We broke the mold at CTIA today and got a look at something a bit different than what we're all used to: the Pantech Pocket, announced by AT&T earlier this week. It's a square device, but being a square isn't always that bad. The 4-inch, 600 x 800 display is unique in the Android space and while it certainly won't appeal to everyone, it'll definitely find a niche. Wyatt Whaley, Pantech's VP of Product Marketing, said that the screen design lends itself to a 20 percent improvement in overall application experience, especially in terms of gaming and navigation. Make no mistake about it: the screen is wide and feels jarringly different in your hand, but not in a bad way.
Pantech has made itself very clear in that the Pocket is a mid-level device and intended for users looking for a different experience. It's got a 1 GHz single-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 600 MB of internal memory. Together, it adds up to enough of a kick to push the Gingerbread-powered Pocket along, but we doubt it's enough for anything too heavy. During our time with the Pocket we saw a bit of a lag in Pantech's slightly-skinned UI, but nothing that would slow you down too much, and certainly not enough to dismiss the device. We'll go ahead and assume that if you're used to the Galaxies and Droids of the world, the Pocket isn't even on your radar. And it shouldn't be.
Whaley says that Pantech has a strong older-adult market share due to their extensive feature phone offerings, and that the Pocket can certainly be translated to this demographic. He also says that gamers and young women will also enjoy the Pocket for what it is.
Neither AT&T nor Pantech has detailed pricing or an exact release date, but it's safe to assume the Pocket will launch in time for the holidays. Stay tuned here for final word, and enjoy some photos and a hands-on after the break.