What the Pantech Renue, Samsung Flight II and LG Expression all have in common goes further than being great smartphones. It even goes further than all costing less than $89. What they all have are slide-out, hardware QWERTY keyboards, something of a lost feature in this world of touchscreens but enormously useful for anybody who needs or just wants to get back to something approaching real typing.
If you’ve never used a hardware keyboard on a smartphone, it can be surprisingly liberating experience, with proper clicks when you hit a key, and those keys are big enough to mean you get the right one every time. So, with that in mind, we take a closer look at how the 3 devices compare.
|PANTECH RENUE||SAMSUNG FLIGHT II||LG EXPRESSION|
|3G HSPA||3G HSPA|
|SIZE (in)||3.90 x 2.48 x 0.47||4.40 x 2.10 x 0.50|
4.25 x 2.13 x 0.67
|4.52 oz||3.49 oz||4.59 oz|
|SCREEN SIZE||3.2 in||3.0 in|
|240 x 320||240 x 400||240 x 400|
|Upto 32GB||Upto 16GB||Upto 32GB|
|Yes @ 320p||Yes @ 240p||Yes @ 240p|
|MicroUSB 2.0||MicroUSB 2.0||MicroUSB 2.0|
|250 hrs||250 hrs||240 hrs|
|TALK TIME||3 hrs||5 hrs|
Looking at the table, there’s not a great deal which separates the 3 phones. Battery life is all but identical, audio and video capabilities are broadly comparable as are connection and network features. The Flight II has the edge in size and weight, coming in at over an ounce lighter than both the Renue and Expression. It may not sound like a lot, but it can be noticeable if carried in a shirt or pants pocket, as opposed to a purse.
The Renue has a slightly bigger screen, but loses out to both competitors on resolution, and it’s a similar win/lose for the Flight II on storage. Although it has 512MB built in, far more than the others, it is only rated to take MiscroSD cards up to 16GB compared to the Renue and Expression’s 32GB. Of course, larger cards may work, but it’s a risk.
Apart from that, there really is little between them. The Flight II is the more expensive at $89 compared to $69 for the Expression and Renue, but when you consider that all 3 cost barely a tenth of what most flagship models from Apple and Samsung cost today, they are a bargain that fits squarely in the “no-brainer” category.
If you want a phone to make calls, send texts and emails, and maybe take the odd picture, but want to do it all with a keyboard which enhances the experience immeasurably, then you can’t go wrong with any of the devices here.