cell phones become more powerful, the complexity of these devices increase proportionately.
While many experienced cell phone users welcome this change and ask for more,
there are those who want simplicity with their portable phones. In addition, many
elderly folks do not want to deal with a complicated device for making phone calls.
To address this need in the marketplace, AT&T Inc. and Pantech Wireless Inc.
have announced the new Pantech Breezea simple, easy to use cell phone
even for first time cell phone users. The
Breeze has an uncluttered look with round edges giving it an ergonomic feel
and features simplified menus, a large 2.2" color display with a backlit
keypad and lighted EZ One-Touch quick-call keys. These are welcome features especially
as my eyes have a difficult time seeing some of the small numbers on many current
cell phones. There are two softkeys just above the navigation controls to make
controlling the menu functions easy. The phone also includes an external 1-inch
screen, which supports a large color palette and displays the date and time or
the caller ID photo with a name.
menu interface has two modes of operation. The Breeze mode is a simplified
interface with with six selections (Address Book, Messaging, My Stuff, Tools,
Settings, and Phone Status) using large text on the screen. The most common features
are available in this menu making it quick and easy to access. The Advanced
mode changes the menu selections to icons, which for some may be more intuitive.
The description for each of the icons is displayed when the icon is selected.
and Instant Messaging
Mobile email support is provided for AOL, BellSouth,
Comcast, Earthlink, Juno, MindSpring, NetZero, Windows Live, and Yahoo. We only
tested out AOL and Yahoo, both of which worked flawlessly. We received immediate
notification of incoming emails making it a great phone for those on the go and
who want to keep in touch. Unfortunately the phone does not let you enter in your
own POP3 address for personal email, but this is not much of a limitation if you
can use the supported email providers. The Breeze also supports instant
messaging from AOL IM, Yahoo! Messenger and ICQ. While we didn't use this feature
much, it is available. Receiving messages whether they were emails or instant
messages was easy. Sending messages
The Breeze supports web access with reasonable load times.
However, we found the screen to be the biggest limitation when trying to view
web pages. They certainly worked, but due to the large content it was difficult
to navigate through many of the pages we looked at. This is the case with many
phones on the market that have limited screen resolution. However, it was a nice
feature to include on the Breeze.
Breeze comes with demo versions of PAC-MAN/Ms. PAC-MAN, Tetris, Platinum
Sudoku, and Platinum Solitaire. Also included is a My-Cast Weather application.
The Shop Games selection will allow you to purchase more games online.
A large selection of games are available and includes selections such as Games
for Guys, Her Favorites, Puzzle, Casual Fun, Retro
& Arcade, Sports, Trivia & Game Shows, Action &
Combat, Card & Casino, Movies & TV, Adventure,
The built-in digital camera in the Breeze is limited to a maximum
resolution of 640x480 with options for 320x240 and 176x220. Seven brightness levels
can be selected when taking photos. Videos can also be taken with this camera
with capture time limited to about 20 seconds. No storage chips are supported
with this camera so the user is limited to the onboard memory. While the camera
features are limited on the phone, it works well especially for those want to
take a simple picture or video clip. We were able to use the Bluetooth connection
to transfer a photo to our Motorola RAZR without having to use the cell link.
testing primarily took place in the Los Angeles area, but was also used for brief
periods in Northern California. Our signal strength was almost always good to
great and rarely did we encounter connectivity issues with the AT&T service.
Only in the most remote areas such as the Big Basin Redwoods where we went camping
did we lose a signal. Call performance was very good with this phone with voices
loud and clear on both ends. The speaker phone also worked well in most cases
with minimal echo problems. The Breeze is rated with a 3 hour talk time
and up to 250 hours of standby time. However, we found the talk time to be significantly
longer than this.
There is no doubt that the Breeze is one of the easiest phones to use and
while it has a simple exterior it is packed with more advanced features for those
looking to take advantage of them. The Breeze is a phone that many newcomers
can grow into as they become more proficient at using mobile technology. Standard
features include a large phone book with enough space for three numbers (cell,
home, and office), picture for caller ID, and an e-mail address. The
phone also supports Bluetooth, which is an important feature especially here in
California as drivers are now required to use hands-free cell phones should they
decide to talk on the road. The built-in camera for photos or videos is another
bonus. Email, instant messaging, and web access are added features on this phone.
If you are looking for simplicity and an uncluttered user interface, the Breeze
is the phone for you. Even though many of my colleagues jokingly referred to the
Breeze as the "Old Man Phone", virtually everyone agreed it was
one of the easiest phones they had ever used.
Pantech Breeze is $39.99 after a two-year service agreement and a $30 mail-in
rebate or $124.99 after a $30 mail-in rebate for customers who prefer to use AT&T's
Pick Your Plan or Pay As You Go GoPhone® prepaid plans..