Pantech Hotshot not such a hot phone after all


I think there is a clear mistake in naming the Pantech Hotshot just that, although I am not quite sure just which party is to be blamed. After all, Verizon Wireless is just a carrier, and will they have enough clout to call whatever they’re offering to the masses as they like? Still, we are in the business of bringing you news, and for folks whose contracts are about to expire and want to get a decent entry-level smartphone device, I guess the Pantech Hotshot would fit the bill rather nicely after all.

Available online from October 6th onwards (that is this Thursday just in case your Calendar app is all wonky), the Hotshot will do what a basic smartphone is supposed o – and do it well. With a 3.2″ LCD touchscreen display, navigating through the bunch of home screens, apps, emails, browser windows and text messages would be a breeze and not be taxing on your eyes, although those who are used to far beefier (in terms of specifications) handsets from the likes of Samsung and HTC might feel rather restricted by just three home screens available for customization.

As for other hardware specifications that are crammed into a 0.35″ thin form factor, they include a 3.2-megapixel shooter at the back that does video recording as well – and since there is no mention of a front-facing camera (and neither do we see one on the right), this is no phone to get if you want to experience video chats on the go. Not only that, Verizon has thrown in VZ Navigator that helps you get around places, even speaking out turn-by-turn directions in unfamiliar territory so that you can concentrate on the road ahead. As for V CAST Tones, that lets you download ringtones and ringback tones.

A microSD memory card slot is there for expansion purposes, and each purchase will come with a 2GB microSD memory card pre-installed with relevant apps. Do expect to fork out $99.99 for the Pantech Hotshot, and this price is applicable only after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

Press Release

52 reviews or comments

Darren Says: October 5, 2011 at 8:13 am

Hey Mr Reviewer, You really need to do your research. The Pantech Hotshot is a basic phone, not a smartphone. For that reason it will be scaled back. It won’t have a front facing camera and much less an Android operating system. This phone is for people that don’t need/want a data plan. Comparing this phone a bad review for what smartphone features its lacking is like giving a Prius a bad truck review because of its awful payload and towing capacity. Just sayin’

Darren Says: October 5, 2011 at 8:15 am

…….(Giving) this phone a bad review….

N/A Says: October 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

the only thing that is wrong about this post is that they said it’s a smartphone. I called verizon and they said it’s only a basic phone. other than that it sounds like a good phone to me.

ann549 Says: October 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

Thanks Darren! I was thinking the same thing. Ive been waiting ages for Verizon to put out a decent basic phone that was more comparable to my old LG EnV Touch. Sure hope this is the one! Not everyone wants a smartphone, that doesnt mean we dont deserve a great basic phone!

keke704 Says: October 7, 2011 at 7:05 am

Looks like a decent basic phone without the data plans. I have samsung u370 which i purchased at retail price so I want be in 2 yr contract.

Shawn Says: October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I agree that this is a bad review. If you knew that this was not a smartphone, then you should compare it to the Cosmos Touch or the Intensity 2. If you look at the basic phone line-up from Verizon (or any carrier for that matter) you would consider this phone to be one of the more advanced options that does not require internet. If a basic phone can convince a review critic that its a cheap smartphone, then its probably a decent feature phone.

Darren Says: October 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

Im an agent and im glad to see a rare new decent basic phone. Hope it has newer software than the crux. That had a problem with messaging.

Alex Says: October 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

So glad this came out! Going to wait until the price comes down a little and I start to hear some user reviews. I liked Verizon better when it wasn’t “data obsessed.”

Bob Says: October 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

People looking for a replacement for theit LG EnV’s and other good phones will be disappointed with this phone. The 3.2″ LCD is only 240×400 with 260k colors. The EnV has 3.0″ LCD’s at 800×480 with 1600k colors. Even though its free, how will VZ Navigator or the web look at 240×400 resolution? Not too good I think. Compare to Droid X2 at 960×540 and 16M colors! Sorry gang–the whole world is moving to smart phones and tablets, very quickly. Seems like data prices should come down at some point, in order to keep customers.

sugarmania Says: October 12, 2011 at 7:17 am

okay so this is not a smart phone this a basic phone this is for people out their who parents dont want to pay $30 dollars extra each moth for a smartphone i meant this is a good starter phone this is a good phone but bad review

Rhino Says: October 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

The best non-data phone on Verizon…

Considering I live two blocks away from the campus of my University I don’t see a need to pay $30 a month for internet on a smartphone with an obnoxiously small screen.

Between my laptop and my Nook I stay connected just fine, regardless of the fact that I have to live without an internet connection for two blocks on the walk home.

Lyn Says: October 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I have a question or two. I’m wanting to upgrade to a basic phone(basic phone no smartphone or Internet use) I have a lg env and love it. Would this phone be good to upgrade to? Does anyone know if it’s hard to make work?

Darren Says: October 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

Lyn, the LG Octane is the replacement for the env3. If you love your Env, you’ll love the Octane. No data required.

Walter Says: October 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

i just got this phone today from my local verizon store. After a couple hours of tinkering around with this phone, i really do like it. There is, in fact a camera on the front in the top right hand corner, as well as the camera on the back. This is a great basic phone, although, texting with it sideways (the QWERTY keyboard) is a little delayed, and makes trying to text fast really annoying. It can make the word “annoying” into annoin”. Also, since the phone has just been released, there aren’t any cases for it yet which was a real disappointment considering i dropped it 2 hours after getting it and scratched the corner. Other than that, this is a really good phone and i certainly recommend it.

Coolgal Says: October 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I agree, this is a really bad review! Many people, like myself, do not need a data package/smartphone. I am really excited to get this phone it sounds amazing. You really need to do your research. I heard that is a messaging phone. I can’t wait to try out the screen and see if it is a good messaging phone for me. Again, I think this a really bad review.

Gina Says: October 18, 2011 at 12:26 am

@Coolgal I definitely agree! I just ordered this phone to replace my crappy EnV3 and it sounds great to have a touchscreen phone that doesnt act like a computer.

Donna Says: October 18, 2011 at 5:59 am

This phone has many time saving features for texting & contacts and has a compact slim size. However, for a person with “cold hands” as myself, you have to hit the touch screen several times to make contact and sometimes it doesnt connect at all. A normal text message took me 5 times as long to try to type it due to cold touch and the letters being so close together on the keyboard. Phone was returned after two days of frustration.

jinx Says: October 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I have a DARE and need to get a new phone soon. As you probably know, the DARE did not require the new data plan, and I HAD the lowest data plan ($9.99) until the new pricing came in. I am, however, able to view emails, use the web, VZ Nav, etc on the DARE without the $30. Data plan. Will I still be able to do this with the Pantec or even the Octane or one of the other non-smart phones? I don’t want to switch phones, only to have all my current access denied because I’m a cheapskate. lol

CWesleyG Says: October 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I just bought this phone. I like it overall. Beware ordering it on-line through myVerizon! Their system will require you to buy a data package even though the phone DOES NOT require one. Call and do business with one of their very helpful associates.

Drawbacks – No flash for the camera. Touchscreen takes getting used to after years with a QWERTY with buttons. Snooze on alarm is only 5 minutes and not adjustable.

Pluses – Great voice command. Adjustable vibrate. It is not near as red in person as in photos of it.

CWesleyG Says: October 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

BTW – I had an ENV Touch previously. Wanted a basic phone with no dataplan. I really liked my old phone and thought about buying one on Craigslist, but went ahead with this purchase. I do recommend the phone! The review did not sway me at all. Nor did the notion that I might be a poser for buying this one… what? Some of the silly ideas people get…

Michelle Says: October 24, 2011 at 7:26 am

I have had the phone for 2 weeks now and I have to say I really like it. I have had every EnV with the exception of the 3rd one and although I love my EnV touch I have to say the Pantch Hotshot so far has met my expectations. I cannot say anything bad about it at this time. It does feel funny to hold this thin phone after having my EnV touch for 2 years.

Jennifer Says: October 25, 2011 at 6:43 am

@ jinx: You can add the $10 data plan to any ‘basicphone’ I am getting this phone with the $10 plan to use facebook, email, BING, VZ nav..ect (I currently have the REALITY with this plan) the same as you are now with your dare. This phone is a little more slender than the dare too..

Kathy Says: October 26, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I have a Chocolate Touch and I am looking for a basic phone that is comparable to the Chocolate Touch. Lots of folks hated the Chocolate Touch but I LOVED it. It is old and beginning to give me problems now. How does the Pantech Hotshop compare to the Chocolate Touch??? Is there another Verizon basic phone that is more comparable to the Chocolate TOuch? Thanks.

penguinlovaa Says: November 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

i love this phone so much better than my enV2 the pantech is a great non data required phone out there i love it like with touch screens those are my favorite phone honestly i’d prefer one with a qwerty keypad but i love this one anyway! this is a great phone

penguinlovaa Says: November 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm

oh and phone guy dont be a jerk some people dont want to pay an extra $30 for a data package PLUS from like $100-$200 for a phone so this phone is awesome and a great deal.

Clutch442 Says: November 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Phone Guy is an ahole, I have the phone and everything works great, I have no problem with Facebook, Ebay or anything else, also a lady at work has a Pantech flip phone and says she never had any problems with it in over two years.

CWesleyG Says: November 7, 2011 at 6:31 am

Still likae the phone just fine after living with it for a month. Editing errors in texts is a little awkward, but otherwise it works great. I love the slim design and light weight. Only thing advertised by Verizon that I have not figured out is how to use the mirror feature on the phone… that is using the camera on the same side as the screen. I see it there on the top right, but do not see how to activate it. I guess I’ll have to finally break out the manual to figure out that one feature. Everything is very intuitive and easy to use.

alison Says: November 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

is this phone a good phone for a first touch screen phone? bc i just ordered mine friday/

CWesleyG Says: November 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

alison… guesss you’ll find out. I think you will like it just fine. Give the touch screen qwerty a littl time to get used to though.

JF Says: November 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I just went to Verizon yesterday to pick out my new phone and this is the one I chose. Who cares if you “look like a poser”? All I wanted was something I liked. So do us all a favor, and shut up. The HotShot is coming today in the mail, and I am anticipating it. I personally like it more than the Blackberry Curve (which I have now with AT&T). My brother is very good at depicting whether or not a phone is worth it, and he agreed that this phone will satisfy almost everyone. Stop saying we look like cheap skapes buying this phone, because it just depends on a person’s wants.

sexiemommie Says: November 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

I use to have the 1st intensity on prepaid & just recently switched to straight talk i have a galaxy precedent android i love this phone cause its $45.00 a month unlimited talk txt& web i love my phone however i was worried about leaving verizon but if i ever go back to Verizon i would probably go with this phone my friend just ordered one he should be getting it today or Monday i guess i will see if it is a good phone when he gets his

David Says: December 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

In this day and age, there is no reason to not get a smartphone. Yeah, you have to pay $30 extra a month, but come on – the difference between a smartphone and one of these things is so vast it is worth it.

CWesleyG Says: December 7, 2011 at 6:29 am

David – Some of us are surviving just fine with phone and text only. No way do I need all the nonsense involved with internet on my or my kids phones. $30 a month is real money to some of us.

Dubs Says: December 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I have an iPhone4 for work and I just got my wife the pantech hot shot EVERY phone has its problems I used to sell phones to I read consumer reports and I know a few dealers around town that let me play with the products it is good to ask but really at the end of the day all that matters is what u think and not some cocky d bag the phone does have its problems but it looks nice has some pretty. Cools stuff and for what most ppl that buy this phone are looking for it will do just fine

CWesleyG Says: December 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

2 months into owning this phone and it is working fine. Verizon finally got covers for it… 2 part shell type… bought one a t a local Verizon outlet for $20. It has made the phone easier to handle with my man hands, and it can now be clamped between my head and shoulder without slipping.

Buddy Tall Says: January 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Have had this phone verizon Pantech Hotshot for three weeks & nothing but screen freeze.
Screen has froze 10 times in last 4 days.
Have to take battery out to clear it up & am getting tired of that.
Taking it back tomorrow.

Dragonfly440 Says: January 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I’ve had this phone for a month and it is HORRIBLE!! I thought I had done my research, but this phone is a huge disappointment and I can’t believe anyone likes this phone! Apparently there is no calibration option. I was to be on a VIP conference call tonight and I tried to dial in about 6 different ties, once the number connects, every time I tried to type in the access code, the screen blanks out. This is supposed to be a protective thing so while your phone is at your ear, you aren’t “pushing buttons” with your ear I guess. So I gave up and called VZ, but when they ask you to press the 1,2,3,4 etc, you can’t! And I couldn’t enter my p/w either. Many other problems, and now they are sending me a 3rd Hotshot to try out. Not looking forward to this…

CWesleyG Says: January 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

Mine has only siezed once. Pulled the battery and reinstalled and all was well. No problems as described by others here. The touch btook getting used to and I wish editing errors in texts were easier… other than that the phone works great.

Dave_O Says: January 25, 2012 at 12:31 am

I bought 2 of these, neither one would acquire a signal when I tried to activate them. Verizon told me that the signal from the tower 600 yards away wasn’t strong enough to be captured by this phone. I have only one question. Where are you supposed to insert the coat hanger for the antenna? This phone is junk. Amazon is getting both of them back and I will continue with my old Motorola Razrs that show 3 or4 bars in the signal strenght meter. Makes you wonder why do they bother selling [email protected] like this?

Lizz Says: March 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

This is by far the absolute WORST phone I have ever owned. I HATE, HATE, HATE it. You’d be better off with two cans and a string between them.

The touch screen lags, it takes three hits before it actually recognized that you’ve touched the phone, and by that time the menu has changed and it takes you to an entirely different menu. Yesterday I lost signal on my phone and haven’t gotten it back yet. An hour on the phone with Verizon and the tech confirmed it’s the phone, not the service. It also gets “stuck” when trying to connect to my Bluetooth in my car. I’ve had to take the damn battery out to shut the phone off more times than actually shutting it down properly.

Unfortunately for me, I stupidly kept putting off calling Verizon and now three months have passed and the only thing Verizon will do is replace it in-kind… Oh good! A new piece of crap!!!! Instead, I activated my five year old decrepit phone and told them to keep their replacement.

Whatever you do, DON’T buy this phone!!!!

Jack Says: April 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

This phone is a piece of garbage. It takes forever to turn on, the voice quality is terrible, and it drops the connection at the drop of a hat. The software is not intuitive, and the virtual keyboard is a joke.

Whatever you do run away from this phone. My wife is stuck with it, with a year and a half to go.

NaNa Says: July 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I got this phone today and have been on the phone with Verizon trying to get it working. He did manage to get it to receive a call but told me he could barely hear me. He suggested that I return it and get a different one. He also said he wrote 2 paragraphs on my file and was going to write more after we hung up. You would not believe all the steps I had to go through to get it to work… I will not be getting this phone again.

kristen Says: September 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

uhhm may not be a smartphone but, iv had mine since the end of may and now it wont turn on even if i plug it up, iv never dropped it on a hard surface, or in water or spilled anything on it,im so annoyed cuz i need my phone at school to call my mom for things so im hoping it will turn back on but, if you do get a new phone i honestly dnt recommend the hotshot 🙁

CwesleyG Says: September 14, 2012 at 6:35 am

Kristen – I you have not done so, try pulling the battery and reinstalling!

FYI… My Pantech Hotshot is still working fine after 11 months. It is not the best phone on the market. It is fairly basic, but I’ve gotten used to it. My next phone will be a different one most likey. It has been reliable so far though.

The snap on case I bought from the Verizon store in jet black is a cheap POS though. Why did they make it white and paint it black? After just a month i my pocket it looked like crap. They could have injected black plastic into the mold and made it nice.

Mira Says: November 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm

This phone actually is a smartphone. They just don’t sell them as smartphones any more. I wanted to get a smartphone, but this one was free because it used to be. They pantech hotshot’s shelf life has expired, so they companies responsible for it are re-working the remaining phones into cheap, smart-looking basic phones. I have had it for… 19 months now and it still works fine. This person did do their research, it just hasn’t been recently updated.

CwesleyG Says: November 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I have been using my PANTECH Hotshot since its original release. PANTECH Hotshot is not a “smartphone” or a “feature phone” and never was. It has no wireless, no apps, no operating system like Android or iOS, but it can use a dataplan for internet and navigation. This phone can be owned and operated for phone calls and texting only. It does not require a data plan to use this phone. If you were sold one under false pretense try calling Verizon like I did and have the data plan turned off and refunded. It is slow, allows glitchy use of blue tooth features, has very minimal features all the way around, and the touch screen is a bit aggravating. It has been a reliable phone for calls and texting purposes.

Jack Says: November 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

The PanTech HotShot is not a “smart” phone and in reality it’s a “bad” phone. The software is not intuitive, and the call quality is very poor. I bought one for my wife in October 2011, can’t wait to get rid of it.

Peter McCall Says: November 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I’ve had my Pantech for about a year now and am completly happy with it. The call quality is very good, I don’t know what’s the problem with jack’s phone, I even took some decent pictures with it.
I pay the extra $10.00 to get the web access and can check my emails, Facebook, Ebay, I can even read the newspaper on there.
I used the VZ Navigator to find my way out on the Island.
For what it cost(Free) and what I pay per month I don’t know if it can be beat.
If you want to compare it to an iPhone it leaves a lot to be desired.
It suits me fine, I have a PC at home and a GPS for serious travel but it sure comes in handy in a pinch.

Art Says: November 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

This phone is not worth the money. Works poorly. Shuts itself off when it wants. Called support and was told to restore to default. That apparently is their answer to everything. Restored it, still shuts off when it wants. Not Media supported in Verizon cannot download ring tones. Worst investme3nt I ever made.

vex Says: December 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

this is the worse phone i have ever had

CwesleyG Says: December 12, 2012 at 6:45 am

Do your research so you know what you are buying before you buy. The phone works fine and does everything a basic phone should do. There is no better “feature phone” than this.

Doo Says: January 15, 2013 at 11:26 am

It’s phone is the worst phone ever made

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