Under the display is the navigation array, which consists of a circular toggle with a middle OK key, two soft keys, a dedicated e-mail key, and a dedicated VZ Navigator key. The toggle acts as a shortcut to three user-defined shortcuts on the up, left, and down directions. The right arrow leads to a My Shortcuts folder, which you can customize with up to four application shortcuts. Under that is the number keypad with the Send, Clear, and End/Power keys. The navigation array plus the keypad are very tactile; all keys are raised above the surface, and they're also quite roomy.
On the left side of the phone are the charger jack, a bright orange push-to-talk button, and the volume rocker. The microSD card slot, headset jack, dedicated speakerphone key, dedicated camera key, and dedicated voice command key are on the right spine. The camera lens is on the back, but there is no flash or self-portrait mirror.
The CDM8975 has a 500-entry phone book with room in each entry for five numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can organize contacts into groups and pair them with a photo for caller ID, or one of 27 polyphonic ringtones or alert tones, plus a no-ring option. You also get a separate phone book for PTT contacts. For PTT, you can have up to 500 individual entries, up to 100 group contacts, and up to 50 members per group. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, call timers, text and multimedia messaging, voice recording, a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a world clock, a notepad, voice dialing, a stop watch, and a speakerphone. You also get Web-based e-mail, mobile instant messaging, USB mass storage, PC syncing, and full Bluetooth capabilities. You can also download software upgrades over the air. Since it has A-GPS, you also get access to VZ Navigator.
The CDM8975 has EV-DO, which means it has access to Verizon's full range of broadband services like the V Cast streaming video service and the V Cast Music store with Rhapsody. As for the music player, it's housed within the V Cast Music interface. Options are quite generic; you have the typical music player controls, you can create and edit playlists, and set the songs on repeat or shuffle. You can load up to 8GB microSD cards for additional storage.
You can personalize the CDM8975 with graphics and ringtones, and you can download more via Verizon's wireless Web browser.
We tested the Verizon Wireless CDM8975 in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless's service. Call quality was very good, and we were quite impressed with the speakerphone quality as well. Callers could hear us loud and clear, and reported hardly any static or background sound. On our end, we could hear them very clearly. They could still tell we were on a cell phone, but otherwise it was fine.
Speakerphone calls, as we said, were quite impressive. Callers could hardly tell the difference when we switched to the speakerphone mode. On our end, there was plenty of volume and we could hear them loud and clear. This carried through with the performance of the PTT calls. We tested the PTT with the Verizon Wireless G'zOne Boulder, and we were definitely impressed with the quality.
We were also impressed with the performance of the EV-DO Rev. A. Web pages loaded very quickly, and we downloaded a 2MB song in around 50 seconds. Though V Cast videos still looked quite pixelated, we experienced little buffering time, if at all. The Verizon Wireless CDM8975 has a rated battery life of 4.75 hours and 3.7 days standby time. Our tests revealed a similar talk time of 4 hours and 30 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the V750 has a digital SAR of 1.3 watts per kilogram.