Pantech Marauder Review: Android for Dummies
With a name like Marauder, you'd think the phone would be fit for a bandit. And perhaps that's what Pantech had it mind when designing it.
The phone combines the best of both worlds of sorts -- an Android 4.0 platform and Verizon's LTE service -- for a robust and speedy smartphone both online and off. In addition, it comes with a 3.8-inch capacitive touch display with a slide-out keyboard, so you can move around the menu and type away with ease.
There's also a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording -- not too shabby -- plus a VGA second lens for video chat.
So with all these features, why is it called the Marauder then? Ah, the best part -- it sells for just $50 with a two-year contract after rebates. Verizon wants you to feel like you just looted them on your way out the store.
But don't be misled -- contrary to all the great features, this is not a high-end device. Rather, it's geared towards the smartphone beginner. The screen isn't bad, but it's a far cry from the top-tier phones like the Galaxy S3 and One X. And aside from the standard cache of Google apps, it comes with a "Starter Mode" for a more user-friendly -- translation: watered-down -- interface with bigger images, a less cluttered menu and shortcuts.
Think of it as Android for Dummies. Sure, it sounds nice. But simplified usually means worse. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the main feature: you can, get this, make calls directly on the home screen. Fortunately, you can switch to "Standard Mode" for the full Android platform.
So if you're too scared to make the leap to Android, this phone is, strangely enough, made for you. But really, just take the plunge, it's not that bad. But if you need floaties, maybe you should consider dumb phones, like the Samsung Intensity 3.
By all means, the Marauder isn't a bad phone -- it does have 4G, Android and a keyboard, all for $50. That's a good deal. But frankly, it's just not that good either. Starter Mode is kind of a waste. And even if you start with it, you'll grow bolder and eventually try your hand at Standard Mode. If you don't, you're wasting the full Android experience.
So if you're looking for value, give it a shot. Maybe you'll like Starter Mode. But give the Flex a look too -- it has a similar simplified UI, but with much better hardware. And if you're not tied to Verizon, the Motorola Atrix HD from AT&T packs an even bigger bang for the buck, though, it's a little more expensive. But you also get a lot more too.
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TFT (Accelerometer / Proximity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor)
Good Screen/Keyboard, But a Little Dumbed Down
The touch display is nice and big for Web browsing and the slide-out keyboard makes texting and emailing comfortable. You'd think the keyboard adds bulk, but it's surprisingly compact and easily fits in your pocket. Android 4.0 is great too, but I felt starter mode was bit too dumbed down.
The battery life is pretty short. In addition, the phone feels kind of cheap. The main 5-megapixel is decent, but the front-facing VGA lens is pretty bad. Overall, there's a ton of apps to download and I guess it's a nice phone if you're new to smartphones.Was this review helpful to you?
28 out of 32 people found this review helpful.
Only Good Things: 4G, LTE, ICS and QWERTY
I've been hesitant to use Pantech products due to bad experiences in quality. But I thought I'd give the Marauder a chance because it was so cheap. 4G, LTE, ICS and a keyboard for $50? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well... it is.
Like the review above says, Starter Mode is just plain silly. Pantech took a perfectly good phone and saddled it with ridiculous features. I'd prefer to get rid of it and take the extra storage. In Starter, you get four screens instead of seven, which is what I guess they mean by "simplified." But unless you're completely inept, Standard will be fine for you.
Overall, I can't complain too much. It's a cheap phone. But half the things I won't be using. Basically, Android, 4G, LTE and the keyboard are the only good things. My only concern is if the Pantech quality (oxymoron) will hold up. Only time will tell.Was this review helpful to you?
23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.
Great Starter Phone
This phone is great! It has all the features of a smartphone without the confusion. My wife is the perfect example. She bought the phone and enabled "Starter Mode," which uses larger text and fonts, fewer menus and screens and basically an easier-to-use interface -- there's a button on the lower right side of the touch display to quickly launch apps. The learning curve isn't too steep, and after a few days, she was confident enough to switch to "Full Mode."
Verizon's 4G service is blazingly-fast. It makes the Marauder even better, because you can access music and videos at broadband speeds. The music playback is fantastic too -- but you'll probably want to use headphones. As for the slide-out keyboard, it's just great. Typing is so much easier than on the touch display, and emailing is a breeze.
The 5-megapixel camera is excellent, and it features an integrated "photo editor" so you can touch up your pictures. But there's no flash, so it's not that great in low-light. There's a second 0.3-megapixel lens on the front for video chat, which does a decent, though unimpressive, job. Lastly, I'll get around a day's worth of power from moderate use -- not bad, but not great.
If I had a gripe with the phone, I suppose it'd be the name. Marauder? That's a mouthful. But in terms of the features, it's a great phone if you're looking to transition into the world of smartphones.Was this review helpful to you?
38 out of 46 people found this review helpful.
worst phone ever
I would love to throw this phone down on the concrete as hard as I can, or perhaps find a way to blow it up, that would make me feel a lot better.
Glitch, after glitch, after glitch. My clock just changes times so I cannot use it as an alarm clock. Sometimes if there is an incoming call there is no green button to answer the call. web pages are unreadable due to the fact everything is squished and overlapping. In order to use the calender on the phone you have to sign up with gmail, and I just love getting flodded with junk email notifications at 4 in the morning.I was told all these problems would be taken care of if I took everything off my phone and put it on my computer, then reset the phone, then put everything back on. Sounds simple but there is no way to download videos so they are all gone. Warning CHEAP PHONES ARE NOT GOOD AND GOOD PHONES ARE NOT CHEAP.Was this review helpful to you?
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
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