The Link is also one of the first phones to offer AT&T's cloud services. This lets you back up your phone's contacts to AT&T's Address Book online. You can also send messages and import contacts from it. Another service is AT&T's Online Locker, where you can store photos and videos on AT&T's servers. You get 250MB of online storage but the file transfer isn't free. Each transfer is 35 cents, or you can pay $10 for 50 transfers. Also bear in mind that there's a 10MB cap in file size.
If you prefer, you can use AT&T's Mobile Share to send those media files to other sites like Facebook, MySpace, or Photobucket. To send nonmedia messages, the Link also has a Social Net platform that lets you quickly send status updates to Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.
We're glad to see 3G support on here, which gives the Link access to AT&T's array of broadband services. These include Mobile Video, which lets you watch streaming video from a variety of content providers, and , which lets you purchase and download music over the air from Napster or eMusic. The music player on the Link is pretty rudimentary, but you do get the ability to create and edit playlists, and set songs on repeat or shuffle. The Link has a microSD card slot that can support up to 16GB cards. The Mobile Music app also has additional features like XM Radio Mobile, a song ID app, a ringtone creator, streaming music videos, and access to music fan sites.
The 1.3-megapixel camera on the Pantech Link can take pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings. Other options include white balance, color effects, a self-timer, shutter sounds, and a timer sound, with silent options for both. The photo quality is really quite good for a low-megapixel camera. Images look sharp and not too blurry, and colors look bright as well. The Link also has a built-in camcorder.
You can personalize the Link with wallpaper, graphics, and ringtones. You can use your own images and MP3s if you want, or you can download them from the AT&T store. The phone comes with a few games and apps--MobiTV, Mobile Banking, FunScreenz, PicDial, Tetris, Block Breaker Deluxe 2, Ms. Pac-Man, World Series of Poker, and TextTwist 2--but you can download more of those as well via AT&T's AppCenter.
We tested the Pantech Link in San Francisco using AT&T's network. Call quality on the whole was mediocre. On our end, we could hear our callers loud and clear with nary a hint of static. They sounded quite natural as well.
However, callers had a lot more trouble on their end. They could hardly hear us through the crackling and the hissing, and sometimes they didn't hear anything at all or the call would be dropped. When we did manage to get through, callers said we sounded OK, with a natural-sounding voice. Speakerphone calls suffered from the same problem.
Audio quality from the speakers was quite tinny and hollow. We would probably use a headset for listening to music. We enjoyed pretty good 3G speeds with the Pantech Link. We loaded the mobile version of CNET's page in just 20 seconds, and had little buffering issues with the streaming video.
The Pantech Link has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time, and 10 hours of standby time. It has a tested talk time of 4 hours and 2 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 0.75 watt per kilogram.