Verizon launches the Pantech Perception, a 4.8-inch, $100 phone, hobbled by Android 4.0

Pantech PerceptionVerizon has added a new, budget Android phone to its line-up of 4G LTE devices. The Pantech Perception is its name, and according to the network, the device should be on sale right now. The Perception’s spec sheet is a mixed bag, as on the surface things look good, but dig a little deeper and there are one or two disappointments.

Let’s start with the display. The phone is equipped with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, which has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution; which is equivalent to the panel fitted to the Samsung Galaxy S3. However, inside the phone is a slightly less impressive dual-core, 1.5GHz processor, assisted by 1GB of RAM.

Flip the phone over and you’ll find the lens to an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash and the ability to shoot 1080p video, while above the screen sits a 2-megapixel camera for video calls. There’s 16GB of storage space inside the Perception, plus a microSD card slot can be used to add another 32GB.

The Perception is a global phone which connects to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and the feature list is completed by Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and a 2020mAh battery. Interestingly, the phone comes with Galaxy S4-like motion controls, where gestures made over the top of the screen can be used to answer calls, change the song playing, browse the photo gallery, or flick through your contact list.

You may be wondering where the downside of the Perception is, and it’s the operating system, which is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Ouch. Verizon does say an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is coming, but the lack of even an approximate date is a concern.

If the old OS doesn’t worry you, the Pantech Perception can be purchased online and in-store with Verizon now, and it’s priced at $100 with a two-year contract, and is also eligible for a $50 mail-in rebate.