Picking up good Pantech Vybe(rations)

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.

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MSRP: $199.99

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Spacious and useful physical keyboard

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Shortcut buttons for faster access

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Entry-level specs inside

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Small design for comfort

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Simple user interface

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Rear 3-megapixel shooter

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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Low-res, 3.2-inch display

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.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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MSRP: $199.99

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