- Eric M. Zeman , Phone Scoop
The hardware doesn't inspire us all that much. It's bigger and heavier than we prefer our phones to be, but this will surely not bother everyone.
Manufactured by Pantech, the Helio Ocean 2 takes the best elements of its predecessor, while eliminating many of the deficiencies, to produce a truly improved device that Ocean fans will appreciate immediately.
For those not in the know, the Helio Ocean was something of a phenom a few years back, due in part to its dual-slider form factor and renegade marketing campaign. It offered significant functionality at an affordable price.
Anyway, the Ocean 2 is a fun dual-slider; it slides vertically to reveal an alpha-numeric keypad, and also slides horizontally to reveal a comfortable, easy-to-use full QWERTY keyboard. It sports a 2.6” QVGA display that is crisp and clear.
Improvements over the original Ocean include an optical sensor touch pad which improves scrolling considerably, and more responsive keys which help eliminate errors. Overall, there are definite, meaningful changes that all users will surely appreciate.
The Ocean 2 also offers a tabbed HTML browser, 2GB of internal storage, and an updated messaging dashboard, definitely adding panache to high tech search and communicate functionality. For the youth market interested in finding and talking to friends, the Ocean 2 offers a fun way to do just that.
In addition to a thoughtful and imaginative form factor, the Ocean 2 has built-in GPS with Google Maps and GPS tagging (buddy beacons), 3.5mm headset jack (so you can use your favorite stereo headset), and comes pre-loaded with the critically acclaimed Opera Mini mobile browser.
The Ocean 2 is targeted toward the young and provides considerable functionality and ease of use. Thumbs up!
Pros: Fun form factor, feature-rich, powerful.
Cons: Thick and somewhat heavy. There is a small learning curve involved in learning the deeper functions.
Verdict: Kudos to Pantech for improving upon a clever phone, making it better and easier. If you are looking for a social-networking phone that offers ease of texting and a boatload of features but is NOT a smartphone, take a look at the Ocean 2.
Reviews (9/10 Avg. rating)
While Virgin Mobile's Ocean 2 does offer up improvements compared to the original, it doesn't go quite far enough
With all of its capabilities, there's no doubt that the Ocean 2 is Virgin/Helio's flagship phone for 2009. The software is well done, and the incorporated social networking and messaging features are well-matched to the form factor of the phone.
The hardware doesn't inspire us all that much. It's bigger and heavier than we prefer our phones to be, but this will surely not bother everyone. It's hard to make a dual slider much smaller than the Ocean 2. Having access to both a QWERTY and 12-key make the Ocean 2 a capable phone and one that lets you choose the fastest way for input... Full review
It's offering a lot more than an exclusive MySpace app to lure in users this time
Kicking us out of apps once the phone is closed is still as annoying as ever, as was a tendency for our review unit to sometimes soft-reset, usually while trying to exit or enter one of the included apps. We thought the external hardware design changes were a sum improvement over the original, and the software tweaks allowed us to get a lot more of what we want out of our experience than the original Ocean did when it first launched. Still, without serious third party developer support and a better default browser experience (now with tabs, but not much else) it's not quite the smartphone-f... Full review