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Verizon Wireless XV6900 review: Verizon Wireless XV6900

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The smartphone has integrated Bluetooth 2.0 with support for mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, hands-free kits, serial port, and dial-up networking. It does not, however, support object transfer. Also, the DUN capabilities will require a subscription to one of Verizon's BroadbandAccess plans, which start at $15 per month. The XV6900 is also EV-DO capable to bring you data speeds of around 300Kbps to 600Kbps with the potential to hit 2.4Mbps for faster Web browsing, downloads, and smooth media streams. As Verizon has done with its other business-centric smartphones, the carrier chose not to include support for its V Cast music and video services. Meanwhile, the Sprint HTC Touch is compatible with the carrier's various entertainment services--just saying.

Fortunately, there are other modes of entertainment on the XV6900. As with other Windows Mobile devices, you get Windows Media Player 10 Mobile so that you can listen to and view AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, WMV, and other music and video files. If you have TV shows recorded on your Windows Media Center PC, you can transfer them to your device for on-the-go viewing. We should note that the XV6900 has 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM with about 140MB user available storage and 70MB for programs. The microSD slot can accept up to 8GB cards.

On back of the smartphone, you'll find the 2-megapixel camera and self-portrait mirror.

The XV6900 also has a 2-megapixel camera with 8x zoom and autofocus. There are five resolution options and four quality settings for still images. For getting the best shot, you have several tools available to you: flicker adjustment, white-balance settings, and brightness controls. You can also add various effects to your shot. In video mode, you only get two resolutions but have similar editing controls.

The XV6900 produced some poor photos with an orange tone.

Picture quality was pretty awful. Objects looked a bit fuzzy, but we had more issue with the color. Even after fiddling with the white-balance settings, colors had an orange tone, and there's a bit of shutter delay so don't move too quickly after snapping your shot. Videos were worse as they looked grainy and barely watchable. Needless to say, the XV6900 isn't the best camera phone.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900; EV-DO) Verizon Wireless XV6900 in San Francisco and call quality was good. On a couple of occasions, there was a slight background hiss on our end, but for the most part, we enjoyed clear audio and plenty of volume. Our friends didn't have too many complaints, though they said we sounded somewhat tinny. The speakerphone was decent, but there was some voice distortion. Finally, we were able to pair the XV6900 with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones without any problems.

General performance was typical of a Windows Mobile device. Overall, the XV6900 was responsive but could get bogged down when we had numerous applications open. Web browsing, however, was swift, thanks to the EV-DO speeds. Music playback through the phone's speakers sounded a bit tinny and lacked bass. Video playback wasn't bad; as expected, there was some slight pixilation, but audio and images were always synchronized.

The Verizon Wireless XV6900's 1,880 mAh lithium ion battery has a rated talk time of 5.6 hours and up to 17 days of standby time. The XV6900 failed to meet the rated talk time in our battery drain tests with just 4 hours on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the XV6900 has a digital SAR rating of 1.25 watts per kilogram.

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