You can zoom in and out of Web pages, but there are only two zoom settings; you either zoom in really close, or you pull back out to see the whole page; there doesn't seem to be a middle ground. Also, since the screen size is so small, there's a lot of scrolling around. Another downside is that you have to keep going back to the Web home screen to enter in a URL. Still, we're pleased with the Web browser overall; it's certainly the best mobile browser we've seen for a midrange phone like this. Browser settings include the capability to set the image quality, the font size, and whether or not you prefer to load the mobile or full desktop version of a Web page..
The Reveal also has 3G, which lets you have AT&T's array of broadband services. They include AT&T Cellular Video, which lets you view streaming video clips from content providers like CBS and CNN, AT&T Video Share, which lets you stream one-way video calls to anyone with a compatible phone, and AT&T Mobile Music. The latter is a music portal of sorts, with apps like Song ID (a song identification service), XM Radio Mobile, and a music community forum. You also get to purchase and download songs from Napster and eMusic directly to the phone. A song is $1.99 each, which includes a free download to the PC as well. (CNET Reviews is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)
The music player on the Reveal is quite good. The interface is clean and simple, and the songs are arranged by artists, albums, and genres. You can create and edit your own playlists and you can set songs on repeat or shuffle. The player displays the album art in the middle and the playback controls along the bottom. It can support MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AAC+V2, and Real Audio formats. There's also a video player that can support MPEG-4 and H.264 video formats. The Reveal has a microSD card slot that can take up to 8GB of additional storage in case you want more capacity.
The 1.3-megapixel camera was rather disappointing. It can take pictures in four resolutions (1,280x1,024, 1024x768, 640x480, 320x240), three quality settings, four white balance settings, and four color effects. Other camera settings include brightness, a self-timer, a timer sound toggle, and a shutter sound toggle. Photo quality was quite poor. Images were blurry and overcast, and colors looked darker than usual. There's also a video camera mode that can record videos in three resolutions (176x144 (MMS), 176x144, and 320x240). From here you can access Video Share, which we mentioned earlier. You can record with or without audio. Other settings are similar to the still camera. Video quality was disappointing as well, with a lot of pixelation and blur.
You can personalize the Reveal with a variety of graphics and sounds. If you don't like what's in the phone, you can purchase and download more from AT&T's MediaMall store. The same goes for any games or applications. The Reveal comes with four games: The Sims 3, Uno, Ms. Pac-Man, and Diner Dash 2. It also has several applications preloaded: MobiTV, My-Cast Weather, WikiMobile, Mobile Banking, and Notifier.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/900; GPRS/EDGE, UMTS/HSDPA tri-band 850/1900/2100Mhz) Pantech Reveal in San Francisco using AT&T Wireless. Call quality was a bit mixed. We heard our callers just fine, without a lot of static or crackle. Their voices did sound slightly on the harsh side, but it wasn't too bad.
Our callers experienced more problems however. They reported some crackle and background noise, and said they thought we were mumbling at times. They even missed a few words we said. We experienced this even when we supposedly had four full bars. However, there were moments when we did come through loud and clear, so the problem seems to be intermittent.
As for the speakerphone, we thought there was plenty of volume and clarity on our end. The voice did sound a bit harsh, but that's to be expected. On their end, callers reported a lot more echo and said our voice sounded more machinelike and less natural with the speakerphone on.
Though the speakers provided great volume, they didn't do music playback justice. The songs sounded tinny and harsh, without much bass. We would recommend using a headset for the best experience.
We were pleased with the 3G speeds on the Reveal. A full HTML Web page, like CNET's home page, loaded in just 15 seconds, and we downloaded a 1.1MB song in 30 seconds. Streaming video had little-to-no buffering time, as well. Still, the video seemed jerky and pixelated, especially when there were a lot of action sequences.
The Pantech Reveal has a rated battery life of 4.5 hours talk time and 11 days standby time. It only reached a talk time of 3 hours and 31 minutes in our tests. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR rating of 1.04 watts per kilogram.