Pantech has only been making smartphones for U.S. carriers since 2011, with handsets getting better and better.
Pantech Crossover: The first foray
Release date: June 2011, AT&T.
Pantech's first smartphone for the U.S., the Crossover featured a durable look, QWERTY keyboard, and Android 2.2 OS. With a 3.1-inch screen and flashless 3-megapixel camera, the $69.99 Crossover was very much a starter phone.
Another first, the Pantech Breakout ($99.99 retail) was the company's debut Android phone for Verizon. It rolled out with 4G LTE speeds, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 5-megapixel camera, and 720p HD video capture and playback. However, the slow camera and jerky video were issues.
still lacked a camera flash on its 5-megapixel camera, and had trouble with smooth video playback and call quality. However, its $50 debut price tag for a 4-inch Android 2.3 screen made it wallet-friendly.
I was impressed from the first moment I laid eyes on the Burst. Here was an all-around good midrange Android 2.3 smartphone with a dual-core processor, LTE, and a 5-megapixel camera that had worked out the bugs. At $50, there was no better value among the Burst's cohort.
One of Verizon's first midprice smartphones to ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Marauder ($99) combined a QWERTY keyboard with an optional "easy" UI. However, the relatively flat keyboard, bulkier design, and pokey processor were trouble spots.
Pantech's alternative "easy experience" UI made its AT&T premiere with the Flex, an Android 4.0 device notable for its visually arresting back panel and dual-core processor wrapped up in another $50 bow. The 8-megapixel camera missed the mark, though, and the handset lacked NFC.
Pantech's most technically successful U.S. phone since the Burst, the Discover hits that midrange sweet spot where $50 gets you a full feature set, plus some interesting design perks, like 3D speakers.