First Impressions: Pantech Pursuit (AT&T)Aaron Baker - Director, Content and Partnerships
What's Good: Well-built, easy to use Quick Messaging Device.
What's Bad: Honestly, I can't find an issue with this device.
The Verdict: Though clearly geared toward the first-time phone owners (tweens and other youngsters), the Pursuit is a great device that excels in the QMD arena.
Realizing that the smartphone market is saturated, Pantech made the decision some time ago to focus on AT&T's "Quick Messaging Device" category. As a result of the new focus, I've been pleased with every Pantech device I've worked with to date. They're basic in comparison to the EVOs and the iPhones of the world, but it's clear that they take pride in a good product. Each device I've worked with post-CTIA (Link, Breeze II, and Pursuit) has performed admirably with no issues or build quality concerns.
From the colorful designs to the playful "keep out" background wallpaper, it's clear that the device is designed for the 8-16 demographic. To that end, the Pursuit would make a perfect cell phone for first-time tweens, or a good backup phone for a rainy day. It's light, compact, and offers a nice keyboard for messaging on the go. For a small device, the built-in QWERTY keyboard is surprisingly roomy and easy to use. With four rows, my favorite thing about it is the dedicated row for the space bar and associated symbols. There's no lag in the menu, making it very easy to pound out long text messages.
The menu interface is the AT&T standard one, with three home screens, and three menu pages. The Pursuit offers a number of personalization options, such as home screen widgets, background wallpaper, and ringtones. Included in the software are the typical AT&T programs - AT&T Navigator, YP Mobile, AT&T Mall, Mobile E-Mail, Mobile Video, and more. In a nice twist, the Pursuit offers WHERE, an app typically found on smartphones. Through it, you can obtain the weather and find movie times, Starbucks locations, and gas stations.
I've been reviewing the Pursuit in the Charlotte area, and call quality has been strong, with no dropouts or signal issues. Callers told me that I sounded good, and I was able to hear them without any issues. I took the device to a known AT&T dead zone today, and was able to complete a call, though the audio was choppy at times. I paired my Plantronics Voyager Pro headset without any trouble. Battery life is still being tested, but with moderate use encompassing calling, text messaging, and web access, battery life is where it was this morning (three bars).
Though basic, the Pursuit excels in the category it was created for: low-cost messaging. In terms of design, it's not for the world traveler or the boardroom, but it's a capable low-end device for texting youngsters. Available in AT&T retail stores and online on June 6th, the Pursuit will cost $49.99 after mail-in rebate.