Pantech Jest Review
Pantech Jest TXT8040 from Verizon Wireless follows in the line of the preceding Razzle TXT8030 and Blitz TXT8010 models, as it is a messaging phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. But since this concept has been around for years now, does the Pantech Jest bring anything new to the table, or is it just a rehash of what we’ve seen before?
Included in the retail package is the Pantech Jest TXT8040 phone, 920mAh battery, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, and user guide.
The overall design of the Pantech Jest is similar to the Blitz, as both have a sliding QWERTY keyboard, whereas the Razzle has a 180 degree rotating one. Even though the device remains constructed out of plastic and is all-black in color, the device feels sturdy and it fits well in the hand and pocket thanks to the rounded edges and slim profile.
You can compare the Pantech Jest with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Located on the front is a nice sized 2.6” 320x320 pixel TFT display, capable of 262K colors. This is a welcome improvement from the Razzle and Blitz, as both have a smaller 2.2” 220x176 pixel display. Images and text on the Jest looks quite good and there are no jagged edges. Below it is an optical d-pad that senses movement up/down and left/right, but you do have to physically press it in to make menu selections. The optical d-pad is a novel idea, but in practice it doesn’t work that well. Even though we changed the sensitivity level from the default setting of medium to high, it still had trouble picking up our thumb movements, and most of the time we have to move our thumb 4-5 times in the same direction for it to register. After a while, this became quite annoying, and we would have preferred a more traditional d-pad like what is used by the Razzle and Blitz. The left and right softkeys are also touch-sensitive, but those worked well, despite not being backlit. The rest are traditional push-buttons for send, send, music, and clear. Around the sides are the volume rocker, speakerphone key, 2.5mm headset jack, microUSB port, camera key, shortcuts key, and microSDHC memory card slot that supports up to 16GB cards.
Sliding open the Pantech Jest reveals the hidden QWERTY keyboard, as it is laid out nearly identical to the Blitz. There are four rows that are slightly curved up to the sides, but the numbers still share real-estate with the letters. Unfortunately, the keys remain rather small and there is almost no space between them. When using the Jest to type messages, we found it a slightly better experience than when using the Samsung Intensity II, as the keys are raised slightly, thus providing a more tactile feel with your thumbs, but due to their small size it is still best suited for people who don’t have large hands. We still prefer the keyboard on the LG Cosmos, as thy keys are larger and have some space between them.