My Pantech Breakout – First Impressions

As many of you know, I was an early adopter of the Motorola Droid. And I love the Droid, and use it HEAVILY. But It was starting to show signs of wear and tear, and it was starting to lock up on me and requiring a reboot 2 or 3 times a week (app related I’m sure, but still annoying). So while it was still functional, I decided it was time to upgrade since my wife was having surgery, and I wanted a phone I could work and play on.

But being on a tight budget, I wasn’t sure what I could… and then Verizon released the Breakout. So I read and watched the reviews that were available, and decided to buy it. After using it for a week, here’s what I like and don’t like about it.

What I like about the Pantech Breakout:

  • It is faster than my Droid. I admit it’s not a speed demon compared to the Bionic or one of the other high end phones, but it IS faster than the Droid.
  • I like the overall size. Big screen. But it’s not so big that you can’t hold it comfortably.
  • It’s 4G capable. Not that I have 4G in my zipcode yet, but why spend twice the money for a 3G phone at this point in the game?
  • It has real hardware buttons! Call me old school, but I like physical buttons.
  • There are 7 home screens available to use. Very cool if you use a lot of widgets.
What I don’t like about the phone:
  • There’s no flash for the camera.
  • The headphone jack is on the top left side of the unit. Which works ok if you have it in a holster on your belt (which by the way, I am *STILL* using the leather holster I had for my Palm Treo 650 – it has securely held my Treo, Tilt, Ozone, Droid, and now the Pantech). But the side connection makes it hard to use as an MP3 player and drop into a shirt pocket.
  • There is no car or multimedia “dock” mode. I think I’ll miss that the most about the Droid.
  • Verizon has too many pre-installed apps. For example, why would I want “City ID”, “Let’s Golf 2”, “NFL Mobile”, or what appears to be the entire suite of V CAST apps?
I’m still undecided on the whole Pantech custom user interface yet. It’s not overly intrusive and doesn’t interfere with how I use the phone. But after running Cyanogen Mod 7 on the Droid, I guess I’m a little spoiled. However, overall, I like the phone. Call quality has been good for me. Since I have no 4G here, I used wi-fi and was able to stream an episode of Phineas and Ferb off of Netflix without issue. I have all my must have apps loaded, and the phones performance hasn’t degraded (whereas with the Droid, there was a point where I noticed degradation in overall responsiveness). The flashless camera may be the only thing that might cause me to upgrade off this phone in the near future, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that.
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