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I just returned from a trip into Manhatten at a Hoop-La hosted by ATT. As I walked down to Madison Ave, I swear every tenth person (at least) was talking into a cell phone as they walked down the street. I guess it’s because I grew up with THE PHONE being attached to the wall and placed in a central location in the house for easy access. I still find it a bit weird how ubiquitous cell phones are. It seems apropos that I was heading down to a press conference for the new Pantech duoTM.
This device is Absolutely being marketed as a dual use phone: Personal and Professional. There’s no need to carry two devices. And the first thing you notice is the dual keyboards. After I was given my test device, I was juggling the box it comes in, my bag, notes and was holding the Pantech duoTM in my left hand. Without reading any instructions, I was able to pop the QWERTY keyboard out and then slide it back in – Then slide the number keypad out. All ONE handed. That is some serious designing!

We first sat down to hear about the “dual personality” of Pantech duoTM. This TriBand (850/1800/1900) 3G Networked Phone can receive html email and multimedia messaging. Features include Instant Messaging, Web browsing, email with Xpress Mail (including corporate email), stereo Bluetooth(r) (1.1, 1.2), stream XM Radio(r), Cellular Video, MobiTV(r), 1.3 meg camera for sending images and video. The 416 MHZ processor is powered by Windows Mobile 6 OS. The average download speed ranges frpm 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps. Business customers will be happy to know that they can grab their email and browse the web in more than 135 countries. And calls are possible in over 190 countires. Have Pantech duoTM, Will Travel!! The MTV generation will be delighted to know they can get their TV shows including HBO, MTV and ESPN plus listen to stereo music.
Like a good PDA, the Pantech duoTM will let the busy businessperson view PowerPoint presentations, Excel and Word documents. You can also get your email sent via Microsoft’s Direct Push technology. And the Pantech duoTM is available Right Now from ATT for $199 USD. Corporate (unlimited) email plans run $44.99 per month while personal email can start at a plan for $29.99 per month for 20MB storage. For details check the ATT site and the Pantech site.

While we were ogling the pettifours (little fruit pies and chocolate dipped strawberries – yum!), I discussed the device as a modem. Depending on your call plan you can download the required software. It definitely works on Windows, of course. I asked about being able to use the modem feature on a MAC and they will get back to me on this. I was also curious about how the device uploads upgrades to various software including the OS. I’ve had phones that did this wirelessly. The Pantech duoTM can do this for corporate customers. For personal customers they can certainly use the cable connected to one’s computer via ActiveSync(r). I did point out that this can still be annoying for us regular folks and this is another issue they will get back to me about. What is important for this process is the security – something vital for all types of customers.

This is just an introductory article – as I just got home and while writing this plugged the phone in to juice up the battery. As soon as I’ve played with it a bit expect more from me. Stay tuned!

Click on the thumbails to see the first view of both keyboards – I didn’t even remove the plastic covering the screen yet! Hot off the presses, baby!!

Written by Cecilia