Pharos Traveler GPS 137 (unlocked) review: Pharos Traveler GPS 137 (unlocked)

This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 5.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Pharos Traveler 137 features a bright touch screen and ships with navigation software and maps, so there's no need for a location-based service. The smartphone also offers 3G support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera.

The Bad The Traveler 137 is sluggish. The navigation software is unintuitive and didn't always provide accurate directions.

The Bottom Line While better designed than the Traveler 127, the Pharos Traveler 137 still suffers from performance and navigation issues.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Editors' note: The Pharos Traveler 137 shares similar features to the Pharos Traveler 127. For this review, we will be focusing on the different design and performance. For more details on the phone's features, please read our full review of the Pharos Traveler 127.

Earlier this month, we looked at the Pharos Traveler 127. The GPS-enabled smartphone offered the advantage of coming with its own navigation software and maps, which eliminated the need for fee-based location services and a cellular connection. Unfortunately, the benefit of this was lost on the clunky software and the device's sluggish performance. We had higher hopes for the Pharos Traveler 137. After all, the smartphone features a sleeker design with a full touch screen (perfect for viewing maps) as well as a faster processor and more memory. In addition, it offers 3G support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera. Sadly, the Traveler 137 also let us down with its inconsistent performance and navigation capabilities. The device could be extremely slow at times, and directions weren't always accurate, so it's really hard to justify paying $600 for the phone. If Pharos can make the performance improvements, the company could certainly give the competition a run for its money.

Design
The Pharos Traveler 137 is a sleek and attractive device, with a nice clean and streamlined design similar to other candybar-style, touch-screen smartphones like the Samsung Omnia. The device measures 4.6 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide and 0.5 thick and weighs 4.9 ounces, so it's a pocketful but it has a nice, solid construction and soft-touch finish on back.


The Pharos Traveler 127 features a sleek design.

The real attention-grabber is the Traveler 137's display. It measures 3.5 inches diagonally and displays 65,000 colors at a sharp 480x800-pixel resolution. Images and text looked extra-clear and vibrant on the screen, and the larger display definitely made it easier to see and read maps compared to the Traveler 127. Adding to goodness, Pharos ships the smartphone with the Spb Mobile Shell 3.0, which provides a lot more information in a more user-friendly and attractive interface than the standard Windows UI.

The Spb Mobile Shell features three sliding panels; the center panel and default home screen, features the mainstays, such as your calendar, messages, time, weather, and so forth, while swiping the touch screen to the left will bring up an Apps panel, and the right panel offers your multimedia features. Along the bottom of every panel, you also get one-touch access to a Favorites page of all your, you guessed it, favorite programs, a Contacts (also customizable by favorite contacts), a handful of Settings, and a button that lets you scroll through more panels in a 3D carousel view.

To enter text into the Pharos Traveler 137, there is an onscreen portrait and landscape QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard is a bit cramped in portrait mode, but you can use the included stylus for more precision, and the keyboard provides haptic feedback. As a Windows Mobile device, you also get the older, more traditional input methods, such as Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer, and Transcriber.


For text entry, the Traveler 137 offers a soft QWERTY keyboard in both landscape and portrait mode.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Pharos Traveler GPS 137 (unlocked)

Part Number: PTL137
MSRP: $599.95 Low Price: $54.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Service Provider Unlocked
  • Weight 4.9 oz
  • Diagonal Size 3.5 in
  • Sensor Resolution 3.1 pixels