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Verizon Begins Selling XV6800 Smartphone

The business-oriented phone operates on the third-generation EVDO network, capable of delivering download data rates of up to 2.4 Mbps.

Verizon Wireless on Wednesday began offering the XV6800 smartphone, designed for business professionals that require high-speed data, e-mail, Internet, and Microsoft Office access when traveling or working remotely.

Although it's not a groundbreaking device, the XV6800, which was first introduced last month, does come with some powerful capabilities that businesses require.

The Verizon Wireless XV6800 smartphone resembles a mini-computer with a hidden slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
(click for image gallery)
First, the smartphone runs Microsoft's latest Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system, meaning users can get their business e-mail pushed automatically to the smartphone from Exchange servers. Users also get the full Microsoft Office suite and the ability to create, view, and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents.

Second, the XV6800 operates on Verizon Wireless' third-generation cellular network, known as EVDO, which is capable of delivering download data rates of up to 2.4 Mbps. It can also act as a modem when connected to laptops through BroadbandAccess Connect, a Verizon Wireless service for sending and receiving data. As another option, users can access the Web via the smartphone's built-in Wi-Fi technology.

Third, the phone is equipped for work on the road. It has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a touch-sensitive LCD screen that can switch from portrait to landscape view. The full keyboard makes typing up documents and e-mails, as well as browsing the Internet, easier on such a small device. The phone's memory can be expanded through the microSD memory card slot, which supports up to 8 Gbytes. This allows various files to be stored separately from the phone's internal memory.

Other key features include a 2.0-megapixel camera with flash and video capture, stereo Bluetooth, video messaging, and Windows Media Player 10 Mobile for playing music and video on the XV6800.

The XV6800 can be purchased immediately online for $450 after a $50 mail-in rebate and requires a two-year subscription to Verizon Wireless. The smartphone will become available in stores on December 5.

Instead of buying generic smartphones with limited software and applications, soon Verizon Wireless customers will have another option. The carrier announced earlier this week that starting next year it will open up its nationwide network to outside mobile devices, software, and applications. Once the change goes into effect, Verizon Wireless will have two categories of customers: full-service customers -- those who purchase devices and services from Verizon Wireless and receive technical support, and bring-your-own customers -- those who will bring their own devices to the carrier's network without full service.

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