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Review GSM phone Pantech GB300
Pantech had no any low-end models in its product line till recently and this fact prevented from increasing its share in the market. Thus the appearance of GB300 was predictable in some kind. The manufacturer intends the device for youth and stresses it in the ad. The design also tells about the target group, it's pretentious enough and resembles some models by LG in a way. But the device has its own face and that's a great advantage. The manufacturer tried to make an impression from the first moment.
The dimensions of 99x46x18 are quite comfortable and the device is possible to wear as you like. The weight is 72 grams and that is typical for the segment. The manufacturer provides several color solutions and in all the cases the edging of a glossy plastic around the screen distinguishes.
The screen is 65K STN and fades in the sun, even indoors it doesn't please with saturated colors. For the sake of justice I'd like to note the screen is comparable with Samsung C200 but evidently inferior to Siemens C65. The resolution is 128x128 pixels. The screen looks well for its class and beats many products. The screen is the strongest point of the device.
The keypad is very congested, the keys are of plastic. Soft-keys have an arc-like disposition that looks interesting and is acceptable for work. I think that the device will be uncomfortable for often work with short messages. A pale green backlighting is seen well only in a complete dark. Small size of the keys makes problems reading the characters and even more there are two rows of them here.
There is a headset (included into a package) connector on the left-side surface and a coupled volume level button on the opposite side. The interface connector is placed on the bottom of the device.
The battery (760 mAh) serves as a back panel of the device and has no any noticeable backlash. According to the manufacturer it works for 150 hours in the standby mode and up to 3 hours of talking. In Moscow the device worked for about 3 days in case of 40 minutes of talks. Full recharging takes about 1.5 hours.
Accessing the main menu is possible with a left button press. There are two ways of the main menu representation, at the same time in submenus only lists are possible. Fast navigation allows shifting between different items quickly.
Phone book. Up to 500 names with up to 4 numbers for a name may be saved in the internal memory. A users' group, personal melody, e-mail address and a short text note may be assigned to a name. The main list displays both names from the internal memory and from a SIM one. Also a melody may be assigned to a separate group. Search for a name may be committed in a general list and in group as well.
Messages. The device supports EMS, the set of pictures is customary and plain. There are 5 templates and predictive text input T9. Special templates for MMS may be kept in a dynamic memory that is about 2 MB.
Call lists. Each of the three lists contains 20 entries with indicated time and date of a call.
Fun & Tools. Sound, pictures and melodies are gathered in a gallery, they are absent in a standard delivery. That seems to be done for the memory capacity was maximum.
Two games – Rabbit (a slow arcade), Smokey (a logical labyrinth).
Automatic answering machine is a unique function for this class. You may record a greeting message. In this mode the phone will automatically record the caller's voice and later you'll be able to listen to the message. That's possible to save up to 10 messages, the function is very pleasant and replaces a standard machine provided by the operator. No need in voice mail. But you should understand that the call is not free and you pay for it.
The dictaphone makes 30 second records but not during a conversation.
Java. The device supports MIDP 1.0 but we didn't manage to find any applications for it, this brand phones are not very wide-spread. A standard test program didn't load on the device, the phone gave a notice the file format was illegal.
Profiles - everything is traditional, noting to talk about, there are all the call types including a mixed one.
Settings. A user will like a choice of wall-papers, screen working time and so on. Time settings are also here.
Organizer. Alarm clock may be set once, recurrent or weekly.
Calendar view - monthly, up to 50 events may be saved and reminder may be set for every one.
A calculator is comfortable and allows saving short text notes, there is also a unit converter, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer.
WAP. The phone is equipped with a browser version 1.2.1 and supports batch communications. New pictures, melodies may be uploaded using the browser and that's the only way of communication.
The connection quality is typical for Pantech, the noises are present, sometimes sound is heard not well in a loudspeaker (thanks to an original construction of the gap moved right from the center). The volume of a 16-tones polyphonic signal is high, it's heard well. The owner of a vibrating alert is average.
The price is about 135-140 USD that is considered low-end by Pantech. In reality the price can't exceed 100 USD the model looks too weak against the background of its rivals. Judge yourself, Siemens C65 having an integrated camera, 11 MB of memory and better screen costs the same. Motorola C650 offering a camera and other functions is comparable in its price. That's curious that its version without a camera Motorola C380 competes with GB300.
The buying seems unjustified due to the absence of adequate service. Pantech had overestimated the price again and haven't even thought about implementing localization well. The number of mistakes in this low-end phone amazes. Sometimes the localizers couldn't even set items right, thus instead of searching for a name a search for a group is possible.
In fact the problem with localization indicated the company's approach well, the aim is to sell the maximum beautiful package for the maximum price and that's all that bothers. Nobody is going to invest in the development of products and qualitative localization.
We are grateful to Alt Telecom retail network for the provided device.
Published 25 November 2004
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