While television and newspaper ads may imply otherwise, there is still a market out there for basic, no-frills cell phones. A lot of consumers still want a simple phone that gets the most important job done: making calls. Verizon Wireless has a few such phones, the PN-210 that we reviewed a few months ago, and now the Verizon Wireless PN-300, both manufactured by Pantech. The PN-300 doesn't have a camera or a music player; nor does it have a Web browser or e-mail. However, it is also very inexpensive at only $29.99 with a two-year contract with Verizon.
True to its simple nature, the PN-300 has a rather boring and minimalist design. Decked out in a silver gray-and-black color scheme, the PN-300 is a pretty compact clamshell at 3.43x1.93x 0.98 inches and weighing in at only 3.32 ounces. Its smooth curves and light weight make it feel comfortable in the hand and when held up next to the ear. We were very pleased that even though the PN-300 is a basic phone, it still comes with an external screen. Despite the fact it's monochrome, it still displays the date, time, and signal and battery strength, as well as caller ID. On the left spine of the phone is the volume rocker as well as a display button that toggles among different date and time display configurations on the external screen. An extendable antenna is on the top-right corner of the phone.