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Christmas Gift Guide

This is the Pantech Flex

This is also the Pantech Flex

Eye for design

8-megapixel camera

Profile

Homescreens

Notifications tray

Apps tray

Meet the $50 Pantech Flex, an Android 4.0 smartphone that gives you much to discuss.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
You'll get much of the same Android Ice Cream Sandwich functionality with the Flex's "easy experience" option, but with less complexity. Think one home screen instead of five, and large, easy-press icons instead of the standard mode's profusion of tinier buttons.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
I love Pantech's emphasis on looks, and I really enjoy the multiple angles and materials for the Flex's backing. However, its jutting edges aren't as comfortable in the hand as I'd like.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
This is the first 8-megapixel camera I've seen from Pantech for the U.S. Unfortunately, the Flex isn't able to meet Pantech's ambitions.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Flex is fairly thin, and the power button has a grippy, textured feel you can really press.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Here's a closer look at the Pantech Flex's interface in the standard Ice Cream Sandwich view (left), or in the simple mode.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
On the left, Pantech's simple mode offers straightforward options in the notifications pull-down in a glance. On the right, you have to dig for more-detailed settings and information in the standard mode.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
You can create new application groupings in the apps tray, which you then need to fill with apps.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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