Pantech Burst Review
THE ONLY BURST THAT MAKES YOU WANNA BURST!!
Pantech is a South Korean company that manufactures mobile phones. Established in 1991, its market is mainly domestic, but Pantech also has partners in the United States, Japan, China, Europe. According to Gartner, in 2011 it was the third best-selling handset maker in South Korea, behind Samsung and LG, but ahead of Apple. Pantech also partners for some devices with PCD.
Pantech has tried desperately to no avail in producing a breakout smartphone for AT&T’s camp, as they’ve failed to establish their mark with devices like the Pantech Crossover and Pocket. Rather than letting the competition absorb the fruitful rewards associated with AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the Pantech Burst is exploding onto the scene in hopes of gaining some sort of visibility with its oh-so lovable on-contract price of $49.99. Instead of finding something watered down in the specs department, which might be the first thing to come to mind for most people, this handset isn’t messing around as it carries along some of the elements we’d expect employed by a modernized smartphone ready for war.
This smartphone like all smartphones today, has a plastic casing. It feels good in hand compared to today’s super-sized smartphones with even larger displays. The back is faux brushed metal plastic and the front has curvier corners than Samsung’s Android smartphones. The power button and 3.5mm stereo jack are up top and the micro USB port is in the center of the right side. The volume controls are on the left side and the speaker is on the back near the top where it’s less likely to be blocked by your hand. The phone weighs 4.32 ounces.
The 4-inch Super AMOLED display is quite nice, and very bright. Since the emphasis here is on portability, I believe that the Burst has made a good compromise. The screen is large enough to be seen easily, without any squinting, but it does take a little getting used to since it is relatively tall and narrow.
The Burst is a solid phone that doesn’t look or feel cheap, and we’re impressed with its speed. An early AT&T marketing video said the phone runs on a 1.2GHz CPU, and our unit runs on a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM6680 CPU with Adreno 220 graphics (the same CPU used in AT&T’s other LTE phones) that Quadrant and AnTuTu report as 1.5GHz. We reached out to Pantech for CPU speed clarification, but they never replied. Benchmark numbers are as good as the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and faster than the HTC Vivid. The Burst scored a very good Quadrant number of 3226 and a multi-thread Linkpack score of 87. AnTuTu scored the Pantech Burst at 6388 (higher than the Skyrocket). Not bad for a budget priced phone!
|The phone has 16 gigs of internal storage with 12.3 gigs available for your use. There’s a microSD card slot under the back door for further storage expansion.Benchmarks:
The 5 megapixel camera takes decent shots, with auto focus. Under the right conditions, you can get some good shots with vivid colors.
The 4X zoom works just fine, though there was a noticeable decrease in detail. Video capture works well enough, at 720p, not full HD resolution.
The Burst performed very well in this category, which I found somewhat surprising since I have come to expect 4G LTE phones to have relatively poor battery endurance. The device has a 1680 mAh battery and it performed like a champ, going almost a week before I had to recharge. Power dropped more quickly when I took a lot of photos or had marathon gaming sessions, but even then I was able to get through two and a half days of very heavy use before finally giving me a low battery warning.
A 1.5GHz dual-core processor keeps the Burst ticking; the ridged design adds an element of style.
AT&T continues to be aggressive with their LTE 4G phone pricing, likely to combat Verizon Wireless’ lineup of lovely high end Android smartphones and currently larger LTE footprint. The Pantech Burst is a great phone for the price, and you’re not making major concessions by buying a “cheap” phone. It has a sharp 4″ Super AMOLED display with no visible color fringing, a fast CPU, ample internal storage and a decent though not stellar camera. Voice quality is very good, LTE speeds are excellent and the phone is a manageable size. If you’re dying to upgrade to a fast Android smartphone with LTE but are on a tight budget, the Pantech Burst is well worth a look.