The broad global coverage is of huge benefit to anyone with a well-stamped passport, but like with everything else from Verizon, there are quite a lot of catches. As it supports only the 900 and 1800 GSM bands, you won't be able to use the Z6c on GSM networks in the United States or Canada (850 and 1900 are the GSM bands used in North America). So don't get any bright ideas about buying the phone and trying to unlock it for use on AT&T or T-Mobile. Also, before you leave the country you must contact Verizon to add an international calling plan to your Z6c service. International calls range from $1.29 to $2.99 per minute in more than 180 countries and international text messages range from 25 cents to 50 cents per sent message (received messages are 5 cents to 15 cents each). Verizon's text-messaging charges are mostly on par with T-Mobile's and AT&T's rates, but its roaming rates are more expensive. For example, T-Mobile only charges 49 cents per minute for some European countries.
Lastly, you must also obtain a SIM card before you travel, as the Z6c does not come with one in the box. The SIM card is available from the carrier and comes free of charge. But on the downside, it will be locked to Verizon's GSM roaming partners. So from the outset you can forget about ditching the SIM card and using a prepaid card for use in a specific country. However, Verizon promises that if your account is in good standing for 60 days, then it will unlock the phone for you. That's a nice touch.
With the Z6c's camera you can take pictures in five resolutions (from 1,600x1,200 down to a special Picture ID size), and choose from three quality settings. Other features include a self timer, three color effects, brightness and white balance settings, a digital zoom, nine fun frames, and three shutter sounds (plus a silent option).The camcorder shoots clips in two resolutions (176x144 pixels and 128x96 pixels) with sound; editing options are similar to the still camera. Videos meant for multimedia messages are capped at about 30 seconds; otherwise, you can shoot for as long as the available memory permits. The Z6c offers a solid 40M of integrated memory, but we suggest you purchase a memory card just the same. The handset can handle cards up to 4GB. Photo quality was quite good with sharp details and vivid colors.
As an EV-DO phone, the Z6c supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services, including the
You can personalize the Z6c with a variety of wallpapers, display themes, and alert sounds. You can also type a personalized banner. For more customization options,and additional ringtones, you can download them from Verizon using the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Unfortunately, the Z6c doesn't come with any integrated games, so you'll have to buy titles if you want to play.
We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO; GSM 900/1800) phone in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was respectable on the whole. We enjoyed good clarity that was free of static. Voices sounded natural as well, and we didn't notice any interference from other electronic devices. Our only complaint was that the phone seemed to pick up some background and wind noise. Also, the volume could be a bit louder. We did not have the opportunity to test the international GSM service.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine. They could hear and understand us without any effort. We didn't have issues with automated calling systems, either. Some of our friends reported the same background noise issue, but it wasn't enough to be bothersome. Speakerphone calls were decent, but quality was best when we were in a quiet room. As with regular calls, the volume was a bit low.
V Cast videos were mediocre. The display is too small to view comfortably for extended periods, and the overall quality isn't the best we've seen on a Verizon phone. Movements weren't very fluid, and we noticed a lot of pixelation. Also, colors were rather blocky; you see a distinct outline between different shades. On the upside, the sound quality was fine. The volume was loud enough and the audio was in sync with the video. Similarly, the sound quality from the music player was satisfactory. The EV-DO connection was relatively strong, too; we downloaded a 1.58MB music track in 35 seconds.