Pantech’s sleek Pop Up Note looks cool, but company woes make its release uncertain

Pantech has been looking at Samsung’s Galaxy Note series with envious eyes for a while, and its latest attempt to draw some attention away from the Korean giant’s, um, giant phone is called the Pop Up Note. Vietnamese tech site Tinhte.vn has published an extensive preview of the Pop Up Note, and it looks very sleek indeed.

The chassis appears to be made of metal, and sandwiched between the touchscreen and a Galaxy S5-style perforated rear panel. Both black and white models are pictured. The Pop Up Note name, which may not be final, comes from the phone’s stylus, or more accurately, the way it’s stored.

In an accompanying video, to release the stylus from its holder, you push a button on the side of the device and out it pops from the top. Hardly revolutionary, but it looks fun, and keeps the chassis free from ugly cutouts to make it easier to pull the stylus free. Smart thinking on Pantach’s part. Pictures of the phone show a rear mounted fingerprint scanner too, a feature seen on previous phones from the manufacturer.

Sadly, the rest of the spec is a little underwhelming. The screen measures 5.5-inches and has a 1080p resolution, while the processor is a quad-core Snapdragon 800 running at 2.3GHz, with 2GB of RAM. There’s also a 13-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 2.1-megapixel camera above the screen, plus 16GB of internal memory. It’s not terrible, but with the LG G3 and potentially, the Galaxy Note 4 too, upping the phablet game substantially, the Pop Up Note could get lost in the melee.

Related: Read about the Galaxy Note 4 here, and see what Pantech could be up against

This is bad news for Pantech, which has told Korean networks if they don’t “commit to large scale purchases of its phones,” then it’ll be forced to declare bankruptcy. Last year, Samsung invested in the company, and Pantech has also broken into the U.S. market on a few occasions, but it’s clearly still struggling to compete with Samsung and LG.

There’s no indication the Pop Up Note will be put on sale internationally, or if Pantech’s situation doesn’t improve, that it’ll ever see the light of day at all.

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