UTStarcom G'zOne Type-V (Verizon Wireless) review:

UTStarcom G'zOne Type-V (Verizon Wireless)

The backlit keypad buttons are somewhat tricky as well. Though they are large and spaced far enough apart, they also rather slippery and flat with the phone's surface. We didn't have any misdials, but dialing by feel was difficult. Just above the keypad are the talk and end/power buttons and a dedicated clear key.

The Type-V's feature set has its high points, but it lacks some key offerings we've come to expect from 3G multimedia phones. The internal phone book holds 500 contacts. It's a bit small for such a feature-rich phone, but each entry holds four phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can organize callers into groups, pair contacts with a picture for caller ID (though it won't show up on the external display), and select a ring tone from the phone's small selection of 10 polyphonic tones. Other features include a powerful vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, voice dialing and commands, instant messaging, e-mail, a voice recorder, a calendar, an alarm clock, voice dialing, a notepad, a world clock, a calculator, a countdown timer, and a stopwatch. We like that you can activate speakerphone before you make a call, but it's disappointing the Type-V doesn't offer Bluetooth or an expandable memory slot. As a result, you're limited to 31MB of shared space (2MB is reserved for downloads, 15MB for photos). Though that's not a tiny amount, a multimedia phone should offer more.

The Type-V's camera comes with a flash but not a self-portrait mirror.

The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in five resolutions (1,600x,1,200, 1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, and 120x160) and comes with a 3-, 5-, or 10-second self-timer; brightness and white-balance controls; and three color effects. There's also the aforementioned flash and a 2X digital zoom, though it's unusable at the highest resolution. The video camera records clips in one resolution (176x144) with sound and at 15 frames per second. The flash and the zoom are usable here, too, and you can adjust the brightness and white balance. Clips are limited to a short 15 seconds. Photo quality is good, but our images were a little blurrier than we'd like for a 2-megapixel shooter. Colors are bright, though, and the flash is very effective. On the downside, photo downloading is cumbersome as there's no way to transfer them to a computer without sending them as multimedia messages.

The G'zOne Type-V has decent photo quality.

The Type-V supports Verizon's EV-DO V Cast video service. The V Cast interface is standard for all phones from the carrier that support the content. We're miffed, though, that the Type-V lacks a digital music player and access to the V Cast Music Store. It just seems strange that Verizon would integrate one feature but not the other. Criticisms aside, you have the option to purchase a variety of Verizon applications, including VZ Navigator, Backup Assistance, and Verizon's SuperPages 2.0 for directory information. The Type-V also supports a host of alternative services, such as the Weather Channel and, of course, Verizon's Get it Now Internet service, which has even more programming choices. There are no included games, but you can always buy 3D titles via the WAP 2 wireless Web browser; just remember that Verizon uses BREW instead of Java. You can personalize the Type-V with a variety of wallpapers, display themes, sounds, and clock styles, or you can buy more options if you want them. More ring tones are available as well.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Type-V in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was quite good, with sharp clear audio and loud volume on both ends. At higher levels, sound was marginally bass-heavy, but audio quality overall was superb. We even took the phone in the shower and had decent sound quality, considering. Speakerphone calls were admirable as well, though sound is a tad muffled at higher volumes. But that's hardly out of the ordinary for a speakerphone. Unfortunately, you can't make calls with the speakerphone closed.

We never had a problem getting a signal with the Type-V and experienced no interference from other electronic devices. The phone even rang when it was in a six inches of water. EV-DO coverage also was broad in our test area, but be mindful that it will be less comprehensive in more rural locations. Web browsing was sufficiently zippy, and game and application downloads took just a few seconds. Our only real complaint is that an outdoorsy phone like the Type-V should support Verizon's analog roaming network. Since the handset is designed to be used in the backwoods, you should be able to make calls there.

Video performance was acceptable on the Type-V, though not outstanding. Streaming media was somewhat pixelated, but it was rarely jerky, and voices matched the subject's mouths. Also, we didn't have any rebuffering problems, and the volume was loud.

The G'zOne Type-V has a rated talk-time battery life of 3 hours and 20 minutes and a promised standby time of 7.1 days. Our tests showed a talk time of 3 hours and 40 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Type-V has a digital SAR rating of 1.28 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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