Sprint scored in a big way when it landed the first Windows Mobile 5 smart phone, the . While we liked the smart phone and gave it a rating of 7.0, you guys really liked it, giving the device an average user rating of 7.5. Well, now Verizon customers can join in on the fun with the UTStarcom XV6700. It sheds the all-silver coloring for a sleek black face but boasts many of the same features found the PPC-6700. The XV6700 is available now for $449.99 with a one-year service contract or $399.99 with a two-year contract.
Upside: Running Windows Mobile 5, the UTStarcom XV6700 arms mobile professionals with the new suite of Microsoft Office apps, including Word Mobile, with support for tables and embedded images; Word Excel, with support for charts; and PowerPoint Mobile for viewing only. Plus, there's built-in support for persistent storage, so when the battery drains completely, your data remains intact. The XV6700 also gives you access to Microsoft Outlook, POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. E-mailing is a breeze too, thanks to the built-in QWERTY keyboard hidden behind a slick slider design. For wireless connectivity, you have your choice of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and EV-DO. We also like the fact that you can use Bluetooth for file transfers and synchronization with compatible PCs; it's not just for headsets and accessories. But the fun doesn't stop there: The XV6700 also comes equipped with a 1.3-megapixel camera, a speakerphone, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, and text and multimedia messaging.
Downside: Like most Pocket PC phones, the UTStarcom XV6700 is a bit on the bulky side (5.2 by 2.3 by 1 inches; 6.5 ounces), so you'll want to carve out some room in your bag. Also, while we appreciate the inclusion of a camera, more and more businesses are prohibiting the use of camera-equipped cell phones and smart phones on work premises, so we hope Verizon will offer a cameraless version of the XV6700 as well. Also, like the PPC-6700, the XV6700 comes equipped with a Mini SD card slot, unfortunately. We understand that concessions need to be made for the sake of size, but the XV6700 looks like it could easily accommodate standard SD media.
Outlook: If the popularity of the Sprint PPC-6700 and the number of reader requests we're getting for the UTStarcom XV6700 are any indication, the smart phone is going to be a hit among power users. Still, its competition is fierce with the likes of the Palm Treo 700w and the much-anticipated Motorola Q, which is expected to launch on Verizon's network in the spring. We're still waiting to get our evaluation unit, but check back soon for a full review.