Verizon XV6700

Until recently I carried a Blackberry 7750 and a bluetooth phone. I am a Verizon Wireless user and no other network has been as good in my past experience. Both my devices reside on this network. Perhaps the new Cingular has a better network but for now I am sticking with Verizon.

Recently my phone died and I went to the Verizon store looking for a new one. Why not just use a single device — the 7750? It doesn’t support bluetooth and if I want a Blackberry that does I need to sacrifice screen size and also the slimness of the 7750.

Furthermore I don’t want to carry my Blackberry on the weekend. I feel stupid. Sure I work on the weekend but perhaps there is a fashion problem I have with having it connected to my belt in the mall on Sunday with the kids.

I know that this year will see a number of "Blackberry killers." These new devices are supposed to be better than Blackberries in a number of ways. They are also supposed to look better.

I was planning on buying another small phone for now and get a single integrated device later this year. Perhaps from Motorola I surmised.

Surprisingly I was blown away by a device Verizon had in is store. The Verizon XV6700 which is made by UT Starcom who purchased Audiovox.

This Windows mobile based device has a keyboard that slides out and does almost everything the Blackberry does. It also has a mini SD card slot that can currently hold up to 2 gigabytes of storage.

I purchased this phone and am trying to wean myself off the Blackberry.

Since I picked up the XV6700 it seems everyone else has one of these devices as well. I just ran into Andy Abramson who has one but on Sprint’s network.

So far my office is having trouble getting it to sync with Exchange and I am not sure if this is an anomaly or normal. Surprisingly Verizon tech support has no way to help you with this problem. I was able to get e-mail via IMAP4 but I can’t sync contacts or appointments.

Verizon has synching software on the device itself but it requires you to close the e-mail client on the device and manually send your messages — or your alternative is to have sends and received be automated no more often than at 20 minute intervals.

The device is far from perfect and freezes from time to time and has to be rebooted daily. It is also a battery hog.

Still, I am hooked. The additional memory allows me to download massive amounts of e-mail with local attachments. Furthermore I am able to view presentations on Pocket PowerPoint. This has already been very handy when practicing for a speech in the back of the room at a conference this week in Atlanta.

In short this device is the blackberry killer.

I need to be sure and express the following point though. My Blackberry is old and still does things this device doesn’t. Like give me instantaneous e-mail while sipping the battery. I still keep the 7750 on my waist because I am not sure the XV6700 can do everything I need it to. I spent $50 to buy a second battery to keep this device going for a full day.

In the end, the XV6700 is the device that is as close to perfect as it gets. It also works on WiFi networks but I am concerned it may not support WEP.

But here is the interesting side of the coin. This is becoming a cult device. Not unlike the iPod. The problem is that it has no brand. Sprint calls theirs something else and it is likely being sold by other providers as well. This device should have been called the Mobile office or something as catchy. This is perhaps the breakout device of Q1 and it is in stealth mode. I found it by accident.

It needs to be totally rebranded and consistently marketed by all service providers I am 100% certain this should happen as I already see others lusting after this device.

UT Starcom has a hit on its hands and it won’t benefit from the branding opportunity it has in the Verizon XV6700.

I hope the service providers catch on and work with UT Starcom to turn this device into the iPod of the mobile warrior space.

  • natas
    March 16, 2006 at 12:14 am

    The Blackberry 7250 supports bluetooth. I love mine.

  • natas
    March 16, 2006 at 12:17 am

    Oh and the 7250 also has EVDO if you get a brand new one or do a firmware update on the old ones. You can tether it with your laptop for $15 extra a month.

  • Dave Siegel
    March 16, 2006 at 10:35 am

    Much to the suprise of all those that know me, I still haven’t made the leap to getting a blackberry or similar device. I guess I am just picky, but I want everything in my handheld, and I don’t want to have to pay over $600 to get it. I want WiFi, Bluetooth, and SD cards with an MP3 player. Does such a thing exist for around $300 yet?

  • Joey
    March 21, 2006 at 9:08 am

    I read this thinking this device might be something worth a look. I do agree it is a slick looking device, and does appear to have some good features. However, I am not quite convinced it is a BlackBerry killer (as you so boldly stated).
    To start you really aren’t comparing apples to apples. you are comparing a brand new device to a 7750 which has been on the market for about 2 years. Technology moves fast especially mobile technology. What you are doing is comparing a new laptop to one from the late 90’s. It just doesn’t make sense.
    I found some points that you raised in your article odd especially when comparing functionality. You state that, the VX6700 the device crashes and has to be rebooted, you don’t always get your email pushed to you, you don’t have your calendar and contacts sync. These sure seem like basic functionality that you would look for in a “mobile office”. Also having to buy an extra battery to make it through the day (especially at $50) doesn’t seem like a great investment. Do you have to buy an additional charger to charge your second battery as well?
    I also have to question the longer term durability of the slide out keypad.
    I think I’ll stick to my 8700c – thanks.

  • Rich Tehrani
    March 21, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Your logic is not lost on me and blackberry killer applies to some but probably not the majority of users. The ability to download PowerPoints, PDFs and other documents and to be able to see them in their original format is a major differentiator that has made this device a keeper for me.
    Still the Blackberry after two years does some things this device can’t like continuous syncing of enormous amounts of e-mail per day without having to recharge the battery.
    In addition there is the ability to take photos, videos, store music, add massive amounts of memory. Still, this device is more of a mini laptop than a purpose- built e-mail reader. There are a number of tradeoffs here and not everyone should make them… Just those that realize they are giving up some things and gaining many others.

  • Frankie
    March 30, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    I have a question. Since this phone has a Microsoft OS can it download anything it wants and install given that it fixs in storage space.

  • Rich Tehrani
    March 30, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    I recently installed a 2 gigabyte mini SD card into the device meaning virtually unlimited storage.

  • Brent Woodward
    April 25, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Have you tried to tether it yet? I am going to purchase a Kyocera KR1 and a phone I can tether to it. the XV6700 is at the top of my list, but I have not spoken with anyone who has tethered one yet.
    Cheers,
    Brent

  • Rich Tehrani
    April 26, 2006 at 8:22 am

    I haven’t tried to tether it yet. That is a good question. Anyone else?

  • chicago verizon-user
    July 7, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and EV-DO use a lot of battery, but the biggest battery hog is playing multimedia; music or videos drain this sucker dry.
    There is a nice little freeware app for the pocket pc (WM5) called “switch” which allows you to shut down running programs without navigating thru to the system/memory management section. Otherwise all your programs stay open, even after hitting the [X] on the window.
    The XV6700 would really be the blackberry killer if Verizon didn’t lock down all the functionality of the phone so they can charge you more $$ to “add” features.

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  • Charles
    September 15, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    How do you make ringtones for the XV6700?

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  • Phil Wells
    October 18, 2006 at 2:43 am

    You cannot “tether” a 6700 or a Treo700w on Verizon’s network without being in violation of their terms of service. It’s silly and frustrating: you can tether a Blackberry or a Samsung i730 or a Motorola Q but not one of these. The only reason I can think of for VZW to not want us to do this is data usage; if a person is gonna download to a laptop all day, VZW wants their $60/mo + commish on a Cardbus EVDO card.
    But if they support tethering with an i730 (I just confimed this with VZW Level 3 data support) then that logic goes away. I’m sitting here, holding out $15 (what you’d pay in addition to the $45 base-fee for data on your smartphone) saying “Here, VZW, I’m handing you money, and I’ll do it every month. I wont pay you $45 for data on the 6700 AND $60 for data on the laptop, and I can download almost as much DirectPushed Exchange mail & attachments to my 2GB miniSD card as I can to my laptop, so what’s the big deal?
    If you Google for “tether XV6700” you’ll find >1 set of instructions for how to do this (the Treo700w uses $35 3rd party software) but you’ll also see the theoretical 5MB/day threshold for getting spotted by the datacops.
    And then there’s the ethics:I DID sign a contract (thought I didnt know about THIS limitation until I read it online) so I SHOULD abide by it or cancel it.
    Sprint is sounding like a better deal all the time – they have no such limitations.

  • Phil Wells
    October 18, 2006 at 2:51 am

    You cannot “tether” a 6700 or a Treo700w on Verizon’s network without being in violation of their terms of service. It’s silly and frustrating: you can tether a Blackberry or a Samsung i730 or a Motorola Q but not one of these. The only reason I can think of for VZW to not want us to do this is data usage; if a person is gonna download to a laptop all day, VZW wants their $60/mo + commish on a Cardbus EVDO card.
    But if they support tethering with an i730 (I just confimed this with VZW Level 3 data support) then that logic goes away. I’m sitting here, holding out $15 (what you’d pay in addition to the $45 base-fee for data on your smartphone) saying “Here, VZW, I’m handing you money, and I’ll do it every month. I wont pay you $45 for data on the 6700 AND $60 for data on the laptop, and I can download almost as much DirectPushed Exchange mail & attachments to my 2GB miniSD card as I can to my laptop, so what’s the big deal?
    If you Google for “tether XV6700” you’ll find >1 set of instructions for how to do this (the Treo700w uses $35 3rd party software) but you’ll also see the theoretical 5MB/day threshold for getting spotted by the datacops.
    And then there’s the ethics:I DID sign a contract (thought I didnt know about THIS limitation until I read it online) so I SHOULD abide by it or cancel it.
    Sprint is sounding like a better deal all the time – they have no such limitations.

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