Pantech.  Pantech.

The AT&T developer summit at CES is going down today in Las Vegas, but we've already seen the first new smartphone heading for the carrier. The Pantech Discover -- which strikes a passing resemblance to the old Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc -- is a 4G LTE device that will be released on Jan. 11 for $49.99 on a new 2-year contract. 

Android Central @ CES

On the face of things the Discover looks like a pretty decent device for the price. It packs a 4.8 inch 1280x720 display,a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE, a 12.1 MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, NFC is also built in, along with "3D surround sound" speakers. Storage is reasonable at 16GB and the whole thing is powered by a 2100mAh battery. The full press release and press pictures can be found after the break.

Feature-packed Smartphone in an Affordable Package- The Pantech Discover Arrives at AT&T Jan. 11

AT&T's Second Smartphone to Feature "Easy Experience" Mode Provides Robust Multimedia Entertainment. AT&T's 4G Network Now Covers 288 Million People; LTE Network Covers More Than 170 Million People

Dallas, Texas, January 07, 2013

Kicking off 2013 with one of Pantech’s most impressive Android smartphones to date, AT&T* announces the Pantech Discover™, available for $49.99** with a two-year agreement, in all AT&T channels beginning Jan. 11.  Pantech Discover will be the first AT&T smartphone pre-loaded with the AT&T DriveMode® application, an app designed to help prevent texting while driving.

A 4G LTE smartphone, the sleek Discover boasts a large 4.8-inch HD display (1280 x 720) and an impressive 12.6-megapixel camera with 4X zoom, as well as the ability to record and playback video in HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames per second.  The Discover’s dual 3D surround sound speakers provide a rich audio experience, ideal for listening to music and watching movies, while the built-in near field communication (NFC) technology allows users to share content, read smart tags, or pay for goods and services right from their phone.  Packed with high tech features for an affordable price, the Discover provides tremendous value, fast data speeds, and high performance to entertainment seekers and business professionals alike.

The Discover features AT&T DriveMode®, an app that helps curb texting and driving.  The app can be set-up to automatically send a customizable reply to incoming messages once a vehicle starts moving 25 mph. The auto-reply message is similar to an “out-of-office alert” and can reply to texts, emails and wireless callers letting your friends know that you are driving and unable to respond. The app will automatically send all calls directly to voicemail; however, the user has the option to create an “allow list” or it can also be turned off manually at any time if the user needs to make a call immediately. ***

“The Pantech Discover combines a feature-packed experience – complete with a 12.6-megapixel camera and HD display –  with a cost-effective price point, giving AT&T customers yet another strong option in our 4G LTE portfolio,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president- Devices, AT&T.  “AT&T is dedicated to educating customers about the dangers of texting while driving and providing real solutions to help prevent the behavior.  With DriveMode pre-loaded on the Discover, we hope that users will be less likely to text and drive.”

First announced for AT&T on the Pantech Flex in September 2012, Pantech’s exclusive Easy Experience and Standard Experience modes, are also available on the Discover. The Easy Experience mode prioritizes customers’ apps on the home screen in a clearly organized and easy-to-read format. Customers can easily switch between Easy Experience and the Standard Experience, a classic Android format available for users who prefer to access Discover’s wide range of features – social media, video, email – in a highly customizable interface.

In addition, the Discover is a great option for business users as it comes with full VPN and EAS support, plus device encryption for secure access to corporate email and intranets.  Its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 16 GB on-board memory plus SwiftKey app allow for maximum efficiency, while its 2,100 mAh battery makes it easier to be productive all day.

“Pantech is taking 2013 by storm with the launch of Discover,” said Gary Cherner, vice president of marketing and sales at Pantech. “By launching products at very competitive price points, Pantech is continuing to prove that high quality smartphones don’t need to come with a high price tag.”

Source: AT&T

 
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Pantech Discover unveiled for AT&T, arrives Jan. 11 for $49.99

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Wow, this phone is a steal for $50 on contract. I've never used a Pantech phone, but I'd imagine they have some pretty decent build quality.

Why? What have you heard about their build quality? It certainly would be interesting to know how good this device is. The price is a winner, for sure.

I haven't heard anything about their build quality as far as phones are concerned. However, I've used many of their other products, and they didn't feel cheap to me.

I've got a Pantech Burst. The build quality is just fine. The back cover has a tendency to pop off if it's dropped, but in general it's a well-made device.

Sadly, Pantech's Android skin is FUGLY. It's bad enough that it took most of this year for the Burst to get ICS, and won't get JB.

It's appalling that Pantech would waste its development time on new devices building awful skins on a year-old OS instead of choosing to ship a better-looking UI by using stock Android 4.2.

Yeah, but without Jelly Bean, it's a poor imitation of a GSIII. Too bad, since the hardware is very respectable.