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October 12, 2013

Pantech Unveils New Stylus Smartphone

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

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Pantech unveiled its latest smartphone on Thursday, the first since the ailing firm's founder Park Byeong-yeop resigned over the company's nosediving sales.

The Vega Secret Note targets the bigger premium handset market where it competes with Samsung's Galaxy Note.

It sports a 5.9-inch screen, which is bigger than most smartphones but smaller than a tablet PC, and comes with a stylus pen.

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Pantech's new vice president Lee Joon-woo said, "Large-screen smartphones account for 30 to

40 percent of the domestic smartphone market, so we're targeting this particular market segment with an array of functions that differentiates us from others."

One of them is better privacy protection, as the product's name suggests. It has a function which requires a fingerprint scan to access call history and saved phone numbers in the directory.

Pantech marketing chief Park Chang-jin said, "I hope one percent of the Korean population choose the Vega Secret Note," implying that the firm's sales goal is 500,000 units.

The price is around W900,000 (US$1=W1,074).

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October 10. 2013

Smartphone security gets simpler with the new Pantech Vega Secret Note

By Charles Ripley, IDG Creative Lab
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Want mobile security? You got it. Pantech today is launching the Vega Secret Note, a new mobile device that comes with a unique feature that will delight those who want to keep their mobile data private.

A fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone serves dual purposes, not just unlocking the handset's lock screen but also "revealing a hidden set of data," including phonebook entries, photos, or music you'd like to keep private if, say, you are letting someone else borrow your device to make a call or send an email. If you're in the habit of amusing children with Android games on your mobile device, the ability to prevent them from sending wayward emails to your boss by hiding his address book entry behind this secondary security layer may be a godsend.
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The Pantech Vega Secret Note is part of the growing phablet space, standing in the gray area between smartphones and tablets alongside devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note series. The Secret Note is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, includes 3GB of RAM, and has 32GB of integrated storage, with microSD card expansion available if you need extra space.

Dual cameras offer a whopping 13 megapixels of resolution on the rear-facing lens and 2 megapixels up front. The screen measures 5.9 inches diagonally and offers 1080p resolution across its 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. Finally, a capacitive stylus (again, like the Galaxy Note line) called the V Pen is included for users who want finer control over the details in drawings or more accurate handwriting recognition. A 3200mAh battery promises extensive running time, and the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system is preinstalled.

The handset is designed to support the new LTE-A high-speed data networking technology and includes a mobile TV system similar to the popular Digital Multimedia Broadcasting service that's available on Pantech's home turf in Korea. Pricing has yet to be announced in the States, but Korean pricing is reportedly set at KRW900,000, or about US$840.

The Secret Note's security upgrades are especially important given the increasing prevalence of smartphone and tablet theft. And pricey mobile devices themselves aren't the only things at risk; the data stored on them is as well. Ensuring your smart phone has a password set is the first step to guaranteeing its data remains safe and secure. But these passwords are often short or easy to guess. Adding biometrics like a fingerprint reader puts up a big barrier between a potential thief and your private information.
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