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Pantech Matrix Pro

  • Category: Cell Phones
Last Updated
April 7, 2009
 
Product Rating
4 Out of 5
 
Pros
  • Dual-keyboards w/ QWERTY
  • Quad-band GSM & tri-band HSDPA
  • Very good battery life
  • Good call quality and excellent signal strength
 
Cons
  • Small amount of memory available for user files & programs
  • Softkeys and navigation keys are too close together
 
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Review

AT&T's latest dual-keyboard slider phone is the Pantech Matrix Pro, which is a dream for a die-hard texter. It's a successor to the Pantech Duo and now features two keyboards, one numeric and one QWERTY, in a slider-phone form factor. There are also several additions, including Windows Mobile 6.1, a faster CPU, GPS functionality, and more.

In total, the Pantech Matrix Pro weighs 5.3-ounces and measures 4.2 x 2.0 x 1-inches and has a glossy-gray and sleek-blue exterior. This design, along with the rounded edges on it, make it very functional and easy to handle and it looks good as well. The phone is actually considerably thicker than the Duo, but the rounded edges disguise that and it isn't easily noticeable. Along the right side of the Matrix Pro, you'll find a button for the camera and a charging port that has a cover over it. The left side has two volume buttons and a multifunction button that by default, opens up a list of popular options and settings. The bottom has a covered microSD card slot, which supports up to 32GB, which is a huge plus. In the box, AT&T gives you the power adapter, a cheap cover, a USB sync cable, and a dongle that allows you to use 3.5-mm headphones.

The non-touchscreen LCD has a resolution of 240 x 320-pixels with 262,000 colors and measures 2.4-inches diagonally, which is a fairly good size screen for the phone's size. Right under the screen, there's two softkeys, which are standard for Windows Mobile phones and a home, back, and standard send/end buttons. Between the two softkeys, there's a five-way circular navigation pad, but we found that the home and back buttons along with the send/end buttons were way too close together and were easily mis-pressed. When you slide the QWERTY keyboard out from the left of the device, you can use the phone in a horizontal orientation and the screen will automatically rotate 90 degrees. Typing with this full keyboard is not too bad, especially since it has three rows of keys. With use, most people will get used to it and not have any issues.

The Pantech Matrix Pro has a 528-MHz CPU with 250MB of ROM and 94MB of RAM storage, which only 37MB free for user files and programs. Because it runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, you get the new sliding panel home screen, which has sliding panels that give you access to the time/date, text messages, emails, contacts, photos, etc. It can also open and edit Word and Excel files and view PowerPoint files, but it cannot create new documents of any file type since it isn't Windows Mobile Professional. It also supports Microsoft Direct Push and Xpress Mail for use with POP3 accounts. You can also use it to tether with a laptop for use as a 3G modem with supported data plants from AT&T. With use, the phone will being to get bogged down because when you close a program, it doesn't really exit the program and keeps it in memory. To do this, you can open the Task Manager and exit out of running applications. This isn't a complaint about this phone in particular, but a complaint of all Windows Mobile phones.

AT&T includes MobiTV service (with subscription), XM Radio (with subscription), and several other AT&T services. It also comes with an instant-messaging client built in that supports AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo messenger. It also has built-in GPS and comes with a download link for AT&T's Navigator software program, which gives you turn-by-turn directions at a cost of $9.99 a month or $2.99 for a day's usage. We recommend that you use either Google Maps or Windows Live for Mobile, which gives you GPS capability without any cost.

The Pantech Matrix Pro is a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900) GSM phone that supports 850/1900/2100 HSDPA high-speed data networks. Voice calls from the phone are generally clear and sound decent and signal strength was impressive with full-bars almost all the time, even when transmitting data over 3G. It also supports Bluetooth and can be paired with any Bluetooth hands-free headset. Battery life is very good at a rated 7 hours of talk time. There's also a 2-megapixel camera on-board which gives you decent photos at very good environments and poor photos in darkly-lit environments.