Pantech is one of those forgettable brands known best for its cheapo Android phones. But with the Discover, the company is attempting to shake that image without sacrificing price. Here we have more than adequate specs inside a pretty peculiar body—that’s a good thing. Overall, the handset succeeds—mostly.

What we have here is something that Pantech clearly put some time and effort into; it’s just that the company is a year too late. When you have other fantastic smartphones for similar prices—devices carrying flagship status, even—the value of jumping into a two-year contract with the $50 Discover doesn’t seem all that great.

The Discover has a 4.8-inch (1280 x 720), 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 12-megapixel rear camera (2-megapixel front), NFC, Android 4.0.4, and a 2100mAh battery. Not too bad, and certainly adequate enough to push through typical email, browsing, and texting.

Sure, you’ll save some dough initially, but if you want an even better smartphone experience, there are other options available for slightly more money (or even the same price). As an example, the HTC One X on AT&T is $0.99, while the Nokia Lumia 920 is $99.99.

For the price, Pantech does deliver a speedy handset with a pretty good camera, and the design is excellent (if a bit weird). Those are all good things, making the Discover one of the best budget-friendly handsets around. But, you have to ask yourself if, over the next two years, a device like the Discover will hold its worth. Perhaps not.

Rating

7.5