Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hidden smartphone "gems" at Verizon Wireless

I don't understand why Verizon Wireless stores and kiosks don't stock more smartphones. They have a decent selection of Windows Mobile smartphones online, but if you walk up to a kiosk or go to an average store, you won't find some of the best smartphones that are available on Verizon Wireless. Why?

If you're on a budget and you don't need the "latest and greatest," then let me make a few suggestions for some great Verizon smartphones that are "hidden" from many people:
  • XV6900. This smartphone is made by HTC and is also known as the "Touch" or "Vogue." It's a simple smartphone, but it's snappy, small, light, and has a touch-screen. It runs Windows Mobile and has a built-in GPS (that won't work unless you "unlock" it by flashing custom ROMs and doing a bit of tweaking - not for beginners). The camera is nice if you want to take a picture of a patient's rash (get permission first). I have one and I really like it. No Wi-Fi on this tiny phone. Verizon is getting rid of them, so I don't know how much longer they will be around. You won't find this in any of the stores.
  • HTC Touch Pro. Here, Verizon decided to keep the name "HTC," even though this phone is also classified as the XV6850 (but I don't think anyone knows that). This slider is a great phone that also has a built-in GPS (Verizon unlocked it, so you're free to use it on Google Maps or TomTom). Touch-screen, Windows Mobile, and this device has a high resolution screen (may be a bit too high res for some of you). The camera on this device also includes an LED flash. You won't find this in any of the stores.
  • HTC Touch Diamond. This is like the Touch Pro, but it lacks the slide-out keyboard. So, this is a very thin phone that's like a "professional" version of the XV6900 with a high res screen. You'll get Wi-Fi and GPS (but you'll have to do a bit of tweaking to unlock the GPS) on this device. Simple camera without an LED flash.
So, what do we have in common with all these smartphones? They're all made by HTC, they all run Windows Mobile, they all have touch-screens, they all have cameras, and they all have an internal GPS chip (although you may need to do some modifying to get the internal GPS to work).

Why didn't I mention the HTC Ozone? You'll see this in the stores, but this smartphone lacks a touch screen. If you're planning on running medical software, you'll be much more productive if you have a smartphone that has a touch screen. Avoid getting anything that lacks a touch screen.

Keep in mind that several new smartphones are coming to Verizon this fall and next spring. So, if you're eager to have the latest devices, then you're better waiting until some of these new devices emerge.

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