Pantech Burst review: LTE on a budget

GSMArena team, 21 March 2012.
Pages: 123456»

Introduction

The Pantech Burst is the first budget oriented Android smartphone to hit AT&T's newly launched LTE network. Interestingly enough however, the fifty-dollar handset shares the exact same CPU and chipset as the top dogs in the carrier's 4G lineup. Throw a 4" Super AMOLED screen, a gig of RAM, as well as 16GB of built-in memory to the device's specs, and one really begins to wonder where the budget moniker came from.

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Pantech Burst official photos

Pantech has never been a major player on the smartphone market in the United States. The subject of today's feature is probably the first attempt of the company, worthy of attention, and for a good reason. You can easily find out why, by taking a look at the key features of the handset below.

Key Features

  • Quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G support
  • LTE network connectivity
  • 4" Super AMOLED touchscreen with WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution
  • Android OS v2.3.5 with a handy launcher from Pantech
  • 1.5 GHz Scorpion dual-core CPU, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 chipset, 1GB of RAM
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 720p video recording; front-facing VGA unit
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
  • 16GB internal storage, microSD slot
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • Highly affordable price tag

Main disadvantages

  • No dedicated camera key
  • microSIM card slot
  • Poor video recording quality
  • Design is rather dull (especially the front of the device)
  • Poor battery performance
  • No office editor preinstalled (only a viewer)

As you can see in the list above, as far as hardware goes, the Pantech Burst is practically neck to neck with the best Android smartphones on AT&T's LTE network. The smartphone's CPU and chipset are still one of the speediest around. Its Super AMOLED screen on the other hand, is hardly a budget phone fixture too.

So is the Pantech's entry into the major leagues a proper powerhouse, or is its low price tag an indication for compromises to be made? Read on to find out. As always, we'll kick things off with an unboxing, followed by a design and build quality inspection.

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Pantech Burst live shots

Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include all of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. The Pantech Burst for AT&T is a US-only phone, so it will probably never get to the shores of the Old Continent. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!

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