Pantech Jest Review

Introduction and Design

The new 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.

Pantech Jest TXT8040 360 Degrees View:

Software and Features:

The interface on the Jest has been slightly improved upon and has three themes: white, ocean delight, and log cabin. Between these, the “ocean delight” theme is the most colorful, and you can change any of their layouts between tab, list, and grid view, as well as the font type, clock format and color. The only issue we had when using the menus was in regards to the optical d-pad, as it is troublesome and doesn’t always recognize finger movements.

The phonebook on the Pantech Jest allows up to 1000 contacts to be saved with multiple numbers and email addresses, picture and ringtone, IM screen name, and street address. Unfortunately, the Jest still only allows up to 500 speed dial entries, whereas most other phones allow up to 999.

Composing a text, picture, or video message can be done by sliding the phone open and using the QWERTY keyboard. Other messaging options include Mobile Email, which will allow you to send and receive email through your standard POP or IMAP accounts, and Mobile IM for connecting to people in your AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo! buddy lists. Also included on the Pantech Jest is a new program called Social Beat, that we also saw on the Samsung Intensity II, which allows you to connect your accounts for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Talk, and GMail, as well as RSS. We tried it with Facebook and were able to view our feed, wall, inbox, and friend’s list. You can also post your current status and even upload a mobile photo. Just be prepared to wait….and wait…and wait, as it takes up to 3 minutes just to sign in and view recent posts. Several times, it just stopped working all together, just like we experienced with the Intensity II, and we had to click on Refresh a few times to get things to load. We’re not sure if this is a problem with the program, or since the phone uses the slower 1x data network. At this point, we wouldn’t even fool with using it, as it is problematic to load and takes too long.

The camera on the Jest has been updated from 1.3MP to 2MP, but its quality remains lacking, as images taken outside still have poor detail and soft edges, as well as inaccurate color representation, as there is a constant purple hue, similar to what we experienced when using the Blitz. Images taken inside did better with their color, but not with the details, as there was still a lot of grain that could be seen. There is also no flash, so forget about taking pictures in low-light conditions. The Jest can also record videos, but is limited to a maximum resolution of 320x240 and only at 7fps. Because of this, video quality is quite poor and not even worth using.

Pantech Jest sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution.

The music player on the Pantech Jest is a scaled-down version of what we saw on the Razzle last year, but it still has some good features. However, when we started, the Jest wouldn’t see our MP3 files, but we then saw that the phone creates a directory on the microSD card called “root” and it contains sub-folders, one of which is for music albums. So we had to take the time and copy all our MP3s to that folder. Once that was done, the player could access the files, and was able to show them by song, playlists, artists, genres, and albums. There are 6 sound effects (normal, rock, jazz, classic, pop, and bass) that you can choose from, as well as selecting a red, violet, or yellow skin for the player background. Music quality was pretty good through the mono speaker on the back, and we also like that the Jest supports multitasking, so we could listen to music why typing a text message at the same time. Naturally, you can also listen to music through 2.5mm earbuds or via Bluetooth stereo.

Most other software features on the Pantech Jest remain unchanged from the Razzle, such as the appointment calendar where you can save alerts, Mobile Web 2.0 browser, VZ Navigator for GPS guided driving directions, and the ability to download other ringtones and games. Since the Jest still only supports the slower 1X network instead of the faster EVDO network, data speeds are slow and there is no support for VCast Video streaming or VCast Music downloads. One new feature that is included is the Microsoft Bing search, where you can perform searches on the Web, Business Directory, or VZW Media. If you do just a standard search, it will search the Web for results, where the Business Directory search is good for restaurants, shopping, hotels, and other local places, while the VZW Media search will look for matching Verizon ringtones, wallpapers, games, and programs to download.

The Jest comes with 975MB of internal memory, which can be used for downloading apps, syncing music to your PC, or saving pictures and videos, which is nice to have if you don’t have a memory card installed.


It is unfortunate that the Pantech Jest doesn’t fare any better with its signal reception than the Razzle and Blitz,as it only had on average 1 bar showing in strong signal areas, andoccasionally would show 0 bars, though it didn’t drop any calls. Thecall quality was also a disappointment, as there was noticeabledistortion and buzzing in the earpiece, even when the volume was turneddown, which we also encountered when using the Razzle and Blitz.

The Jest comes with a 920mAh battery,just like the Razzle and Blitz, which is rated to provide it up to 4.6hours of talk time or 15 days of standby time on a full charge. Ourtesting revealed 4 hours of continuous talk time on a full charge,which is the same as the previous two models.


Based on our usage of the Pantech Jest,we feel that it is an OK messaging device that has a nice 2.6” displayand comes in at a low price, but the poor call quality and signalreception has us concerned, as this still hasn’t been fixed since wereviewed the Razzle and Blitz. We can only hope that Pantech will getthis right the next time around. At this point, we would suggest the LG Cosmos VN250 instead, as it not only offers better call quality and signal reception, but a better designed QWERTY keyboard as well.

Software on tested phone: D8040VWA532G.147

Pantech Jest Video Review:


  • Compact design with sliding keyboard
  • 2.6” display
  • Music can be played in the background
  • 975MB of internal memory


  • Poor call quality and signal reception
  • Videos and pictures look mediocre
  • Optical d-pad is finicky

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