A mobile phone that is "recommended" by Consumer Guide magazine, the Panasonic Allure is a lightweight, no-frills TDMA/AMPS mobile phone, usually offered as an option under certain AT&T Wireless mobile phone plans.

Available in silver or black colour tones, and weighing in at 2.7 ounces, it is one of the lightest mobile phones available. Although it does skimp on some features (games, etc.) and has somewhat primitive sofware, there are some convenient functional features:
  • Speakerphone: for hands-free use or for when surrounding noise is loud. Although the Allure's speakerphone does not work as well as the one on my prior phone (the Nextel i85s), it is still generally suitable for most scenarios... YMMV
  • User selectable ringtones, colours and pictures: Allure users can select and apply each of these qualities on a local or global basis, applying them as a system-wide feature, or can assign one or more of each to individual phone number. Thus, when a given caller dials the Allure, the qualities appear for each user.
  • Voice Command and Voice Memo: Ability to trigger certain command via voice, and the ability to record an approximately 15-second voice memo that can be retrieved at a later time.

As stated before, the software does feels a bit primitive; Every phone I have ever owned allowed me to hit a particular number on the keypad twice or more to scan through the alphabet letters on the key - hit "2" once for "A", twice for "B", etc. -- but the Allure does not allow this, it only goes as far as the first letter on the key, meaning that if you have a lot of "A"s in your phonebook, and want to get to "Bob", you have a lot of scrolling to do.

Furthermore, this phone is not internet-ready, although it can be used to send text messages. This is surely a disadvantage for some, though I was happy to give up internet functionality. Finally, while the phone itself feels fairly durable, the paint on the outside chips very easily, and the phone scratches up fairly quickly.

In the end, the Panasonic Allure is a decent phone, if you're looking for quality without a lot of excessive features, the Allure is a wholly suitable option. As mentioned in the begin, it seems to be offered only by AT&T Wireless, though... and even they seem to be phasing it out, as they attempt to move from a TDMA network to GSM.

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