Verizon Wireless XV6900 review: Verizon Wireless XV6900

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Verizon Wireless XV6900 is an attractive and compact smartphone with a cool touch interface. It's also equipped with Bluetooth, EV-DO, Windows Mobile 6, and a 2-megapixel camera.

The Bad The XV6900 lacks Wi-Fi, and unlike the Sprint HTC Touch, Verizon doesn't offer its entertainment services or preloaded instant-messaging clients on the device.

The Bottom Line Verizon Wireless XV6900 is a stunning smartphone with a cool touch interface and generally good performance, but the Sprint version offers a slightly better value for your money.

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Verizon Wireless made a number of smartphone announcements at CTIA 2008, and we're slowly seeing the roll out of the new devices, the first being the Verizon Wireless XV6900. Available now for $249.99 (with a two-year contract and after rebates), the XV6900 is basically the HTC Touch with Verizon's branding. It does get a fresh coat of paint and the overall look is quite pleasing to the eye. However, beauty can only get you so far. While the core functions and features--Windows Mobile 6, Bluetooth, EV-DO--remain intact and general performance was good, the Sprint HTC Touch is a better value as it offers preloaded instant-messaging clients and support for the carrier's multimedia services, whereas the XV6900 does not. Therefore, if you're not locked into a contract, we'd recommend going with Sprint's version.

Design
The Verizon Wireless XV6900 will certainly wow your friends and onlookers. Forgoing the usual black, the XV6900 comes in a striking white color, which, when combined with the handset's sleek, smooth pebble-like look, makes it a real stunner. The Verizon red that accents some of the icons on the user interface is quite eye-catching, as well. However, one thing that you lose is the soft-touch finish, so the handset is a bit slick. Otherwise, it's like the Sprint Touch, carrying a footprint of 3.9 inches high by 2.3 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and 3.9 ounces.


The Verizon Wireless XV6900 is quite an attractive phone with its white casing.

The XV6900's touch screen measures 2.8 inches diagonally with a 64,000 color output and 320x240 pixel resolution. Of course, like the other Touches, the XV6900 features HTC's TouchFLO interface, which lets you rotate through the various menus with the swipe of your finger. For example, dragging your finger from the bottom of the screen to the top edge brings up a menu of popular apps and utilities, such as e-mail, Internet Explorer, and the Communication Manager. You can then swipe right to left (or vice versa) to get to your Contacts list and multimedia files.

The TouchFlo functionality works well, but what about the issue of text entry? Well, like the Sprint version, there's an option of a 20-button QWERTY keyboard that mimics the SureType keyboards found on some BlackBerry devices. The virtual keys are large enough that most people should be able to use a thumb to tap the buttons. If you still have problems, there's also a 12-button alphanumeric dial pad, much like the one you'd find a regular cell phone. We tried both and dialing numbers was easy, and the touch screen was quite responsive, but typing text messages and e-mails took a bit more time with all the multitapping. Other input methods include Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer, Transcriber, or a miniscule full QWERTY keyboard.


Like the other Touch models, the XV6900 features the TouchFLO interface with a Verizon twist.

Since you'll be performing most of the phone's functions via the touch screen, the XV6900 has minimal external controls. Below the display, you'll find two simple Talk and End keys and a navigation toggle with center select button. There's a volume rocker on the left side, while the stylus, microSD expansion slot, and camera activation/capture key are on the right side. Like the other models, however, accessing the expansion slot requires that you remove the battery cover and then flipping open the protective flap. On the back, you'll find the camera lens, self-portrait mirror, and speaker. Finally, a lone power button sits on top and a mini USB port and reset button are on the bottom of the unit.

The Verizon Wireless XV6900 comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a USB splitter, an extra stylus, a soft protective pouch, a software CD, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.

Features
Fancy packaging aside, the Verizon Wireless XV6900 is your standard Windows Mobile 6 smartphone. It runs the Professional Edition of the mobile operating system with the full Office Mobile Suite so you can create, view, and edit Word and Excel documents and read PDFs and PowerPoint presentations. You also get the enhanced Calendar functions and new task shortcuts. However, as Verizon has done with its other Windows smartphones, the carrier stripped out the Windows Live integration, which is unfortunate. Other PIM tools and utilities include Adobe Reader, a task manager, a voice recorder, a calculator, and a notepad.

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Where to Buy

Verizon Wireless XV6900

Part Number: 3694 Released: Apr. 16, 2008

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr. 16, 2008
  • Talk Time Up to 210 min
  • Service Provider Verizon Wireless
  • Weight 0.3 lbs
About The Author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.