Aaron's First Impressions: Pantech BreEZe II (AT&T)Aaron Baker - Director, Content and Partnerships
What's Good: Large buttons; good call quality; strong battery life.
What's Bad: No battery life or signal strength indicators on external display.
The Verdict: With great call quality and strong battery life, this phone is absolutely perfect for older individuals or those that are using their device for basic tasks.
Too often in this business, we cover smartphones and tend to forget about solid regular phones. The fact of the matter is not everyone needs a smartphone. Whether it's for Grandma or use as a backup device, the Pantech Breeze II is a nice (and inexpensive) option. It's basic in terms of features - but when it comes to calling or messaging, it gets the job done. The Breeze II ships with the phone, battery, home charger, and instruction manuals. Coming in at 4.00 inches long by 2.00 inches wide by 0.70 inch thick, the device weighs 3.4 ounces, making it light - perfect for a pocket, glove compartment box, or purse.
In addition to the standard Pantech menu interface, the Breeze II offers two "modes," depending on who's using the device: "Breeze Mode" and "Advanced Mode." True to its name, Breeze Mode cuts down on menu options to make it easier to navigate, while Advanced Mode is what you would normally see on a Pantech handset. When you miss a call or text message, or have a low battery, the Breeze II alerts you via three icons just below the external display.
The 1.3-megapixel camera is nothing to write home about, but makes for a decent way to take pictures while on the go. Features include white balance, picture effects, self-timer, four picture sizes, picture quality, and more. The video camera was decent, though I found image quality to be rather grainy.
I've been testing the Breeze II in the Charlotte metropolitan area, and throughout my limited testing, call quality has been very good. I've had no dropped calls, and overall call quality is very clear, crisp, and loud - essential for the demographic that the Breeze II is targeting. Speakerphone was decent (if not on par with most devices on the market), and I connected my Bluetooth headset without any problems. Though I haven't had enough time to fully test the battery, I've been using it quite a bit today, and I haven't dropped a single bar.
The device offers 3G UMTS/HSDPA connectivity (850/1900/2100 MHz) on AT&T, so browsing speeds were reasonably fast. The mobile CNN webpage loaded in about 14 seconds, and the PhoneDog homepage loaded in 42 seconds. Other data-intensive programs such as AT&T GPS, YPmobile, and AT&T's Online Locker performed without issue.
The Pantech Breeze II is available at AT&T retail stores and online for $19.99 after a mail-in rebate and new two-year agreement. Stay tuned for more!