XV6800: Why Verizon Wireless Opened Up

There could not be a happier person on the face of the earth than I regarding Verizon Wireless opening up its network. And while I thought I pegged some of the reasons for Verizon making this decision in a recent blog post, the actual reason is probably a great deal simpler.
My take? The XV6800 handset.
You see, the XV6700 handset while rife with problems such as slowdowns and freezes was a great product for its time. The comfortable mobile keyboard, the widescreen 320×240 view and the Microsoft Office compatible applications made this device a winner. Now, about 2 years later, Verizon and HTC, the company behind this device have come up with the 6800, a phone with so few new features over the 6700, it isn’t really even worth writing about.

Regardless, I started to jot down the new features of the 6800 but it quickly became more interesting to write about paint drying or erosion.
It is obvious with the release of this new smartphone that Verizon execs had a meeting and said in unison, “We give up.” They continued, “If we can’t produce a real upgrade on a flagship handset in two years, it is time to throw in the towel. Let’s open up the network” 🙂
While I am kidding ( a little anyway) this is especially true in light of the fact Apple came out of nowhere and designed a phone that blows away everything currently in the Verizon store.
I mean is it so difficult to make a bigger screen? I understand part of the problem here is the Microsoft OS but I don’t care. Why does this phone need to have an inferior browsing experience compared to an iPhone? It has been two years. What takes so long?
So in short, if you want to know why Verizon Wireless opened up their network, just look to the 6800… The lack of incremental improvements is enough to make anyone want to give up.
The saddest part about this story is my Verizon Wireless contract is up and the 6800 is probably the best replacement for the 6700 which I currently use. But how on earth, I must reiterate the question — was the company not able to come up with a bigger screen?
This phone is sad… Really sad. HTC should look at the Nokia 8100 for ideas.
Another option to consider is the Verizon Voyager “iPhone Killer” but so far the specs are not so impressive. The screen resolution is a bit bigger than the 6800 so perhaps this is a good interim solution until something better comes out.
I will keep you posted on the decision for sure so check back often. And as always, your comments are appreciated.
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  • Rachel Leibowitz
    December 18, 2007 at 8:09 am

    I’m extremely interested in what you ultimately decided to do here.
    I couldn’t be more pissed off the charging port on my Moto Q (yeah, I was *trying* to wait for the Open Network. aside from the fact that Verizon has launched a lot of crap in the way of smartphones ever since June 2006, when I got it) broke last night. So now, I suppose I have a couple choices going to the store and asking for my New Every 2 early so I can get the XV6800 or getting another Q with insurance, and waiting to see what happens in early 2008. Sadly, both options seem to be a waste of money. What did you do when you upgraded?

  • Rich Tehrani
    December 18, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Sadly I think the 6800 is what I will be purchasing. I don’t want to give up on the verizon network and I don’t want a smaller keyboard. Hope this helps.

  • PJ
    April 11, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    They had a bigger screen. The XV6600 was great. In fact, I kept it for as long as I could until my third replacement broke and the insurance company offered me a brand new xv6800. The screen isn’t as big but the rest of the features I gained made up for it. So, they did have a bigger screen at one point. I don’t know why they can’t re-invent the big screen.

  • Billy Wiz
    July 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I am still using my Samsung I-700. Samsung’s 1st attempt at a PDA smartphone that came out about 6 years ago?! I have tried to update it with the 3 different model phones from Verizon over the last 5 years and haven’t found one that is better. I returned them all within the allowed time. All had low battery life, locked up and have little screens.
    WTF! Why can’t we have a PocketPC version of the IPhone? I don’t want to go over to the dark side. But for $199…I just might. I even have a spare Samsung I-700 I bought on eBay for $50. I has been the best phone I have ever had… I would recommend this model to anyone. Buy a used one for a few dollars on eBay and see for yourself!
    Billy Wiz

  • Shawn
    July 26, 2008 at 1:35 am

    I am very disappointed in the preformance of my 6700 and was very excited to read of this phone only to see many reviews state the same issues as mine…slow preformance, weak speaker, poor phone preformance, ect.
    This phone could be so much more functional then the iphone if they just fixed 3-4 things!
    It appears this is just and updated look of my phone. I check out my friends 6900 and the speed seemed OK, it didn’t have the keyboard (no biggie for me) but it lacked wi-fi…boo!

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