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Review GSM phone Pantech PG-1200
A higher class device PG-1200 follows a low-end model Pantech PG-1000. The company intends it as a youth phone designed as a clamshell with an internal antenna, two colour displays and a VGA camera.
The phone design is really pleasant, since the edges and corners are splay, which makes the phone look smaller than it is. Really, the PG-1200 has average dimensions of 89x46x23 mm, and the weight of 85 g. In your hand, the phone will lie well; opening with one hand is easy due to special hollows along the body. The model is shipped in two body colours - silvery and silvery with blue. The main part of the body is silvery, and the covering is smooth by touch. The top cover is dull. We consider the plastic quality to be good, and the assembly roused no cavils.
A coupled volume button is placed on the left side. It is quite centered, which is uncomfortable - you'll have to feel for the button during a conversation. The right side surface holds a headset connector covered with a shutter fixed to the body. And a camera button is placed a little below.
A strap hole is on the top corner, and traditionally an interface connector covered with a rubber shutter is on the bottom.
The top cover holds a service indicator shining in three colours (red, orange, green). A small cSTN display is a little below. The resolution is 96x64 pixels (19.5x13 mm), 65K. The quality of this screen is middling, since it fades in the sun so that information is unreadable. Both internal and external screens use the same backlighting lamp in order to reduce the end price of the device.
The very bottom of the top cover holds a small projection with a VGA camera objective. It is not deepened into the body, and with time scratches are likely to appear.
Opening the phone, we see an average cSTN screen with the resolution of 128x160 pixels (27x34 mm), 65K. The screen is rather good for its class, especially considering it is STN. The main disadvantage is it completely fades in the sun, which is principally not so crucial.
The keypad seemed comfortable. The navi block features well-distanced buttons with a 4D navi button with a centered in it OK one. The number keys are placed in three vertical rows joining closely each other in each row. Working with the number keypad is comfortable due to the large button size, accidental pressures are impossible. The screen backlighting is blue and spread evenly along the whole surface, so that characters are easy to read.
A battery cover occupies almost the whole back surface. The battery clamp is reliable with no backlash. The battery supplied with the phone is an 850mAh Li-Ion. In the condition of Moscow MTS network the handset worked for 3 days with 15-20 minutes of calls a day and up to 20 minutes of using other functions. That is quite an acceptable battery life. Full charge takes two hours approximately. .
The software part of the PG-1200 is inherited from the elder models PG-3000 and GF500 with insignificant changes. The main menu is shown only in a single view in contrast to the previous solutions. It shows three rows of three icons are shown, the selected item is highlighted and its title is reprinted above. The submenu is represented as vertical lists and has a quick navigation using number sequences. Some sub-items do not require entering, for the information of actions that could be taken shows at the foot of the screen and a horizontal press of the navi button selects an action.
The menu localization is carried out at a mean level, some titles are abbreviated. That looks not good.
The phone has 1.7Mb of embedded memory that is dynamically distributed among applications.
Phonebook. The device holds up to 800 numbers. Entries are shown both separately from the phone memory or SIM-card and altogether. Each entry can have name, up to four numbers, and e-mail. Moreover you may assign a ring tone, a photo or a video to show at a call and put into one of ten caller groups. One can either use 4 existed groups or create a new one. Any group can have a name of up to 19 characters and a ring tone.
There is a speed dialling of up to 9 numbers. A search of the phone book can be made by name, group or photo (video) as well as speed dialling number.
At an incoming call, photos assigned to callers are shown full screen and the name (if the number is contained in the phone book) and group title.
Messages. Up to 100 messages can be kept on the phone. It supports EMS standard and hence has a set of small images, animations, and melodies to add to the message body. There are an opportunity of creating own templates. Multimessaging to up to 5 numbers is supported.
Mere three melodies are available for message alerts and a repetition could be set for every two or five minutes.
The MMS editor is lain and clear - you can create several slides. An opportunity to create MS templates is present. An outgoing message can't exceed 100 KB.
Call lists. Here you can view the information of dialled, received and missed calls. The equal numbers are not combined and are shown one by one. Call duration is viewable from this very menu.
Settings. This holds everything concerned with the phone, network, internal and external screens, and other settings. One of the three preset images (one of them is animated) and any image uploaded by the user can be assigned as wallpaper. One of the offered three variants of clock and calendar displaying is to be chosen for the main screen. The backlight time runs from 5 seconds to 1 minute (8 levels).
There is an offer of 5 adjustable call profiles. A call type can be vibra, signal, progressive signal, vibra and signal together and first vibra and then signal. You can use MP3 files as a call melody, but their size shouldn't exceed 300 KB.
There is also a menu 'Favourites' - this is the user's own menu for a quick access to frequently used functions. In standby mode you get here by pressing left on the navi pad.
Organizer. Alarm clock. You may set 5 independent alarms and each of them can activate once, daily or from Monday till Friday (till Saturday).
Calendar. A view of either a whole month or the all event list is possible. An event has a mark (birthday, meeting, trip etc.), time, a text note, an alert or an activation time (in time or in a period from 15 minutes to 1 day before the event). You can also determine an event repetition - once, every month or every year. There is a limitation of 50 messages in all.
Notebook. Creating text notes of up to 255 characters is possible.
Voice memos allows creating voice records with the max duration of 3 minutes.
Also, the device has a world time, a simple calculator, a unit convector, a stopwatch (up to 4 intermediate values), and a countdown timer.
Multimedia. Camera. The handset is equipped with a VGA camera with a CMOS matrix, both internal and external displays can serve a viewfinder. It supports three resolutions - VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240), and LCD (128x160). Taking a series of 4 to 9 pictures in a certain period is possible. One of the 8 available effects can be applied to the photo. Besides, there are 10 preset frames, also applicable to you photos. You can save photos in a default folder or create your own one.
You can view photos as lists in the album (only the name of the file), in thumbnails (four icons on the display) and full-screen (only one photo).
On the phone screen, the photos look good, and transferring them to a PC happened to be impossible due to the absence of IrDA and no cable in the package.
The device permits recording video clips in MJP format at the resolution of 128x160 pixels for watching from the phone's screen, since no means to transfer them to a PC are provided. A film can only serve as wallpaper or be assigned to phone book entries.
Games. The device has one preinstalled game called Run. .
Java. The handset supports MIDP 2.0. All applications are installed into the general phone memory (1.7 MB).
Connections. This menu holds access to a WAP browser of 2.0 version.
Медиа галерея. Media gallery. This contains folders of photos, videos, images and sounds.
The device is quite good in connection quality, we experienced no problems. The quality of 64-voice polyphony is rather good and heard in all conditions. The vibracall really failed, it is modest in power and sometimes you could miss it.
Interesting design, reliable body, comfortable keypad, loud polyphony, and the phonebook for 800 numbers are surely advantages. There are minuses as well; no IrDA will force you to buy a cable to transfer data to a PC. We disliked the quality of the external screen. And also little memory is a drawback.
In the end, we have an average functional model competing with BenQ A500. Pantech PG-1200 is to appear in September for about 160-170 USD.
Published 19 September 2005
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