Pantech Burst review phone review
In the smartphone world, little attention seems to be paid to budget devices. Every year the hot new devices are the top-of-the-line smartphones that cost more and more with every year. The public is captivated by the new iPhone, which costs $200 with a two-year contract. Android fanatics are flocking to the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which costs $300 with a two-year contract. With the brand new Burst on AT&T, Pantech is looking to end the dominance of the smartphone market by high-end, multi-hundred dollar devices. Costing just $50 with a two-year contract, the Pantech Burst is attractively priced so that it can be afforded by all.
Trying out the device for the first time makes it clear that this is a budget device. The Burst is not nearly as thin as its higher-end competitors, nor is it as beautifully designed as the iPhone. But, this is not necessarily a problem. While not as thin or sleek as the competition, the Burst still feels excellent in the hand and has a very good weight to it. The device feels rugged, and looks cool. The device has a 4 inch Super AMOLED display that is clear and vibrant. The device also has a 5MP camera with an LED flash that is good in a pinch, but won’t be replacing your camera anytime soon. Overall, I really enjoyed the Burst’s hardware. It felt well-made and solid, and despite the price of the phone, didn’t feel cheap.
Powering up the phone for the first time revealed that it ran Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a Pantech-created custom skin. Android 2.3 is a solid build, and allows access to all of the hot new applications available on the Google Play Store. Pantech’s custom skin left something to be desired, however. The skin didn’t seem to add many features to the device, but merely made it more cluttered. I didn’t like it all and thought it took away from the Android 2.3 Gingerbread experience a lot. I respect that Pantech is attempting to make an intuitive, feature-adding custom skin like Samsung’s, but I think Pantech’s skin on the Burst needs a little more time in the oven. The one feature that Pantech’s custom skin brings that is a game changer is the lock screen, which allows you to launch into specific applications depending on which lock icon you drag into the middle of the screen.
Despite the lackluster custom skin, the Burst’s performance is phenomenal. Using the device, applications, and all the features of the phone was a breeze. I never experienced any lag while switching applications and applications never crashed. I was extremely impressed that the Burst was able to perform at such a high level. It was performing just as well, if not better, than many of its $200 and $300 Android smartphone brethren.
Finally, the Pantech Burst is a 4G LTE device, able to use AT&T’s brand new LTE network. I have found that many budget 4G devices drain through their batteries quite quickly. I was delighted to see that the Burst did not, and stayed powered on all day even through heavy usage.
At the end of the day, when you consider the price, the Pantech Burst is a great device. It may not have a slick custom skin like the expensive Samsung Galaxy S II or a fancy camera like the iPhone 4, but the Pantech Burst delivers in performance and utility. The Burst is an excellent smartphone for just $50, and anyone willing to compromise on fancy features will find themselves with a powerful device that is able to keep up with the high-end devices available for a couple hundred dollars more.