Chances are if you’re new to the smartphone game, the name Pantech means very little. Even for those who have followed the industry for some time it might be hard to place the producer’s products. This is, of course, because South Korea’s third largest OEM has been out of the spotlight for almost two years, partially owning to the fact that it was unable to find a buyer and therefore under court receivership. The company was eventually sold to Solid Consortium in November of last year.
Today in South Korea however, Pantech made its triumphant return, even if the specific smartphone is a bit sparse on specs. The IM-100 is a svelte 7.8m thick and weighs just 130 grams. It packs a metallic body, a FHD display, a Qualcomm Snadragon 430 SoC, 2GB of RAM, a 3,o00 mAh non-removable battery, and Qualcomm’s latest audio silicon, the WCD9326.
The phone makes use of a jog dial on the right side to allow for altering the volume, and is defiantly different from the standard-affair volume keys or rockers on seemingly every other phone.
It also supports wireless charging, via a pod called “the Stone” (pictured above) which can also function as a 2.1 channel Bluetooth speaker.
The phone will be available later this month with all three of Korea’s major carriers expected to sell it. The initial production run will see as many as 20,o00 units produced, with a target of 300,000 in total. The IM-1oo is estimated to cost 449,000 won, or roughly $389.
At a press conference held in Seoul earlier today, Pantech President Moon Ji-wook said that,
We have returned after the last two regretful year. We needed an overhaul and now we will focus on providing products that satisfy the customers, not ourselves.
Perhaps in a fitting display of product naming at its finest, even the device’s model number is more than what it seems, as according to The Korea Times,
The name IM-100 also suggests the English phrase “I’m back,” since the number 100 in Korean is pronounced quite similar to the English word “back.”
What do you think? Were you a Pantech fan way back when, or is this the first mention of the OEM’s name? At one point it made some quality pieces, though unfortunately keen competition from Samsung and LG – along with the rest of the mobile industry – saw that ship sale. Perhaps now Pantech can return and be stronger than ever.