The Good The Pantech Duo has a unique dual-slider design with a slide-out number dialpad plus a QWERTY keyboard. It comes with the Windows Mobile 6 OS as well as a 1.3-megapixel camera, quad-band support, HSDPA, plus access to AT&T's broadband services.
The Bad The Pantech Duo has a cheap plastic body with a flimsy sliding mechanism. The QWERTY keyboard felt flush to the surface and was tricky to use
The Bottom Line Even though the Pantech Duo has an impressive feature set that include 3G/HSDPA support, we were ultimately disappointed with its subpar design.
Pantech Duo C810 (AT&T)
Pantech isn't really known as a juggernaut in the smartphone world, especially when compared with HTC or Palm. However, it has made some inroads in the smartphone market in the past. There was the Verizon Wireless-branded PN-820 flip phone with Windows Mobile 5, and though it wasn't exactly a full-blown smartphone, Pantech is also the manufacturer behind the much-touted Helio Ocean. Perhaps the company learned a thing or two from Helio's design department, as the new Pantech Duo from AT&T features the same dual-slider design as the Ocean. It comes loaded with features like a megapixel camera, Bluetooth, quad-band support, HSDPA-level speeds, and all the other productivity tools you would expect from a Windows Mobile device. Because it has 3G support, the Duo also has access to AT&T's stable of broadband services like AT&T Music and Cellular Video. That said, we weren't too pleased with the phone's exterior--it looks and feels like a cheap plastic toy, and the QWERTY keyboard is poorly designed. If given a choice, we would definitely go for the better-designed and more robust AT&T Tilt over the Duo. The Pantech Duo is available for $199.99 after a 2-year contract and a $100 rebate.
The Pantech Duo gets its name from its dual-slider design, which is similar to the design of the Helio Ocean. Sliding the phone up vertically reveals a numerical dialpad, while sliding it horizontally reveals a QWERTY keyboard. The keypad and keyboard are on separate layers, and you can't keep both open at the same time. That's where the similarity with the Helio Ocean ends. The Pantech Duo is much smaller than the Ocean at 4.02 by 1.97 by 0.83 inches, and is also a lot more lightweight at 3.88 ounces (The Ocean weighed around 5.6 ounces). Even so, the Pantech Duo is quite the bulky device due to its triple layers, and it doesn't fit comfortably into a pants pocket.