Loads of features; mediocre ergonomics
PRO: Tri-mode; loads of features; camera; speakerphone; good sound & battery life. CON: Can't feel the keypad; tinny speakerphone; no index in the user manual.
I wanted a camera phone, and I was going to buy the LG VX600 , because it felt good in my palm & I've been happy w/ LG phones in the past. But it only was dual digital mode, and I need analog too due to several areas I drive thru where digital signals drop off. So the next closest thing Verizon offered was the CDM 8900. As an added plus, it has a speaker phone. The many feature menus were overwhelming at first, and not too intuitive. But after 3 days of use and experimentation, it's getting familiar (with frequent visits to the user manual.) I have large hands, and the keys somehow don't fit comfortably under my thumb for one-handed dialing. Also, the keys are flush to the surface and don't have any texture or other way to give tactile feedback to the finger. I had lots of dialing errors due to hitting a key at the edge & therefore pressing the adjacent key too. Also, the "OK" button in the middle of the menu dial blends into the 4 surrounding menu keys. The LG phone had a much better shape (oval,) and the keys were easier to feel & press individually. However, the 8900's smooth keypad does make it faster to glide across the keys when type messages. At first I considered returning the phone, but after several days I think it's a keeper overall.
Solid Camera Phone Contender
Just my small way of giving back to Phonescoop for all the research it's helped me.
Capitalizing on VZN's 14-day try-out period, I decided to select try this phone out first because of its speakerphone, its size, its weight, and its signal strength. Priority: Find good phone for signal, sound clarity, and usability first (think traveling businessman); bells and whistles secondary.
Pros: Extremely solidly built phone physically. Resembles the SGH-S105 in many ways, build-wise. Sound quality a bit muddled (compared to my last carrier's GSM offerings). "RF Signal" passed my room's "Death to GSM" test. Menus have low-to-average learning curve, ringer and earpiece volume reasonably loud, no physical squeaks, creaks, or gives. Main LCD bright; outer LCD legible and justifiably not as power hungry as color ones. Very nice button feel; button hints extremely useful. Awesome battery life. Camera "mirror" next to lens, and outer LCD "grayscale dithered" preview are nice touches. Great selection of builtin std. and rich polyphonic ringers. Extremely bright button backlight.
Cons: Unusual feature placement (speakerphone on flip lid, and AFIAK phone must be open *and* button-down for optimal use; headphone jack might look OK, but direction of rubber covering opening + antenna + fingers =tricky; outer camera button too easily pressed); no status lights (although large blue "notification" lights on side of phone); side volume buttons don't adjust ringer volume when phone closed; speakerphone is almost useless unless very little or no background noise; finding name in phonebook and dialing number requires quite a bit of keypresses (vs. some Nokias); no easy way to dial number received as txt msg (vs. some Nokias); phone sound settings not saved when phone turned off and on again; no Bluetooth or IR option to transfer phonebooks or numbers; VZN logo likes to "fight" with the time and with incoming caller ID's in outer LCD.
AD reviews continues below...
8900 rules Verizon New Jersey
This phone has my seal of approval. I had the Moto v60c- was awesome and I was dumb enough to trade it up for v60P on push to talk network. The PTT network stinks and drops every call made without fail. I returned this phone and was convinced by sneaky salespeople and tech support team of Solectron to get the V60s phone because they claim it uses different software. This is BS because the version is the same as v60P. I had less dropped calls but the phone would shut off by itself and it would say connected but the other party could never hear me. I returned this phone after 8 days and got the LG vx4500 which sucked worse than both v60's P and S. This phone had every nice feature but dropped 25 calls in a matter of 3 days. I returned it on the 3rd day for this Audiovox phone. As the professional phone tester I have become, Verizon should hire me as their personal phone guru. This Audiovox phone ROX baby!!! I have the phone for 5 days now, not a single problem, no dropped calls, no missed calls, no broken signals, JUST AMAZING!!! The features are easy to figure out even without the manual. Camera is cool but not the purpose of the phone. I use this phone for business and to connect to the other party without losing the call. This phone has held over 300 minutes in the last 5 days and not 1 call had a problem hearing me and I had no problem hearing them. The speaker loudness is not of great quality like the v60s and p phones. But whats the point in a phone that loses calls. Great you can have all the toys on the phone but the phone cant be used to do its primary job - Make CALLS. AUDIOVOX, I was weary but now Im IMPRESSED!!! GET IT, Trust me! 8900 RULEZ.
Im on Verizon in Long Island, NY.
I switched from the LGVX4500 because it was all digital, and I was loosing calls left and right. When I couldnt dial 911 after a minor traffic accident, I decided it was best to get something that worked better. I LOVED that phone, and no other can replace it...as i've found out from the Audiovox CDM-8900.
I get AWESOME service with this phone, because its tri-mode. But thats the only good thing about it. Of course, im a little bias, do to the fact that I LOVED the LG. This phone has the same menu style and size, but thats about all. I didnt need a camera, but its crappy anyway...so its not a big deal. I dont suggest purchasing this phone if you are looking for a super camera. Resolution isnt too great, but tolerable. The display on the front annoyingly switches between "Verizon Wireless" and the date/time. Its quite annoying, and you are better off just opening the flip to see that.
Otherwise, if you just wanna make and receive quality calls...this is the phone to go with. If I was in a cave under water, I could still get calls. Its great!
CDM8900...Bah Humbug! (my review)
I had the VX6000 for a few weeks back in July, so I
compared the CDM8900 to it.
First thing I tried out on the 8900 was the camera, and compared it
to the camera on the vx6000. The 8900 has a 65K display, and the 6000 has a 262K display.
You could really notice the color difference between the two when using
the camera feature. The color on the vx6000 was incredible better, and not
The 8900 has almost no camera adjustments. All it had was
image quality and compression size. The vx6000 has that plus
brightness control, white balance control, and low-light mode.
Every picture I took with the vx6000 looked much better.
The menus on the CDM8900 are horrible. They are not as easy
to navigate as the vx6000, and not set-up as well.
The external LCD display is very dim/faded. I took it in the back room at the
store to see what it looks like in the dark, and the LED Light is very dim.
I could hardly read the date and time, and my vision is fine.
One interesting thing, when you go to take a picture, and are facing the camera lens, the
external monochrome display shows your image in B&W. The vx6000 only has that mirror to use.
One thing I did like about the 8900 was the sound quality. It was very clear.
However, the speakerphone sounds so bad, I can't imagine anyone ever using it.
To me, it seems like the CMD8900 is a step down from the VX6000 in almost
every category. The only things the 8900 has over the vx6000 is a little better is the sound quality,
the flashing blue lights when you get a call or MSG, and it has a menu setting
to adjust how long you want the keypad to be illuminated (I still can't believe the
vx6000 doesn't let you do that).
Personally, I wouldn't buy either one. I owned the VX6000 back in July when it first came out,
and there were several SW bugs with it. I hope it doesn't take another 5 month for a "real" camera phone to come out, and not another piece of junk.
One of the best phones ive ever owned. Love the blue lighs on the side. the speakerphone could be louder - but its a treat to have one, as most new phones arent. the tri mode is works great. call clarity is high. i have 39 custom tones and could get more, i just wish there was a flash!
This phone is terrible...stay away!!
I finally decided to retire my old startac phone for a new camera phone. What a mistake. From the start, the user manual is terrible. Its almost an inch thick and is completely useless. The camera is the worst I have ever seen. There is no built in flash and even the optional external flash kit wont work if your service is through verizon. Unless you are outside or in a brightly lit room, the camera is completely useless. Most camera phones have a low light setting, but not this one. All you get is a black screen. I took it into a bar, which was decently lit and I could not get a picture. If you save a picture and assign it to wallpaper, screensaver, caller ID etc. once you save it, you cannot remove it from that setting unless you delete the picture from your phone all together. The greeting banner that the user manual says you can customize is permanently set to "verizon wireless" and you cant put your own message in there. The external LCD screen is completely useless when using it as a viewfinder. When you have an incoming call, instead of showing a continual view of the caller ID incoming number is flashes between the number and verizon wireless and you have to open the phone to see whos calling. The color screen has huge pixels that make for poor viewing quality. The only reason I have choosen to keep this phone and not toss it is because it has the addition of analog mode and most newer phones do not. I travel to areas with no digital service and It is very beneficial. Why phones companies stopped putting the analog option on their phones is a mystery to me and makes no sense. I will get rid of this piece of junk as soon as verizon decides to come out with a quality camera phone that still supports analog. I wont hold my breath though. My advice is Stay away from this phone and Verizon all together. Audiovox should stick to making stereos and keep out of the phone market because its clear they have no idea what they are doing.
Great Phone... Awsome sound quality... And it is loud too... Speaker phone is just OK, but if you turn the phone around and talk into the speaker, it seems to work well... It has a solid feel... Good screen and a loud ringer... Best Verizon Phone I Have Ever Used..
The camera kind of sucks, but then again, it's a phone... Best part of the camera is that you don't have to use Get Scammed Now to put pictures on the phone...
This phone sucks
Tried this phone for about 4 days. I don't know what phones you people have had before this one but they must have been crappie because this phone sucks. Speaker phone is almost non existent can't hear it good enough in the car with windows rolled up and radio off. Voice memo works ok if you like pushing allot of buttons just to make a recording. Menu is not user friendly and the straw that breaks the camels back is that when you plug the charger in and pick up the phone to make a call the charger cord falls out there is no lock on charger cord. What company would do something as stupid as that? I took it back and got moto v710. Had this phone about 1 week seems great. I know the moto cost more but I think it is well worth it. User friendly. Speaker phone blows the 8900 out of the water. Menu is friendly. More features on this phone than I can tell you now.
Not too bad. . .
- Great size, great looks, and seems quite durable for it's size.
- Large inner screen with pretty good resolution
- Great sound quality
- Voice-dialing is flawless
- Great ring quality
- Blue lights that flash when phone rings or message is receive is a fun touch
- Flat keys look great and are easy to dial with
- Key back-lighting is bright
- Good battery life
- Outer LCD display is quite dim even with the highest contrast selected
- Outer LCD flashes between date/time and "Verizon Wireless"
- Outer LCD flashes between "Verizon Wireless" and caller ID name during a call. (This causes a delay in which you find out who's calling. Terrible!)
- Outer LCD back-light is very dim
- The menu set-up is a little odd and takes a while to get used to. The manual is NO HELP at all! and has no explanation of what any features are, just how to access them.
- Unable to change the inside "Verizon Wireless" banner although an option is given to do so. The banner option just flat-out doesn't work and is useless.
- The Voice-activated dialing is a totally separate menu option and cannot be accessed from the phonebook.
The outer LCD screen has proved to be a disappointment for me, but other then that the phone really is great. Great quality for a pretty good price! :)