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Pantech Breakout review

Will Pantech's first CDMA phone be their breakout device?

Pantech Breakout
Fast, sturdy, and cheap - what could go wrong?

Our Verdict

The Pantech Breakout is a mixed bag, but if you're looking for LTE on the cheap you won't find a better option.


  • True LTE speeds
  • Cheap
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Surprisingly good overlay


  • Irritating typing noise
  • Terrible camera
  • Only one button wakes from sleep
  • Awful battery life

The Pantech Breakout is a budget device through and through. The first time you hold one, you'll notice its grippy plastic and matte finish.

This grippy plastic feels robust, but not exactly high quality.

Pantech Breakout

There's also a slight lip around the edge of the device, a ridge that you'll surely thumb as you navigate the phone's 4-inch display. But it's neither irritating or sharp enough to complain about, and after a few days you'll stop noticing it entirely.

Despite the mid-sized screen, the device feels small and heavy - but less like a brick than a phone you know can take a drop or two.

Pantech Breakout

At 12mm thick, the device feels a bit thick. Gripping the phone reveals the Breakout's first strange quirk: its chassis is lined with more buttons than an elevator at a sewing convention.

Pantech Breakout

There are no buttons on the top, but there's a lock/power button centered on the phone's right side, as well as a dedicated camera button placed below it. The left side contains a volume rocker and a dedicated microphone button.

Pantech Breakout

It does sort of look like a brick, though.

The four buttons on the device's face are the same four Android buttons you'll be familiar with, albeit it's been a while since we've used a device with real physical push buttons as opposed to touch capacitive, flush buttons. These buttons feel large and are easy to navigate, even without looking at the device.

Surprisingly, only one button awakes the phone from sleep (the lock button). For a device with this many buttons, having only one that unlocks the screen is actually not ideal, but it's a small concern, until you're trying to capture a moment with the camera.

Pantech Breakout

There's a 3.5mm headphone jack oddly placed on the side of device, which presents a problem for pocket listeners. Plugging headphones into the device will put undue stress on your headphone cable - if it even fits in your pocket.

On the back of the device is a branded, removable battery cover. The cover is ultra thin once removed, but fits snuggly and securely.

The attached charger flap hides a micro-USB slot. While it fits snuggly while connected, it's a little harder to adjust than it should be and has one of those "matter of time before it breaks" feeling.