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Pantech tries to one-up the Galaxy S3 with the new Vega S5: 13MP camera, Zero Bezel, LTE

July 2, 2012

Although Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is the most sought-after Android-based smartphone of the summer, we all know how rapidly evolving is the technology market, which is why it’s only a matter of time before someone one ups Sammy.

Or rather, it was only a matter of time, because we already have a smartphone that, at least on paper, looks better than the S3. The Vega S5 comes from Pantech, one of Sammy’s strongest competitors in South Korea, but a company that, for some reason, has chosen not to make its devices globally available.

Sporting a 5-inch IPS HD LCD touchscreen with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, the Pantech Vega S5 is not your ordinary monster phone, as it comes with something called “Zero Bezel” technology. Thanks to that, the S5 comes with a larger display than Samsung’s S3, while being thinner and more compact than everybody’s go-to super phone these days.

The Vega S5 measures an unbelievably thin 6.89 mm in depth (compared to the S3’s 8.6 mm), and, while it still comes with a bit of a bezel, it will most likely have the best screen-to-body size ratio around, thus giving users the best image quality on the largest possible display.

Sure, the image quality doesn’t only depend on the display size, but, based on the S5’s resolution and our previous experience with Pantech-manufactured phones, we’re pretty sure we’re dealing with one of the best, if not the best, smartphone screen on the market.

Aside from the smart design, the Pantech Vega S5 has a few more aces up its sleeve, including a 13 MP camera with continuous autofocus and zero shutter lag, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 4G LTE connectivity, and a monster 2,100 mAh battery, supposedly capable of running for 11 hours of continuous talk time.

In terms of software, the Vega S5 runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, but unfortunately we’re not dealing with the “purest” OS version around. Instead, you’ll get a customized UI and a a couple of other Pantech-exclusive features, including Smart Voice, a voice assistant software similar to Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s S Voice.

There are a few other details that still need to be revealed about Pantech’s new flagship smartphone (or phablet?). So, before we find out the handheld’s RAM (fingers crossed for 2 GB!), internal memory, presence of a microSD card slot, and if that battery is user removable, we should hold out the verdicts in the comparison with the S3. Still, based on what we do know so far, it’s pretty obvious that Samsung’s flagship will soon get a very serious competitor.

Now, for the bad part of the report, we should tell you that Pantech has unveiled the Vega S5 as an exclusive SK Telecom device, and we have no reason to think for now that the 5-incher will ever get out of South Korea. Also, the handheld’s price in Korea (900,000 Won – $800) is a bit steep. Then again, we know that most gadgets are usually made available in the US for slightly better prices than in Asia, so there’s still a chance the Vega S5 might become popular outside its native land. Now if only Pantech would offer the Vega S5 globally…