Bluetooth Still Just Over the Verizon

Motorola V710Like at least a few geeks, I’ve been waiting a long time for a Verizon Wireless mobile phone that features a built-in Bluetooth chip. That’s because, first, Verizon’s coverage in the New York metropolitan area is the best by far of any of the mobile carriers — at least in my experience — and second, I’m still enamored of the promise of wireless synchronization and data exchange via Bluetooth (in spite of the imperfect performance of the Bluetooth-enabled Sony Ericsson T608 that I bought last month). And really, it’s just one phone that I’m asking for Verizon to release.

Hurry Up and Wait Some More

Rumors of such a device have been floating around all year, some of them discouraging and none of them fruitful. So I’d largely given up until, on a whim, I wandered into a Verizon Wireless store on Fifth Avenue earlier this week and found that for some weeks now they’ve been selling the Motorola V710, which features not just Bluetooth, but a camera-phone as well. It’s a tad on the large size, but it’s an attractive piece of work, leaps and bounds ahead of the old school of aesthetics-challenged Motorola industrial design.

As I was looking it over, I felt that compulsive desire to buy it on the spot: this was, after all, what I’d been waiting for so long. It’s a good thing I didn’t. The Bluetooth chip inside the V710 is apparently ‘crippled,’ such that it will work only with Verizon-approved Bluetooth devices. The chip won’t synchronize with my PowerBook via iSync, and it won’t allow me to transfer other data back and forth from it, in what seems like an effort to protect the revenue that the company generates from people sending their camera-phone pictures to and from their handsets. I’m not going to comment on the corporate mentality that created these circumstances, but what a disappointment it is.



  1. I just bought an LG VX7000 instead of waiting for Verizon’s crippled Bluetooth. I read about their proprietary move a few weeks ago. If all the other carriers in NYC didn’t perform worse when it comes to actually placing a call, I’d drop Verizon like a rock, but that’s not the case unfortunately.

  2. I agree. I really want to move to Verizon, but I refuse to do so until they release the phone that I want. They’ve always been terrible about providing attractive handsets. And I don’t want to sign onto a punishing contract; the nice thing about Sprint is that it’s fairly easy to avoid contracts and go month to month. Their service isn’t as good as Verizon’s, but it’ll do for now.

  3. Khoi,

    All is not lost with the v710. I bought one htis week and you can sync with iSync using a usb cable. You can also use the phone as a bluetooth wireless modem for your computer (or Palm device). I keep hearing rumors that the OBEX implementation is coming in a firmware update, though it sounds like Verizon won’t allow file transfer via Bluetooth. Of course you can transfer files with the memory card.

    Verizon is stupid and short-sighted to treat its customers this way; still this is the best phone I’ve ever used. Great reception and the crippled Bluetooth isn’t quite as useless as I had worried it would be.

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