The Shade has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for four phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can assign callers to groups and can pair them with a photo and one of 12 polyphonic ringtones. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm lock, a stopwatch, a world clock, and a note pad.
Beyond the basics you'll find Verizon chat, voice commands and dialing, USB cable support, an airplane mode, phone as modem support, VZ Navigator (requires a monthly fee), a voice recorder, and Web-based POP3 e-mail. You'll also find Bluetooth, though the profiles are limited. There's no stereo Bluetooth, and object push is available only for certain files.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions, from 1,280x960 down to 160x120. Other options include a self-timer, a brightness meter, four white balance modes, three color effects, and three shutter sounds plus a silent option. Photo quality is average--though colors were natural and there was little image noise, our images were rather dark. The Shade includes about 59MB of user-accessible memory for storing your work. The camera does not shoot video.
You can personalize the Shade with a variety of display themes, wallpaper, banners, and clock formats. More options and additional ringtones are available from Verizon using the WAP 2.0 browser. The handset doesn't come with any games, but Verizon offers a selection of BREW titles for purchase.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Nokia Shade in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was quite acceptable. The signal was strong and clear, voices sounded natural, and the volume was loud. We had a bit of trouble hearing when there was a lot of background noise, but it wasn't a huge problem. On the whole, we were quite pleased with the Shade's performance.
On their end callers said we sounded good. Most could tell we were using a cell phone, but few had major complaints beyond some background and wind noise. Automated calling systems also could understand us most of the time. Though we appreciated the one-touch access to the speakerphone, call quality over the external speaker was rather poor. The volume doesn't get very loud, and there was a moderate amount of voice distortion. Callers had trouble hearing us as well.
The Shade has a rated battery life of 5 hours talk time and 15 days standby time. It has a tested talk time of 4 hours and 53 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Shade has a digital