The phone supports text and multimedia messaging in addition to e-mail and voice phone calls, but there's no built-in camera (the Audiovox PPC6600 offers an integrated VGA camera).Using Sprint service in the San Francisco Bay Area and while roaming in Mexico City, we tested the dual-band Audiovox PPC6601 (CDMA 800/1900) and were pleased with the call quality when holding the phone to our ear. The included stereo headset made it easier to hear callers in noisy environments. Unfortunately, the built-in speakerphone didn't fare as well since callers said they could hear a bit of feedback.
As a PDA, the device was responsive; however, being a Pocket PC, it began to slow down when multiple applications ran simultaneously. Battery life was admirable. In CNET Labs tests, where we repeatedly play a video clip with sound and backlight at high and all wireless functions turned off, the PPC6601 lasted a little more than five hours. Since our drain test was designed to deplete the cell as soon as possible, you'll get more mileage out of your battery under normal use.
Sprint's 1xRTT data network was reliable if not blazingly fast. The PPC6601 was able to quickly make the data connection. Low-bandwidth stuff, such as e-mail and even attachments, transferred fairly quickly. However, as with most mobile devices, surfing the Web exercises some patience as pages load more slowly. Also, complex sites such as CNET crashed the browser. Unfortunately, we weren't able to test out the EVDO data connections.
The PPC-6601 is rated for only 3.6 hours of talk time and just six days of standby time. Our testing indicated that those numbers about right. You can buy a spare battery to extend your time between charges if needed. Still, most road warriors will find that the PPC6601 just doesn't last long enough for them to get the job done. According to the FCC, this device has a SAR rating of 1.3 watts per kilogram.
CNET Labs project leader Dong Van Ngo and Senior Editor William O'Neal contributed to the performance analysis.