CNET First Look
Pantech Link II (AT&T)With its great call quality and accessible design, the Pantech Link II is a great option for AT&T customers who don't need a workhorse of a cell phone.
-Hi, I'm Kent German, section editor here at CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a first look at the Pantech Link II and as you might expect, this is an update to the Pantech Link. It is for AT&T and it's a really solid mid range feature phones. So, it's not a smartphone. It does not allow the fancy features, not android, iOS or anything like that. So, it's little more advanced than a basic phone, has a few extra features. It's really great for people that wanna communicate, just wanna keep in touch with text, maybe with some web based e-mail, calling. Call quality is pretty is good, but I wouldn't expect much more of it. So, just keep that in mind. Overall, the design, you might think it looks like a Blackberry. I wouldn't blame you if you thought that because it doesn't have a little bit of that shape, has a keyboard you will see, a rounded bottom, and of course it's black, but when you really pick it up, you see the phone is different. You see this more basic model. The plastic skin, wasn't in love with it. I certainly would wanna be careful with this phone. It wouldn't wanna drop it or bang it around. Almost feels a little too light in the hand. Firstly, I prefer a phone that a little more have, just feels a little more solid, but you may not mind it certainly makes it easy to carry around. You can fit in the pocket, but I just like have a little more weight on my phones. It's is a good size though. I think for keyboard phones, you don't wanna go to small and this phone does just straddles the lines just do. So, considering the keyboard, I did like the keys are domed, so that they are raised above the surface, so you could grasp them really easily, and there's a nice feel, and you get a nice click sensation when press down. So, I like that was there are 4 rows of keys. So the letters and numbers are gonna share space with symbols, so I just wanna be aware of that. It certainly uncommon, but for example, the number area wait after dial, just can't seem of little squash together. On the other hand, there are nice number of shortcuts. You get a dedicate cam key. There is a vibration key. So, you can just press that and send the phone into vibrate mode, which is nice. The space bar, little bit small, but it is centrally located in the middle to bottom row right where it should be. Navigation array, little more spacious happily. You do have a nice big toggle in middle. There is an okay button in the center of that. That also opens the web browser and standby mode. There is dedicated speaker phone button, and a dedicated back keys, so like those. Here on the side, you will find a volume racker. It's pretty big, easy to grasp when you're in a call, and on this other side, there is the Micro USB port, so that's of course your charger, USB cable, also the dedicated camera control. On the back, just the camera lens next to speaker, the camera lens is fine, is in the good location, but you just wanna make sure that your fingers out of the way when you're taking photos. I can put in my finger the first couple of times. Display, nothing fancy, but bright and colorful with decent graphics. The menus are very easily used. There's little animation with the icons. So, it's an icon based main menu and then the list menus in terms internal. One thing I really like about the user interface, of course it's very simple, but one thing I really like, when you're on a call, you get a pop up menu that easily accessible just one click. You can actually put a call on hold. You can record a phone call. You can access your contacts list, and you can send a text message right on the phone without interrupting the calls and that's great, that's users something maybe smartphones have, so it's really nice to see it here just makes the phone, really user friendly, really convenient, so I give that big plus. Inside, you will find basic features as I said, but you will find Bluetooth. You will have messaging, web based e-mail, a web browser. It's gonna be really painful to get on that web browser. I think if you're used to a smartphone with a full HTML browser button and if you're probably using one of those. I tell you to even watch in this video. There is a media player as well, very, very basic. I wouldn't recommend it. Maybe if you need just some tunes here and there, of course, there's AT&T and music phone, but the audio quality isn't very good, and there's also to make with the camera, little bit a number of features okay picture quality, but of course it works is a pinch. As I said, the Pantech Link II is a phone for making calls, for basic communication. It's gonna be pretty reasonable under $25 with service, so that's nice, but the good thing about this phone is it doesn't pretend more than it is. It's just a phone for calls with a keyboard thrown in. It's cheap and the call quality is great. I'm Kent German and this is the Pantech Link II.