After a shadowy hands-on at CTIA where we weren't allowed to take pictures of the thing, the Pantech Pursuit will finally launch June 6. We have a review unit in our hands, and we must say, first impressions are very positive.
The Pursuit's overall design is wonderfully playful, with rounded corners, and a fun toylike appeal. The Pursuit is also what AT&T calls a touch-screen "Quick Messaging Phone," and indeed, it does come with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, is one of the best messaging keyboards we've laid our hands on. Even though the keyboard seems small, it's actually spacious with large keys that have a nice bumpy feel. As for the touch screen, the 2.8-inch display seems diminutive compared with other touch-screen handsets, but we actually thought it works quite well for a relatively simple phone like this. The screen is crisp and colorful, and though we're not terribly pleased with the resistive display, it was responsive enough for us.
Aside from that, the Pursuit also has a unique "shake feature" that lets you launch actions (like the music player, or the Web browser) after you press a button and shake the phone. You can configure up to three different actions that would correspond to the number of times you shake the phone. Though a bit gimmicky, we do think it has genuine practical use, especially for common functions like snoozing the alarm clock. The Pursuit also has a Drawing Commander feature that launches applications based on finger gestures, the Graffiti handwriting recognition, and multitasking.
Other features include a 2-megapixel camera complete with face recognition and geotagging, 3G (plus the usual access to AT&T Mobile Video and AT&T Mobile Music), a music player, a microSD card slot, GPS with AT&T Navigator, dedicated social networking apps for Facebook and MySpace, and support for AT&T's online services like Online Locker and AT&T Address Book.
The Pantech Pursuit will be available for $49.99 with a two-year contract with AT&T. We'll have a full review of the Pantech Pursuit shortly, so stay tuned.