Of course the most important feature of the Verizon Wireless Escapade is that it has a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chipset. You can use the Verizon Wireless network when you're in the country and when you're abroad you can use the preloaded SIM card on any GSM network in the world. Verizon Wireless doesn't have roaming agreements with other carriers in the U.S., so you can't use it locally; only in other countries.
The Verizon Wireless Escapade comes with a 2-megapixel camera. It doesn't have a self-portrait mirror, but you can use the external display as a "subdisplay" in the camera settings for a self-portrait viewfinder. You can take pictures in four resolutions (1,600x1,200, 1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240), six white-balance presets, and four color effects. Other camera settings include the brightness, the choice of three shutter sounds plus a silent mode, and two capture modes (landscape or portrait). Photo quality was surprisingly good for a simple camera. Images looked sharp and vibrant, albeit with a slightly blue tinge. There is no camcorder in the Escapade.
You can personalize the Escapade with a variety of wallpaper, graphics, and alert tones. It doesn't come with any games. If you want more customization options and games, you can purchase and download them from Verizon via the wireless Web browser.
We tested the Verizon Wireless Escapade in San Francisco using the Verizon Wireless network, and we were very impressed with the call quality. On our end, callers sounded loud and clear with a natural-sounding voice. There was hardly any static or noise in the background.
On their end, callers could hardly tell we were on a cell phone. They said we came through crystal clear and voice quality was very close to landline quality. Our voice sounded natural, and we went through automated voice response systems without issue. Surprisingly, speakerphone calls were quite good, too. Callers said the speakerphone quality didn't sound too different from calls not on a speakerphone. There was no need to speak closely to the mic for people to hear us clearly. On our end, the speaker sounded fine: a little harsh and tinny, but not that bad.
The Verizon Wireless Escapade has a rated battery life of 3.8 hours talk time and 13.2 days standby time. Our tested talk time came close at 3 hours and 15 minutes. According to the FCC radiation tests, the Escapade has a digital SAR of 1.29 watts per kilogram.