We've been waiting for this petite but powerful smartphone to land at a U.S. carrier for a while, and the time is finally here. The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 is a CDMA variant of the GSM HTC Vox. On the inside, it's your standard Windows Mobile 6 smartphone but its true appeal lies in the design. The SMT5800 sports a compact chassis of a cell phone while packing in a full QWERTY keyboard. It's a nice alternative to the bulkier Verizon Wireless XV6800 and even the Motorola Q9m. We will say that the smaller size makes the navigation controls a bit cramped. However, for the mobile professional looking for a smartphone to handle e-mail and some light editing, the SMT5800 is a good fit. Plus, it also offers EV-DO capabilities and good call quality. The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 is available now for $249.99 with a two-year contract and after discounts.
The main attraction of the Verizon Wireless SMT5800 is its design. The smartphone sports a compact design, like a regular cell phone, but manages to pack in a full QWERTY keyboard, thanks to a slider design. The SMT5800 measures 4.1 inches high by 2 inches wide by 0.7 inch deep and weighs 4.2 ounces, sharing a similar footprint to the HTC Vox and LG Rumor and will easily fit into a pants pocket.
The exterior of the SMT5800 features a 2.4-inch screen with a standard 65,536-color output and 320x240 pixel resolution. Text and images looked sharp and brilliant, and the display was readable in many lighting conditions, however, it can wash out in under bright sunlight. As with all Windows Mobile devices, you can customize the home screen with background images, themes, and layouts.
Now, given the mobile's compact size, we're not surprised that the alphanumeric dialpad and phone controls below the display are a bit cramped, but we didn't expect the keys to be so crowded and small. You get the standard Talk and End buttons, two soft keys, a home page shortcut, a back button, and a four-way toggle with a central select key, all of which surround the numeric keypad. There's minimal spacing between the little buttons, so users with bigger thumbs may experience some misdials.
To expose the QWERTY keyboard, just push the front cover to the left. It locks into place with a nice click, and the screen orientation automatically switches from portrait to landscape mode. Fortunately, the keyboard is more spacious and easier to use than the exterior controls. There's more spacing between the individual keys, but they are on the smaller side, so once again, anyone with large thumbs may have some problems.
On the left spine, there's a Power button, a volume rocker, and a microSD expansion slot, and the right side has a lone camera activation key. The camera along with a self-portrait mirror and speaker are located on the back. Finally, the bottom of the unit has a mini USB port and a battery cover release switch.
The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, an audio adapter, a soft carrying case, and reference material. For add-ons, please visit our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 is very much like the other Windows Mobile smartphones on the market today and will best suit those looking to manage their e-mails and do some light work while on the road. The SMT5800 runs Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition so you get the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, instead of third-party software for viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (view only) documents in native format. You 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.
The SMT5800 ships with Microsoft's Direct Push Technology out of the box for real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. You can also sign up for Verizon Wireless Sync e-mail solution. For personal e-mail, the smartphone also supports POP3 and IMAP accounts, but now you can also view e-mails in their original HTML format, regardless of account type. There's a wizard to help you configure your device to retrieve messages. We used it to access our Gmail account and had no problems. The device does text and multimedia messaging, but doesn't come preloaded with an instant messaging client.