The Pantech Pursuit II ($50 with 2-year AT&T contract) is too little too late. If this was 2004, the Pursuit II would be one hot pursuit. But in 2011, the Pantech Pursuit II lurks beneath the shadows of one of the most formidable offers in the budget smartphone realm: the $50 iPhone 3GS.

With its laggy 230MHz processor, strange proprietary Brew MP operating system, measly 217MB of onboard storage, and lackluster, flash-less 2-megapixel camera, the Pantech Pursuit II was more of an aloof walk through the park than a high-speed car chase. I found the operating system to be beyond vexing, and applications to be expensive and lamely executed. For instance, Shazam could not even tag a Michael Jackson song. Gaming was cramped with the small keyboard, and the Internet browser was akin to Chinese water torture.

The Pantech Pursuit II did exhibit good call quality and its battery lasted quite some time on standby. As a basic calling and messaging phone, the Pursuit II was adequate. However, battery life dipped down to under 3 hours while making calls. The bottom line with the Pursuit II is that its not worth the chase. With the iPhone 3Gs right on its coattails, there's no hope for an AT&T phone of this nature in the year 2011.