The Pantech Matrix Pro, set for release by AT&T on Tuesday, is a unique dual slider Windows phone with both a QWERTY keyboard and a full number keypad.
I was able to acquire an early review unit and have spent the day getting acquainted with the device. This article includes my first impressions; a more detailed review will be posted in the near future.
Many smartphones have a sliding keyboard, and many other have a sliding numberpad. The Matrix Pro has both.
Slide the QVGA screen to the right to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, which features large, clearly defined, illuminated keys. My brief tests so far reveal that this keyboard is a joy to use; it won’t require much practice to become proficient.
If you slide the screen up, the number pad is revealed, which also features large illuminated keys. The number pad is smooth, so it is somewhat more difficult to know where my fingers are when dialing. I would have preferred a bit more separation, or at least a little “nub” on the number five key to help locate my finger without looking.
The Matrix Pro is somewhat thicker than many others I’ve reviewed, but since it’s relatively narrow it fits comfortably in my hand. I’m impressed with the build quality so far — even though it has two different sliders, the phone is quite solid.
The hardware overall is quite appealing, from the smooth curves and sleek exterior to the nicely loud speaker and the capable camera. My only real disappointment so far is that there is no standard headphone jack on the device; if you want to listen to your music privately you must use the included adapter dongle.
Other accessories included in the box are a USB sync cable, an AC adapter, and a protective pouch.
Software and Performance
The Pantech Matrix Pro is a Windows 6.1 Standard smartphone with the expected applications such as Office Mobile and Internet Explorer. Other extras include Mobile TV, Mobile Banking, and AT&T GPS.
The upcoming review will of course go into more detail about the various applications, but my first impression is that this device may not be quite as snappy as some of the others I’ve tested in the past. For example, it takes several seconds to process each photo taken with the two megapixel camera, and there is sometimes a delay in switching from portrait to landscape mode.
More extensive testing will reveal whether or not this is a problem, so be sure to look out for the full review.