Pantech Breakout Review: Budget 4G on Verizon

Features

Rating

So, with download speeds of about 8.9 MB/ts and upload speeds of 5.5 MB/ts, this is indeed a fully certified 4G phone. Verizon’s LTE network is one of the best, and most widespread, so you’ll probably always have 4G coverage at your disposal, but just in case you end up in a 3G zone, you have EVDO Rev.A on demand to keep things fast and steady. As for calling, that’s handled by the CDMA 800 and 1900 frequencies. Local connectivity is handled via Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi and of course microUSB 2.0.

The engine in charge of powering the Breakout is a single core, second generation, 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. With 512 MB of RAM and 3 GB of internal memory, though only 390 MB of it is available to the user. The pre-installed 8 GB card more than makes up the difference.

The 5 MP camera is pretty good. The lack of flash is a bit of a letdown, but otherwise, it is still a better snapper than the Conquer’s 3.2 MP camera. Pictures turn out clean and clear, with good color retention. The only flaw is the slight presence of a “ghosting” effect. The auto focus can be done manually or on the spot if you’re trying to capture a Kodak moment. Other options include white balance in auto, outdoor, cloudy, fluorescent, and glow modes and color modes include normal, mono, negative and sepia. There’s also the option to select image resolution and there are 11 different scene modes.

The camcorder can shoot 720p HD video at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Videos are about average in terms of quality, though you have to shoot videos slowly and hold relatively still to get the best quality. There’s not much in the way of anti-shake software on the Breakout. You can share videos over DLNA or microUSB if you have the proper adapters, there’s no HDMI though.

The music player is not a stock Android player in this case. Pantech have indulged in their own music player. Which is almost entirely blue in color. Is it better than the Stock Android player? Well, it’s about the same and then slightly less, the album cover looks like a cover flow copy, but only switches when a track is changed, and there are no equalizer settings either. Though on the upside, file support is amazingly wide, as you can play the MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR, OGG and MIDI formats.

The video player on the other hand, will only play WMV, 3GP and MP4 videos. Those of you pinning your hopes on DIVX/XVID support are in for some disappointment, I’m afraid. Though you can play 720p HD videos without a hitch.

Now for features, quick question, do you hate bloatware? Then you will loathe the Breakout with every fibre of your being. Remember earlier in this section when I noted that you can only access 390 MB of the available 3 GB memory? That’s because most of the internal memory has been taken up by proprietary apps and other bloatware. It’s that rampant. All in all I counted over 35 apps, if the Breakout was aiming for some sort of bloatware record, I think they got it. Can someone call Guinness?

Anyway, a basic run down of apps courtesy of Pantech goes like this — Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, City ID, Lets Golf 2, Converter, DocViewer, Guided Tours, Handy Memo, Mobile IM, NFL Mobile, NSF Shift, Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, Tip Calculator, TuneWiki, and Nuance Voice Control. Those are just Pantech apps, Verizon were kind enough to provide the likes of VCast Music, VCast Tones, VZ Navigator, and Verizon Video apps. Add to the above list the norms such as Google Maps, Gtalk, YouTube, Doc-viewer, JAVA, GPS, calculator etc. and you’ll never be short of apps, ever.

Did I mention the clincher? You can’t delete any of the proprietary apps. As a consolation for bloatware haters, you can create a folder in the app drawer and then dump all of the bloatware inside it.

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