Pantech Marauder First Impressions

Over the last year or so, Pantech has started to leave their comfort zone of producing feature phones. We’ve been seeing low to mid-range smartphones from the manufacturer, mainly on AT&T and Verizon. Their latest phone to hit Verizon’s network is the Marauder, a device marketed for the first-time smartphone buyer. However, it offers some powerful features like 4G LTE connectivity and a Snapdragon S4 processor.

Verizon was kind enough to send me a review loaner, and I’ve had the device for about a day now. My initial impressions:

  • This phone won’t be winning any beauty contests. It’s not an ugly device by any means, but the inclusion of a full QWERTY keyboard definitely paid its toll.
  • The size isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it feels good in hand. It’s a little hefty, but I’m more than certain this phone can take a few drops.
  • 3.8-inches may seem small in a world where Samsung’s latest flagship features a 4.8-inch screen, but I’ve found the smaller screen size on the Marauder refreshing. Typing with the onscreen keyboard was of no issue, and albeit a little low, the 480×800 resolution looks good on this size of a screen.
  • Speaking of typing, this phone is one of the few to feature an actual physical keyboard. With a full 5 rows, the keyboard feels good to type on. My one complaint would be that it’s a little too big for my taste, but perhaps I just need some time to adjust.
  • The phone actually comes with two separate launchers: one for the first time smartphone user, the other for someone who’s a little more experienced. I’ve used both so far, and performance has been fantastic. There has been no lag, and I have been very pleased thus far.
  • Verizon’s LTE network has been amazing as always, and I’ve been receiving average speeds of around 14Mbps down and 7Mbps up.
  • Battery life has been spotty at best, but I’ve only used the device for about a day. It came with the battery at about 60% charged, and I’ve been lightly using it since yesterday. It’s currently sitting at 9% battery.
  • If there’s one downfall of the device so far, it has been the camera. The 5MP shooter has been mediocre at best, but I will conduct further testing throughout the next week or two.

After only a day of use, I’ve come away incredibly impressed with Pantech’s latest offering. It has some high-end specs in a nice little package, and I’ve found myself truly enjoying the device. This next week should prove fun, and I’ll have a review in due time. If you have any questions about the device, either leave a comment below or tweet me @jlehto43.

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