Pantech Pursuit For AT&T Peeks Out and Says Hello at #CTIA 2010; Specs Included

Last week AT&T made a rather large announcement that not only introduced several new services such as AT&T Address Book and Online Locker, but four new handsets as well. Only two of them, the Samsung Sunburst and Strive, were pictured; the other two, the Pantech Link and Pantech Pursuit, were shrouded in a cloud of mystery. Nobody knew what these two devices looked like or what they did (besides being a Quick  Messaging Device) until now.

Here at CTIA, I was able to meet up with the gentlemen who head up the Pantech PR front. They had both devices with them and let me play with them, but I was only allowed to take photos of the Link. The Pursuit is still being restricted from photo-taking, but I was able to get a slide from AT&T’s press luncheon yesterday which shows off the phone.

Slide from AT&T Press Lunch at CTIA 2010

We’ll cover the Link later. First, however, let’s go over the Pursuit, which I feel will be the more popular of the two.

My first impressions of the Pursuit were very good. It is a small touchscreen phone with horizontal slider and rounded corners, using a proprietary UI that I’ve never seen before. It’s certainly made to be more simple and basic than any Android or Touchwiz, but is still done well enough to get the job done. The touchscreen is 2.8″. The UI itself uses 3 screens, and it’s easy to put apps and shortcuts on each. It also has a standard menu similar to most featurephones.

It will be available in two different colors, blue and green. The green version is the one I played with and was only green on the top of the phone, while the back was black. I was told that the blue version would be blue all over, and by looking at the slide I can tell the keyboard itself is also blue, so I assume that when they say “all over”, they really mean it.

The QWERTY keyboard is a horizontal slide with 4 rows and raised keys, and while it is incredibly small it is not as cramped as I would’ve originally assumed. It was easy enough to type messages on it without too much incident. It also has a 2 MP camera with video record that will be easy enough to upload to AT&T’s online locker or Media Share. You’ll also find MicroSD capability and an accompanying music player.

The Pursuit also has 3G and aGPS for AT&T Navigator.

One other unique feature of the Pantech Pursuit is its Shake Feature. This is a button on the right side of the phone that when pressed, enables you to shake the phone in three different ways to get to three different shortcuts. You can shake it once, twice, or three times to get your desired result. The feature is completely customizeable, so you can put whatever shortcuts you want on it. For instance, you can shake the phone once to create a text, shake twice to go to the camera, or shake three times to go to the music player. I tested it out and it worked with no problems at all.

I mentioned earlier that the device is small. It feels very similar in size and shape to the Motorola PEBL. It fit very easily in the palm of my hand, and was a slight bit thicker than my iPhone. All in all it will be simple and small enough to carry around in your pocket or purse.

Also, as an added note, the touchscreen on the Pursuit was more responsive than I had been originally expecting.

From the few minutes I had playing around with the phone, I could tell this will likely be a popular device on AT&T, especially with as much emphasis that’s being placed on Quick Messaging Devices these days. By adding in the touchscreen, it will certainly catch the eye of many younger folks who want the ease of a full keyboard and want the stylish cool touchscreen phones.

Expect the Pantech Pursuit to make an appearance in AT&T stores, both blue and green models, sometime in Q2 of this year. We will be sure to publish more detailed pictures of the device as soon as they’re made available to us.

Author: Brad Molen

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