Underneath the display is the navigation array, which consists of two soft keys, a four-way toggle that can be mapped to four user-defined shortcuts, a middle OK key, a Send, and End/Power key. There's also a Clear key that doubles as the speakerphone key. The overall keypad on the CDM-8905 is fairly middle-of-the-road; the keys aren't too spaced apart, nor are they too crowded. And while we liked that the keys are raised slightly above the surface for easy dialing, we would've appreciated it if the keys had a little more "give" when pressed.
The CDM-8905 has a pretty small address book with room for only 500 contacts. Each entry can hold five numbers and two e-mail addresses though, so it's not that bad. You can then organize the callers by groups and assign each entry with 1 of 16 ringtones or 1 of 20 alert tones. Features on the CDM-8905 are pretty limited, as to be expected; it includes text messaging, a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, a calendar, a calculator, and an alarm clock. There's also dedicated folder just for emergency contacts, if you want instant access to a certain phone number.
Personalization options are pretty limited due to the lack of a wireless Web browser. However, you get a limited number of wallpapers, color themes, and sounds to choose from.
We tested the UTStarcom CDM-8905 in San Francisco using the Verizon Wireless network. Call quality was outstanding; there was little to no static or fuzz in the background, and callers thought we sounded very close to landline quality. Speakerphone quality was also quite good, though callers said we sounded a bit more muted.
The CDM-8905 has a rated battery life of 3.16 hours talk time and 12.9 days standby time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 3 hours and 33 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the CDM-8905 has a digital SAR rating of 1.32 watts per kilogram.