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Picking up good Pantech Vybe(rations)

Spacious and useful physical keyboard

Shortcut buttons for faster access

Entry-level specs inside

Small design for comfort

Simple user interface

Rear 3-megapixel shooter

Low-res, 3.2-inch display

Pocketable, easy-to-use, and reliable, the Pantech Vybe for AT&T is a simple messaging device that offers up the basics users need in a phone.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The device's main draw is its keyboard, which includes an alt-function key for secondary commands, a shift key for capitalizing letters, a shortcut key for putting the phone on vibrate, a key to call up text symbols, and a ".com" input button.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the left edge is a volume rocker and in the dead-center of the top edge is a 3.5mm headphone jack. To the right are a Micro-USB port for charging, a sleep/power button, and two physical shortcut keys: one to launch voice commands and another to open the camera.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Powering the 3G handset is a 230MHz processor and a 1,200mAh removable hour battery, which has a reported talk time of up to 6 hours. There’s also a microSD card slot inside that can hold up to 32GB of external memory.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Sporting an ultracompact and petite frame, the Pantech Vybe measures 4.49 inches tall, 2.32 inches wide, and 0.51-inch thick (114.05 x 58.93 x 12.95mm) when closed. And at just 4.94 ounces (140.05g), it is lightweight and comfortable to hold.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The phone runs a proprietary OS from Pantech that is straightforward and incredibly user-friendly, even when set to its advanced mode user interface (pictured above). If you want the UI to be even more stripped down, however, there is an easy mode option.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Though the handset only packs a 3-megapixel camera, its photo quality was surprisingly adequate. It has a few basic editing features like a brightness meter, five white-balance options, three photo effects, and a timer.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The phone’s 3.2-inch touchscreen display has a meager 240x400-pixel resolution. Because of the low resolution, images, texts, and icons look notably grainy and pixelated.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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