Don't call it a joke of a phone. Well, okay, go ahead and call it a joke if you want to, but it's true -- Verizon is calling its latest text-centric dumbphone from Pantech the "Jest." Features include a 2.6-inch display, optical d-pad (pretty unique for a phone in this market segment), a 2 megapixel cam with video capture, and the usual host of built-in social apps for services like instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. It launches today online -- for free, no less -- while stores will get it on July 5 for $69.99 on contract after rebate. Follow the break for the press release.

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VERIZON WIRELESS AND PANTECH INTRODUCE THE PANTECH JEST™

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – Sizzle up your summer with the latest slider phone from Verizon Wireless and Pantech. Today, the companies announced the Pantech Jest™, a new feature phone by Personal Communications Devices, LLC, is available online today. Ideal for staying connected in style, this sassy slider allows customers to manage ringtones, wallpapers and games from personal networks.

Key features:

· 2.6" 262K color TFT display

· Self Icon personalization to create icons and banners and display an electronic sign on your phone display

· Optical directional key with swipe motion technology

· Built-in 2.0-megapixel camera takes high-quality pictures and records video

· Text, picture, video and voice messaging

· Mobile IM and Chat for quick text conversations


Lifestyle features:

· Social Beat pre-loaded for direct connections to Facebook®, MySpace® and Twitter™

· Media Center – Download ringtones, wallpapers and games from your network to your phone

· VZ Navigator® for detailed maps in real time with audible turn-by-turn directions to millions of points of interest in the United States

· V CAST Music with Rhapsody® (subscription and PC downloads) digital music service. Download soundtracks and albums or sync playlists with a PC

· Mobile Web browsing capabilities for news, sports, weather and e-mail, providing access to up-to-date information when users subscribe to Internet service

· Stereo Bluetooth® technology for wireless connections between electronic devices; connects to Bluetooth-enabled headsets and hands-free systems


Pricing and availability:

· The Jest is available online at www.verizonwireless.com today for free through a special online promotion. It will be in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning July 5 for $69.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.

· For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

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