The Pantech Breeze III might be an entry-level phone, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in features. It certainly has the basics down-pat--it has a 1,000-entry phone book with room in each entry for six numbers, three e-mail addresses, a company name, five instant messenger handles, a Web address, a display name, a street address, a birthday, a social network ID, and more. You have the option of organizing your contacts into caller groups, and you can customize each contact with one of seven ringtones or eight alert tones. You can of course add your own if you like. You can use a photo for caller ID as well.
Other basic features include a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, an alarm clock, a calendar, a notepad, a world clock, a calculator, a tip calculator, a stopwatch, a notepad, a unit converter, a voice memo recorder, and a timer. The last three tools are not available in Breeze mode. New to the Breeze III is the addition of a handy portable user guide plus a pill reminder. It also now has voice commands, which was lacking in the Breeze II.
The Breeze III has a number of messaging features like text and multimedia messaging, instant messaging (AIM, Yahoo, Windows Live Messenger), and mobile e-mail. Curiously, we weren't able to access instant messaging from the Breeze Mode menu, but we managed to launch it from the toggle shortcut regardless. Mobile e-mail is essentially a hub that lets you access any of the popular Web mail services like Hotmail and Gmail. You can also add your own login and server information if you like. Bear in mind that the mobile e-mail service does require a $5 monthly fee on top of monthly data charges.
There are a few more-advanced features on the Breeze III as well. They include GPS in the form of AT&T Navigator, an app that provides turn-by-turn directions, the att.net mobile Web browser, and Bluetooth. You're able to access these features on Breeze Mode, but Advanced Mode opens up a few more apps like the AT&T Music app, AT&T Social Net, YPMobile, My Cast Weather, and game titles like Uno, Tetris, Ms. Pac-Man, and Family Feud. You can get more apps from the AT&T Appcenter.
The AT&T Music app houses the music player along with an online music store, AT&T Radio, and the Shazam song recognition app. The music player's interface is fairly generic, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It organizes songs into albums, artists, and genres, and you can create and edit playlists on the go. You can set songs on shuffle and repeat, and you get up to six preset equalizer settings. The Breeze III supports multitasking, so you're able to keep the music player going as you're navigating in other parts of the phone. 80MB of internal memory is available for storage, or you can use up to a 32GB microSD card to supplement it.
We're a little disappointed that the Breeze III's camera is unchanged. It's still a 1.3-megapixel camera, and the photo quality isn't much better either. Images seem darkened with shadow, and colors were rather dull. Camera settings include four resolutions, three quality settings, up to 4x zoom, white balance presets, color effects, a self-timer, a shutter sound, and a timer sound, with silent options for both. There's also a built-in camcorder that can record in three resolutions, with similar settings to the still camera. The video taken was quite bad, with a lot of jerky movement and blurry images.
We tested the Pantech Breeze III in San Francisco using . We experienced solid call quality on both ends. Callers sounded loud and clear, with hardly any static or background noise. On their end, callers reported similarly impressive quality. Pantech claims the Breeze III has a new noise suppression technology that could help in blocking out extraneous sound. Indeed, callers had no issues listening to us above the din of traffic noise. They also said our voice was natural, as if we were talking on a landline phone. Speakerphone calls sounded great as well. Audio quality from the phone's tinny speakers left much to be desired, so we would suggest using a headset instead.
Pantech Breeze III call quality sample
The Breeze III does have 3G support, but as the phone's features are relatively basic, we didn't need much speed anyway. Still we enjoyed decent speeds. We loaded the CNET mobile site in around 30 seconds, for example.
The Pantech Breeze III isn't a substantial update from the Breeze II. The design is similar, and the features are mostly the same. Yet, that's not entirely a bad thing if all you want is a simple entry-level flip phone. The Breeze III has both an easy and advanced mode to suit consumers with different proficiencies. It's also a step above a completely basic phone, as it has a music player, GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G speeds. While the pill reminder isn't a huge new feature, we did appreciate that Pantech finally added voice recognition to the Breeze III. We're also impressed by the noise suppression and overall great call quality. In sum, the Pantech Breeze III is a great basic flip phone not just for senior citizens and kids, but for anyone who wants an affordable and stylish handset that makes great calls. The Pantech Breeze III is only $39.99 after a rebate and a two-year contract.