Phone, Smartphone, Notebook and Gadget Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Forum


Home > Android Phone Reviews > Pantech Breakout


Pantech Breakout

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon
Manufacturer: Pantech
Discuss this product
Where to Buy

What's hot: Affordable 4G LTE Android smartphone.

What's not: Slower data speeds vs. other Verizon LTE phones.


Reviewed October 6, 2011 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE phones have been a bit pricey, averaging $299 with contract. The Pantech Breakout is their first budget-priced LTE Android smartphone, and you're probably wondering what's the catch. The Breakout has mid to high midrange specs that include a 1GHz single core CPU, a 4" 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen, a 5 megapixel camera that can record 720p video, and of course 4G LTE on Verizon’s network. Not too shabby. We don’t expect it to match the mighty Droid Bionic's specs and features when it’s a third of the price.

Pantech Breakout

The phone has a gig of flash storage with ~200 megs available, and 512 megs of RAM (that’s at the low end but acceptable). It runs Android OS 2.3.3 Gingerbread with light UI customizations by Pantech. The phone has a microSD card slot that’s compatible with SDHC cards up to 32 gigs in capacity, and Verizon includes an 8 gig card. There’s a front VGA camera for video chat, though Verizon doesn’t bundle a video chat app. You can download Qik, Skype or others, but Android OS 2.3.3 doesn’t support video chat in Google Talk.

Design and Display

The design isn’t going to cause a bad case of phone envy. It’s an unremarkable looking handset that’s similar in size to Verizon’s other LTE Droid handsets, and it has sturdy plastic casing. The front buttons are a little odd: they’re mechanical buttons (the kind that go click and move, not capacitive touch buttons), and Pantech has put the inner two buttons into a metallic partial circle. Though close to the phone’s bottom edge, the buttons are reasonably easy to operate one-handed. The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the left side rather than the top (unfortunate), and the power button is inconveniently placed half way down the right side. The phone has both a dedicated camera button and a voice command button (we like!).  The back is textured matte black plastic and the sides of the phone are curved to increase hand comfort and make the handset look smaller.

Pantech Breakout

The Pantech Breakout has a standard 800 x 480 capacitive LCD display that’s sharp and clear. It can’t compete with higher resolution qHD displays or Samsung’s ultra-vivid Super AMOLED Plus used in the Droid Charge, but it’s plenty good enough, especially for the price.

Pantech Breakout


Deals and Shopping:


Pantech Breakout Video Review

Performance and Horsepower

The phone is reasonably responsive in terms of touch and CPU speed. It scores 1331 on the Quadrant benchmark, which is on par with other recent single core 1GHz phones running Qualcomm’s second gen Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 205 graphics. Dual core phones average 2,000-2,400, and last generation single core 1GHz phones hover around 1,000. We did note that the phone bogged down when playing Adobe Flash, and the Flash Player controls became slow to respond. Flash video itself streamed well up to 480p full screen mode. 720p was balky, but that’s not unusual with YouTube. Given the less than responsive Flash Player controls, this isn’t a top pick if you’re into playing Flash games on your cell phone.

Calling and Data

Though the Breakout has LTE 4G, currently the fastest form of mobile cellular data on the planet, it didn’t impress us as much as other LTE phones. Our Breakout didn’t pull in as strong a signal as measured in –db (not bars) as the Droid Bionic for 1x/3G and LTE-- granted Motorola makes top RF phones. Data speeds were half that of the Bionic and Droid Charge. Testing in the same location at the same time, the Breakout managed 8Mbps down and 1.4Mbps up according to the app, while our Bionic got 16.8Mbps down and 4.3Mbps up. Ouch. If getting the fastest data speeds possible from your LTE phone is important to you, be warned. It’s certainly much faster than a 3G EV-DO Rev. A phone, but it trails LTE phones.

Call quality was just OK; we could understand callers and they could understand us, but voice on both ends lacked sharp clarity. The speakerphone is quite loud and full, and it worked well for voice calls as well as multimedia.

The phone has Verizon's mobile hotspot feature, and it can act as a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 clients (don't expect great data speeds if you try to serve 10 laptops, tablets and other clients though).


The smartphone has a VGA video chat camera above the display and a rear 5 megapixel autofocus camera with no flash. Photos looked a little bit washed out and the shutter isn’t the fastest, but video recorded at 720p looked decent, which is to say comparable to many 5MP camera phones.

Battery Life

The Breakout has a 1500 mAh Lithium Ion battery. That’s a healthy capacity for a 3G phone, but a little light for 4G LTE. LTE phones don’t have long battery life when used in an LTE coverage area with LTE turned on. It’s a power-hungry technology, and the Breakout, like most LTE phones, will need daily charging with moderate use. If you stream Netflix for an hour over LTE or tune in to NFL Mobile videos, you’ll need to charge it mid-day or buy a spare battery.


We're happy to see Pantech move up in the market, and the Breakout is a solid mid-range Android smartphone with LTE. Though the phone sometimes lags a bit and 4G LTE speeds don't match top dog phones like the Bionic, it is currently one third the price with contract. The phone has a sharp display, runs Gingerbread and has dual cameras. But you make a few sacrifices for the price. If your budget is extremely tight but you don't want to start a new contract with older 3G technology, the Pantech Breakout is a tempting choice. Keep in mind that the cost of service is much more expensive than the handset price over two years, and we recommend getting the best phone you can afford since you'll have to live with it for two years (or pay full retail to upgrade mid-contract). Shop around, and you might find the HTC Thunderbolt, Droid Charge and even the Bionic for $99 to $199.

Price: $99 with 2 year contract, $359 without contract




Pantech Breakout


Pantech Breakout


Pantech Breakout

The Motorola Droid Bionic and Pantech Breakout.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Display: 4" capacitive multi-touch display. Resolution: 800 x 480, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer. Has ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1500 mAh. Claimed use time: up to 5.78 hours. Claimed standby: up to 303 hours.

Performance: 1GHz 2nd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 205 graphics. 512 megs RAM. 1 gig internal storage with ~220 megs available.

Size: 5.0 x 2.35 x 0.47 inches. Weight: 4.87 ounces.

Phone: CDMA dual band digital with 3G EV-DO Rev. A and 4G LTE. Has mobile hotspot that supports up to 10 clients.

Camera: VGA front video chat camera and rear 5 megapixel autofocus camera that can shoot 720p video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0.

Software: Android OS 2.3.3 Gingerbread. Light Pantech UI customizations and a few utilities like unit converter, task manager, weather, social net and clock. Adobe Flash, Blockbuster, Kindle, DLNA and Swype are included. Standard suite of Google Android apps including search, maps, navigation, YouTube and the Android Market. Verizon software includes VZ Navigator, V Cast apps, NFL Mobile and more.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot. 8 gig card included.


All Phone Reviews
Smartphone Reviews
Android Phone Reviews
Windows Phone Reviews
HTC Phone Reviews
LG Phone Reviews
Motorola Phone Reviews
Nokia Phone Reviews
Samsung Phone Reviews
Sony Phone Reviews
AT&T Phone Reviews
Sprint Phone Reviews
T-Mobile Phone Reviews
Verizon Phone Reviews
Unlocked GSM Phone Reviews


All Tablet Reviews
Android Tablet Reviews
Tablet Comparisons
Android Tablet Comparisons



Laptop Reviews
Ultrabook Reviews
Laptop Comparisons
Best Ultrabooks



Bluetooth Headsets
iPhone and iPad Accessories
eBook Readers

iPhone Game Reviews
iPad Game Reviews

iPhone Case Reviews
iPad Case Reviews


RSS News Feed

About Us

Contact Us


Site Map