The Pantech Flex is a lot of phone for just $49.99 on contract with ATT. Soon to be joined by the similarly priced LG Escape; the Flex offers some reasonably high end features like a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU (the same as that used on the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X ), LTE 4G and a qHD 4.3" Super AMOLED display. It's a slim and good looking phone, and doesn't have that chunky budget look of previous Pantech models in this price range. The Flex will be in stores September 16.
The smartphone runs Android OS 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and we wouldn't bet on significant upgrades given the price. It has a moderately customized UI based on standard Android and a second newbie-friendly UI with large icons and a single page home screen (you can switch easily between these two UIs). The more standard UI is pleasing overall, but the simplified UI doesn't always achieve its goal.
The Pantech Flex has a removable 1830 mAh Lithium Ion battery and uses a micro SIM and has a microSD card slot. The phone has 8 gigs of internal storage and a gig of RAM. Other features include dual band WiFi, Bluetooth, a GPS and a front video chat camera. The rear 8MP camera takes surprisingly decent photos and 1080p video. It has an LED flash and an HDR option. Not bad for the price. There's no mention of NFC and no software loaded for NFC though the battery door looks suspiciously like it has an NFC plate.
All in all, this is a fast smartphone that benchmarks a respectable 5094 in Quadrant. It's more than capable of playing today's demanding games and 1080p videos. LTE data performance is excellent and voice quality is good, though not as crystal clear and rich as the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X that cost a good deal more on AT&T.