Pantech Duo Offers Windows Mobile In A Fun Form Factor - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

02:11 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman

Pantech Duo Offers Windows Mobile In A Fun Form Factor

I spent the last two days with the Pantech Duo, a new 3G Windows Mobile 6 smartphone available from AT&T for $199 (with a two-year contract). Do you need a Helio Ocean-like smartphone that's ready for business?

I spent the last two days with the Pantech Duo, a new 3G Windows Mobile 6 smartphone available from AT&T for $199 (with a two-year contract). Do you need a Helio Ocean-like smartphone that's ready for business?Before I turn to my review, I'll give you the basics:

  • Windows Mobile Standard 6 (This means you can edit Windows files but you can't create new documents for Excel or other Office applications)

  • 3G HSDPA/UMTS network access for fast data speeds

  • Microsoft Office Mobile and Outlook (So you can connect to your office Exchange server and get your work e-mail)

  • 1.3-megapixel camera

  • Small, light-weight form factor
  • The Pantech Duo is a Windows Mobile 6 version of the Helio Ocean that is both smaller and a little lighter than its older sibling. The Duo is a slider handset that slides both upwards to reveal a basic phone keyboard, and to the left to reveal a qwerty keyboard.

    While I appreciate the small size and the lightweight frame, the Duo feels a little flimsy, especially the sliding function that reveals the qwerty keyboard.

    Data speeds on the Duo are fast. AT&T's HSDPA network is a vast improvement over EDGE. If only the iPhone were this fast, I might have kept mine instead of returning it.

    Accessing applications on the Duo was easy. As was downloading apps like Google Maps and setting up access to my Gmail and AIM accounts. Navigation was easy enough -- the Duo uses a central control pointer and menus (it's not a touch screen). I found WinMo 6 familiar and easy enough to use -- then again, I have spent a lot of time with Windows Mobile devices, so maybe this isn't a fair assessment. If any of you WinMo novices out there try the Duo, let us know if the menus make sense.

    I also tried MobiTV on my review copy of the Duo. MobiTV worked well -- I was impressed by how much easier the program navigation was since the last time I used it. But I doubt I would pay for it if this were my personal device.

    As for the two keyboards, the standard phone keyboard is great. The qwerty keyboard, however, is only adequate. The keyboard is very small and the buttons are quite shallow, making typing mistakes easy. Then again, given how small the Duo is, it's amazing it even has a qwerty keyboard to begin with.

    The duo would a suitable device for some mobile workers, especially office workers who really only need messaging and light application support. But for those who type longer e-mails or who need to create new files, a bigger smartphone, like the BlackBerry Curve, the Nokia E-series, or the Palm Treo, would be a better fit.

    All in all, I personally liked the Duo. It's a solid device for mobile office workers who need a lightweight, messaging-centric smartphone. For those of you power-mobile users, though, I'd stay away. The Duo just isn't big enough or robust enough for your needs.

    And for another take on the Pantech Duo, check out this video review from Phonescoop:

    We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
    InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

    Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

    Pandemic Responses Make Room for More Data Opportunities
    Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/4/2021
    10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
    Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
    Transformation, Disruption, and Gender Diversity in Tech
    Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/6/2021
    White Papers
    Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
    2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
    2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
    This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
    Current Issue
    Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
    Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
    Flash Poll