Leaks and rumors that have surfaced over the past couple of weeks were a clear indication that Pantech was preparing to release an AT&T-bound mid-range smartphone by the name of the Pantech Flex. As it turns out, the smartphone previously leaked as the Pantech Magnus turns out to be exactly the Pantech Flex. Fortunately, the naming confusion is now over as AT&T and Pantech have recently officially announced that the LTE enabled Pantech Flex will reach the carrier on September 16th for just $50 on a new two-year contract.
Much like the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Stellar (Verizon exclusive), the Pantech Flex is a budget 4G LTE smartphone, although a quick look over the specs sheet makes it obvious that the Flex comes with better internal components. Here they are:
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (so far, there is no word on a possible update to the latest version of Google’s OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)
- 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display running at a 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution
- 256 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) density
- 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 SoC
- No word on the amount of RAM, although I’m hoping Pantech throws in 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of on-board storage
- microSD card slot (can work with cards up to 32GB in size)
- 8MP primary camera (with full HD 1080p video recording capabilities)
- 2MP secondary camera
- 1830mAh battery
Another thing that the Pantech Flex has in common with the Galaxy Stellar is the dual-UI feature, meaning that besides the regular Android skin, unexperienced users will be also able to switch to the “Easy Experience” interface. The Easy Experience skin is designed specifically to help customers who are switching from featurephones and have not previously used an Android smartphone, although we have no further details on the feature.
Overall, if the build quality is decent, we might be looking at the best budget smartphone with LTE compatibility that AT&T currently has to offer: the screen is decently sized and offers a decent resolution, while the processor and GPU are the same as with the HTC One X (U.S. version) or the HTC One S (U.S. version). If Pantech did not screw up on the build quality, the Flex is one budget smartphone I’m going to have to recommend.
What do you make out of the Pantech Flex? A flop? A decently priced smartphone? Drop us a line in the comment section below and let us know what you think!
NEW PANTECH FLEX FROM AT&T PROVIDES ADDED
CHOICE FOR SIMPLICITY SEEKERS
First 4G LTE Smartphone to Feature “Easy Experience” Mode Runs
DALLAS, Sept. 4, 2012 – The first smartphone at AT&T to offer customers the option to choose between the traditional Android operating mode and a more simplified version ideal for new smartphone users, the Pantech Flex will be available exclusively from AT&T* online and in company-owned retail stores for $49.99 with a two-year agreement, beginning Sept. 16.
The Pantech Flex offers a unique dual experience system that runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The standard Android format is available for the customer who wants instant access to a wide range of their favorite features – social media sites, email, video and more. In addition, Flex provides the “Easy Experience” mode which prioritizes customers’ apps on the home screen in a clearly organized and easy- to-read format. Easy Experience users can enjoy an intuitive experience without sacrificing any the latest in smartphone technology. By switching simply between traditional and easy modes, depending on preferences, Flex is a very customizable device.
In addition to its dual operating systems, Flex weighs only 4.6 ounces and has a slim design that makes it easy to slip into a pocket or purse. Flex features a full touch 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display for a vibrant picture and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. The intelligent Pantech SwiftKey technology makes typing a breeze by minimizing key strokes by learning a user’s natural language for more accurate word predictions and corrections. Flex also features an eight-megapixel rear facing camera with 1080p HD video recording capabilities and a two-megapixel front facing camera.
“The Pantech Flex is a great phone because of its versatility,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices and Developer Services, AT&T Mobility. “This phone simplifies the smartphone experience and allows someone who has been hesitant to buy a smartphone a chance to get familiar with it at their own pace, and still leaves open the possibility of having the more traditional experience.”
“Flex is a smartphone that’s truly for everybody,” remarked Wyatt Whaley, vice president of product planning at Pantech. “With the option to alternate between the traditional Android interface and Pantech’s proprietary Easy Experience, Flex is ideal for users of all ages looking for an intuitive and flexible mobile experience.”