Pantech’s starting 2012 right by releasing two of their newest devices on AT&T.  You may have heard that AT&T is offering both the Pantech Burst and the Pantech Element at a bundle for US$259, but today we’re looking at the Pantech Burst solo.

Released a few days apart, the Pantech Burst on January 9 and the Pantech Element on January 22, it’s a fight between a smartphone packing a punch and aimed for the lower-end market and a tablet that’s made a splash with a surprising new feature. We’re not going to spoil the surprise early, so read on to find out just what makes this comparison particularly exciting.

Design and Display

Packing an 8-inch screen and weighing in at 16.57 ounces, the Pantech Element is a tablet with a capacitive, multitouch screen. It’s Pantech’s first tablet release. Something you’ll notice about this tablet is that its microSD, Micro HDMI and Micro USB ports, as well as the SIM card slot, can be covered by two flaps. You better make sure those flaps are tightly sealed when you decide to make use of this tablet’s real exciting feature. The Pantech Element is a waterproof tablet. And, we’re not just talking about this tablet’s surviving the occasional spill. The Pantech Element can remain operable even under 30 feet of water.

Pantech has sealed the components so they won’t frizzle. Unfortunately, the capacitive touch screen becomes inoperable under water. Not exactly handy for scuba divers but very useful for people who’d like to do some surfing or movie watching in the jacuzzi, in the hot tub, or just in the rain. The Pantech Element can be submerged for 30 minutes without batting an eyelash, so it’s sure to survive a few accidental slips at the beach. Whatever your reasons may be, the Pantech Element is already shaping up to be a great companion for users who’re surrounded by water often.

Meanwhile, the Pantech Burst sports a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with 480×800 pixel resolution. The screen does a lot of justice, as the colors are vibrant and pop out at you without appearing overly washed out or dominant. On the bottom of the screen are the four capacitive Android buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search.

For a phone that’s light on the budget, it certainly doesn’t feel light on the materials. The Pantech Burst has a solid build that neither feels cheap nor plastic. Though the back of the phone may be made of thin plastic, it looks like brushed metal which gives it the appearance of a slightly more high-end phone. The Pantech Burst comes in two colors: red and titanium.


Both the Pantech Element and the Pantech Burst have built-in storage of 16 GB and are both expandable via microSD up to 32 GB.


Both the Pantech Element and the Pantech Burst are equipped with a front facing and rear facing camera.  Not to disappoint its status as a tablet, the Pantech Element’s front camera packs 2 megapixels and its rear camera packs 5 megapixels.  The Pantech Burst, on the other hand, has a front-facing 0.3-megapixel (VGA) camera and a rear-facing 5 MP camera.

Processor and Operating System

Though the Pantech Element sports Android Honeycomb 3.2, its 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor gives it performance without lag. Pantech has announced that the Pantech Element can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, but before you get your hopes up, the company has not yet announced any timeline for the upgrade.

The Pantech Burst is geared up with Android Gingerbread 2.3.5. It’s powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.  In theory, the Pantech Burst is capable of handling Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  But, just like the Pantech Element, the manufacturer has not yet announced any definite plans regarding upgrades for the Pantech Burst.


The Pantech Element has a 6,400 mAh battery, which can support up to 12 hours of high-use battery life.  The Pantech Burst’s own battery is a Li-ion pack rated at 1,650 mAh. This means that it can last up to 4.5 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time.


The Pantech Element’s waterproof design eliminates the days when tablet users would flee for cover the moment rain starts to pour. Being waterproof, this tablet is great for those of you who like to do their tablet surfing outdoors. Though the Pantech Element’s capacitive touchscreen may not function underwater, and thus is useless to scuba divers (who, for some reason, want to do their reading underwater), the Pantech Element is good for people who are afraid of getting their tablets wet. You can get the Pantech Element from AT&T on a US$299 contract for 2 years, which ought to let you take advantage of AT&T’s “LTE for the masses.”

The Pantech Burst on the other hand is packing some nice specs for a low-end smartphone. At only US$49.99 a month and running on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the Pantech Burst is definitely worth considering for consumers who want lightning-fast Internet on a good budget.

Have you ever been a fan of Pantech gadgets?  Which of these two new Android devices from Pantech are you getting this year?