Beyond the essentials, the Accolade offers a functional assortment of features. You get Bluetooth, speaker-independent voice commands and dialing, a universal search feature, direct access to Bing Mobile (Microsoft sure has its fingers in lots of pies), support forand Verizon's Family Locater, Web-based POP3 e-mail, an airplane mode, USB mass storage, and PC syncing. You also can set the phone to read out numbers as you type the on the keypad.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in thee resolutions (1,280x960 pixels, 640x480 pixels, and 320x240 pixels). You also can use a self-timer, the 2x digital zoom, a brightness meter, a night mode and a noise reduction feature, and choose from four white-balance settings, four color effects, and three shutter sounds, plus a silent option. And for really advanced shutterbugs, there's an option for spot metering. The Accolade does not record video.
Photo quality is just average. Our images were dark even when we had enough light, and colors were muted. Image noise was kept to a minimum, though. When finished shooting, you can transfer your images off the phone or save them to the internal memory. The Accolade has about 15MB of user-accessible storage. It doesn't come with any games, but you can download BREW titles and additional customization options via the WAP 2.0 browser.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was satisfactory all around. The signal was strong and clear, the volume was loud, and our callers sounded natural. We could talk in a variety of environments and we didn't encounter static or interference from other electronic devices. If we had one complaint, and this is minor, it's that some callers sounded breathy at the highest volume levels.
Our callers were pleased, as well. Though they could tell that we were using a cell phone, they didn't report any significant problems. They could understand us even when we were speaking in a noisy place and they said that background sounds were kept to a minimum. Speakerphone quality wasn't quite as sharp. The volume was loud, but voices were a bit distorted. Bluetooth headset calls were fine. The Accolade is compatible with M4/T4 hearing aids.
The Accolade has a rated battery life of 7.6 hours talk time and 28.3 days standby time. It has a tested talk time of 7 hours and 17 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Accolade has a digital SAR of 1.01 watts per kilogram.