Recommended For: Full Features, Affordability
Not Recommended For: Uniqueness
In its branding as a “small flip phone with big features,” the Pantech C610 for AT&T delivers on being both small and big.
Another striking feature about the phone, though, is it mostly covers its feature bases while maintaining affordability but without anything truly unique or revolutionary.
For example (while it’s not branded as such and should have been), the Sony Ericsson W580i Walkman for AT&T is actually a “fitness cell phone”.
Pantech Wireless, which thinks of itself as a master of handset design, has chosen to feature just one unique aspect of the C610: its chrome-polished accent that’s spotlighted atop the device.
It’s that same chrome accent, though, that shows the most smudging while the rest of the crimson device does a better job hiding it.
For a non-smartphone under the $100 barrier, the Pantech C610 does score points for packing its GPS capability for location information and turn-by-turn driving instructions. Be prepared to wait, though, as AT&T Navigator can take minutes to load and also tends to freeze entirely if your GPS signal is weak.
Finally, the C610 has the benefit of being a 3G phone for fast data transmission.
That said, the battery with the Pantech C10 is disappointing. Since the handset invites you to engage in a wide array of all things audio and visual, you can’t take such multimedia too far on a device that’s only rated with talk time up to 3 hours. The Pantech C610 should have at least come with 4 hours of talk time.
Most people would beg to disagree. Most people would have preferred for another more useful feature to have been featured front and center. An always-there “menu” button, for example, would have been a winner in its place.
Finally, while the standard numerical keypad on the Pantech C610 does the job just as it should, some time should have been put into rethinking the keys above the number pad.
While the “left” and “right” buttons make sense and are highlighted in an obvious fashion, so should have the “up” and “down” buttons followed the same design. Without the visual accents, the keys are less natural and more awkward to use.
The cost of the Pantech C610 is one thing AT&T did just right. Despite a retail price of $249.99 (that no one in their right mind would pay), AT&T knocks the cost down to $99.99 when committing your cellular life to them for two years.
That two-year request, by the way, is standard in the U.S. With this AT&T promotion card, the cost comes down another $50 to a very affordable and generous $49.99.
The Pantech C610 is tall on features and short on price. The handset packs:
The Pantech C610 measures in right where it should at 3.67 inches by 1.81 of an inch by 0.72 of an inch. The handset also weighs in right where it should at 3.25 ounces. Its two-inch display is standard and isn’t recommended for, say, watching full-length movies.
The Bottom Line
If you’re seeking an affordable handset under $100 with a wide array of features and without any particularly unique or standout feature, you wouldn’t find much fault in the Pantech C610 flip phone for AT&T. If what you seek is more along the lines of something truly revolutionary, though, it’d be prudent to look elsewhere.
Update: AT&T has now released a lower-priced but feature-rich version of this handset: the Pantech C630.
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