The Pantech Breakout is being billed by Verizon as a good choice for those looking to make their first step up from a dumbphone to a smartphone. Thanks to an impressive build-quality, built-in 4G LTE, and a tempting $99 on-contract price tag, it’s hard to argue.
When I got the Pantech Breakout out of the its box, I was immediately impressed with the build-quality. This is my first experience with a Pantech handset, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting this level of hardware detail from a $99 phone. The phone is completely plastic, save the screen, but they’ve textured the plastic in a number of ways that makes it feel way more solid than if it were nothing but smooth glossy plastic, like most of Samsung Galaxy S phones. The careful texturing even makes the phone feel more rugged than it probably is. I must say that I prefer some attention to detail on the case of the Pantech Breakout over a phone like the Samsung Nexus S [review], which was actually rather boring on the outside thanks to it’s smooth glossy plastic.
The 4G LTE speeds on the Pantech Breakout are as high performing as ever. This is the same 4G LTE connection that I was able to play multiplayer Halo Reach on without much issue (something I never would be able to do on a 3G network).
The only early issue I have wit the Pantech Breakout is the keyboard which has some responsiveness issues. By default, the phone uses Swype for input, but I’m not the biggest Swype fan so I tend to go with the default Android keyboard. Unfortunately the default keyboard seems to hang from time to time. Even though it will eventually get all of the input, it’s jarring to be tapping away when suddenly the haptic feedback stops for a few seconds, only to catch up after a brief pause. This may be fixable and I’m still looking into it. Otherwise, the device has been rather impressive given the pricetag.
With that said, I’ve got a Pantech Breakout gallery for you, and we’ll have more coverage soon: