crossover for AT&T. Just months later, the phone maker is doing it again, this time for Verizon. The Pantech Breakout doesn’t take its name lightly. In addition to being Pantech’s first Android smartphone for Verizon, it’s also grabbed hold of Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
Features are noteworthy: a 5 megapixel camera, a front VGA camera, 720p HD movie and video playback, and a 1 GHz show running processor. However, the performance struck some cramps during our tests that cast a shadow on the camera’s hardware, in particular, the phone’s LTE readiness. At the time of writing Breakout, it cost $ 99.99. After a $ 50 discount through a new two-year service agreement.
The Breakout may be the company’s first CDMA smartphone, but Pantech has long been manufacturing equipment and giving Breakout a physical design all its own. Matte black plastic around, The Breakout smiles in the face of bold fingerprints and butterfly butterflies with its tiny pebbles. A pair of metallic accents – the navigation crescent moon in front and the camera lens surrounding the back – help to break the monotony of black and add a bit of class, but they can’t save the handset from the look of a perfectly decent but simple and average smartphone.
The Pantech Breakout has a 4-inch touch screen and a wicker backing to prevent it from slipping.
Breakout proportions, however, are good: 5 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide and just shy 0.5 inches thick. At 4.9 ounces, it feels soothingly heavy. These tiny plastic burrs on the body of the phone should help to hold it in hand, but if it doesn’t, Breakout strikes us so hard as to remove a bumper or two indiscriminately. Some pockets look cumbersome, but along with many other smartphones, you should be fine.
While nothing special, the Breakout 4-inch TFT Touch Screen is definitely acceptable. Its WVGA resolution (480×800 pixels) supports 262,000 colors, not the millions of colors supported by premium phones. By itself, it is easy to look at, even if the colors look washed out, the contrast is not as good as on other phones, and nothing really appears. However, it is quite bright and colorful, and we appreciate the Pantech skin default background animations.
Speaking of which, Breakout has its own Pantech Android flavor, just like on the Crossover. Navigation is as easy as it is on other Android phones, though we are not fans of the default desktop tray of apps that visually mimic the dots of the phone. There are seven main screens by default, but you can click to view all and remove any you don’t want. You can also deselect the notification panel to access Bluetooth, GPS, data and Wi-Fi controls.
Pantech does a few neat things to dress the typical Android lock screen as well. You can easily unlock your phone with your finger or get more information by dragging a dial pad, message or mailbox to the center to unlock the phone on one of these – we also saw this trick in the Android HTC Sense 3.0 UI. Pantech also means your well-being: you or someone else can access ICE (emergency) contacts from a lock screen without unlocking your phone.
At the bottom of the screen are four hardware buttons for the menu, home, back, and search, which by default is Bing. The two buttons are black plastic, and the two connect to that crescent moon, which gives it a certain style. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left back, a volume rocker, and a quick voice button. On the right is a Micro-USB charging port, a general power button and a lock screen, and a camera shutter button. On the back is a 5MP camera with a VGA camera lens in the front.
After you slide the back cover (hint: press a quarter of an inch below the camera lens, on the seam where the cover fits in), you will be able to access the Micro-USB card slot. The Breakout comes with a pre-installed 8GB card. Fortunately for you, the phone accepts up to 32GB of extra storage space. Fortunately, you will need to remove the battery to exchange cards.
Most Android phone manufacturers are looking for ways to make the software on their phones expressive, most often with a custom skin, preinstalled software, or both. After all, like other Android Gingerbread phones, Breakout has almost endless address book capacity, Wi-Fi, text messaging and multimedia messaging, Bluetooth, GPS, and direct connectivity to Google services, including turn-by-turn navigation and YouTube. There is also a typical Android music player.
Verizon’s LTE 4G LTE speed was as fast as promised at Breakout.
It’s common to see the manufacturer and operator add their own applications as fixtures, but at Breakout Pantech they are overboard. The phone is equipped with Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, CityID, Converter, DocViewer, Tours, Handy Memo and Let’s Golf 2. In addition, you will find Mobile Chat, NFL Mobile, NSF Shift (another game), Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, Tip Calculator, TuneWiki and Nuance Voice Control.
It doesn’t even cover Verizon applications like VZ Navigator; a set of V Cast applications for music, video and ringtones; and other Verizon account management programs. If you are dissatisfied with the location of the icons, you can go to the Menu to manually change them.
Plus, there is a Swype keyboard that is on by default, but you can always switch to the Android keyboard by default. Of course, there are other necessary applications: calendar, alarm clock, calculator and voice search.
We found that the front and rear cameras on Breakout were not impressive.
In addition to the user interface, the biggest claim to its own individual performance comes in two cameras. However, this is also the weakest point of this phone. We’ve never taken good-quality, even flattering photos from a front-facing VGA camera on any phone, and this is one of the worst we’ve seen in a long time. The photos were grainy, unfocused, blurred, and generally poor.
The 5MP rear camera came out better, though it certainly didn’t fit the best in its class. The shutter takes a long time to focus and the colors are washed and uneven. The flash can be a hit or miss, sometimes overlapping or distorting the color, but we see it rather than not.
And then there’s the video. Our video playback tests lacked software stabilization, resulting in endless playback, which also tended to pause or lag, resulting in an unpleasant viewing experience.
We tested a dual-band (CDMA 800/1900; LTE 700) Pantech Breakout 4G on Verizon’s San Francisco network. The quality of calls in San Francisco was ambiguous. On the other hand, the volume was loud and clear, with a continuous crackle against the background or white noise. The comrade’s voice at times sounded a little humming, almost as it was gently tuned. In the end, the callers said that our voice was loud, but it sounded blurry and not quite natural.
Sample Quality Pantech Breakout CallListen now:
We were pleasantly surprised to visit the loudspeaker and have a 15-minute call through the loudspeaker while holding the phone at waist level. In addition to the wonderful volume, the voices sounded rich. It wasn’t all fun and games. The phone vibrated a bit when our caller was talking and there was still a mechanical element to the sound. On the other hand, the callers reported that the loudspeaker volume was uncomfortably low and difficult to hear. Our friends were less eager than we to have a 15-minute discussion. The clarity of the voice was about the same as a standard call, – said our friends – a clear line, but a slightly blurred voice.
The Breakout is a 4G LTE phone on the network that prides itself on being fast. So far, Verizon has also given us great performance from phones like the Motorola Droid Bionic and Samsung Droid Charge . Breakout uploaded a mobile-optimized CNET site in 11 seconds and a complete, graphically rich CNET site in about 25 seconds. Similarly, the mobile-optimized New York Times website only loads in 10 seconds and its full site loads in about 30 seconds. We also didn’t have too many complaints about internal performance except for a few seconds of shutter lag.
The rated battery life is 5.8 hours talk time and 12.6 days standby time on its 1500 mAh battery. FCC radio frequency tests measure a digital SAR of 1.05 watts per kilogram.
In an ideal phone, the power of the hardware would correspond to the power of the software. In this case, the Pantech Breakout 4G software defeated its hardware. If you just call and manage your applications and browser, you and Breakout will be fine. Custom interfaces and dial kits are easy to use on a good big screen. The call quality was good enough for our ears and the phone felt good in the hand. These 4G LTE speeds didn’t hurt either. However, try the video and camera and see how the march despises – unfortunately, the quality of the camera has ruined our experience.
Priced at $ 99 (after $ 50 off) – a good price for 4G access – if you don’t plan on using your camcorder or front camera a lot, you might want to think. If the quality of the camera is important to you, you are better off buying.