20th March 2006

UTStarcom xv6700 

I finally did the unthinkable. I upgraded my phone before I was eligible, and that cost me an extra $250. Why?

To recap, In July 2005, I did an upgrade from my 2 year old Kyocera 7135 clamshell PDA/phone to the brand new Samsung i730, which had a full keyboard, broadband internet access, and the Windows Mobile OS.

After my 15 day trial was full of too many problems, I tried to switch back to my Kyocera, which I loved, but was told that my Kyocera had no “GPS” and it was a “federal law” that they couldn’t activate it again.

My only in stock option was a Palm Treo 650, so I took it. I likely could have argued, but frankly, I liked the thumb keyboard, and had become pretty accustomed to replying to emails on the Samsung.

Since last July the Treo 650 has been fine, but the lack of broadband was frustrating. 2 weeks of using EVDO in Las Vegas with the buggy Samsung was still on my mind. Now Verizin wireless broadband is here in Portland.

Also, with the Palm 650, my actual cell number was used to access the web, and I couldn’t make or receive calls while using it. That has really become necessary, as I invariably have to check voicemail after a short email session.

Sinmce I just got a brand new warranty replacement Treo, I took the opportunity Friday to sell it for $270 on Ebay, and spent $520 on the XV6700. Why did I get the XV7600 instead of the brand new Treo 700?

I had read all the reviews and comparisons lately, and had decided that the reception, voice/call quality and the strength of operation as a PDA was better with the XV6700.

The Treo seemed to be liked a little better as a phone, but the XV6700 was rated stronger as a PDA. Since I’m ultimately looking for a laptop replacement, with word processing, voice recording, Mobile Windows etc., the XV7600 was the choice for me.

My final decision was made after reading this blog post, where search engine pundit Danny Sullivan pointed out a ZDnet review calling the Treo 700 marred by flaws. I hadn’t seen that, but this post from Chris Pirillo was definitely the best roundup of the XV6700 that I found.

So, I plunked down the cash Saturday, and after snowboarding with the kids and dinner out, I just installed the Microsoft Active Sync software last night.

Day 1, yesterday: Active Sync installed fine, my contacts appointments and everything else I needed were there just fine.

Easy email setup, and I’m on my way. Where? To look on the floor for the stylus, that’s where.  It seems the stylus is too narrow for the slot, and comes out easily. So easily, in fact that now, (Day 2), I found it in a parking lot on the way back to my car. 

Coincidentally, it was the same parking lot as the Verizon store, so I walked up to the demo XV6700, and tried my stylus in that one. Guess what? It fit better! Their stylus (yes, not stolen) also  So, my stylus slot is bored out too large?  Are you kidding me?

The line was really too long to deal with, since I was on my way elsewhere, so maybe I’ll just wrap it in scotch tape…

Besides the stylus issue, I think I’ll like it. I’m clumsy with the buttons, but I’ll get used to them. Reception is better than with my Treo 650, and the web and email are much faster too.

The reviews on the camera are great, and with a built in flash and two lens settings, I may use it a lot.

The larger keyboard is nice, but I’ll still have to find a folding keyboard, assuming I keep it after my trial. Then again, one of these would sure be neat…

Once again, as I did with the Samsung, I’ll be attempting to do battle with voice recognition, which will really make this whole pda/phone tool complete.

This time though Verizon knew better than to give away something free that won’t work, and I’ll have to pay for Microsoft Voice Command. I think that should be standard issue from Microsoft and Verizon, but I guess at $520 there just wasn’t enough profit in it…

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    One Comment    

    • XV6700 says:

      After 2 years, my XV6700 is beginning to feel heavy and dated. As it should. I’m eyeing the XV6800 and the i760 as replacements. I was hoping that the replacement phone for the xv6700 would have GPS, but it doesn’t appear that Verizon will have a GPS windows mobile phone any time soon.

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