Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. - a new kind of Android™ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at

Google - +ChristopherPrice | Twitter - @chrisprice | LinkedIn

Questions for Chris? You can also reach him by email, but please use the contact form for general comments, questions, and feedback.

210 responses to “Verizon’s HTC XV6900 Update Packs Punch, We’re Offering It Early”

  1. SLeepdepD


    I pay for unlimited data so I’m not sure. I seem to remember reading something about an offline google maps (all US streets can be downloaded in one file). Anyone know what I’m talking about?

  2. samewise

    Using Vista SP1 to install the Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM which crashed the phone. Verizon Wireless is replacing my XV6900. Good luck to anyone attempting this. Make sure you have plenty of time and a backup phone to use while they send out the new one.

  3. rokky

    Well, I got the phone once I was assured of a legit Vzw source of the update (appreciate your efforts here, guys, but really wanted to play it “safe” – the info here has been most helpful). I applied the update before activating, and it went fine (from WinK) … except the reception was so bad, that I could not establish the connection with the *228 call for the initial phone programming!

    My house is “cellular-resistant”, but all my other phones, including the xv6900 I tried for a week or so in July (before returning it due to various dissatisfactions) with the stock WM 6.0, have always been able to make that connection from one spot or another in my house. Has anyone else had this problem?

    I finally got around it by inserting the stripped end of a twist-tie wire in the antenna jack under the camera mirror and routing it out the stylus opening. It is one of those heavy black ones that often is used to tie up cables with electronics, and is only about 2.5 inches long, but seems to be dong the trick. Still, that should not be needed!


  4. SLeepdepD


    Sorry to hear about that. I have Vista SP1 (but 64-bit Ultimate) and didn’t have any problems. I was also extra sure to restart the computer, close other running applications–even anti-virus–before running the update. Firmware updates scare me! 🙂

  5. rokky

    Weirdly, the twist-tie antenna makes the phone seem “normal”. I have gotten download speeds with’s speed test of 600Kb/s, which is a nice rev A step up from the more usual 200-400 I would get with the xv6700 I am replacing with this one.

    I even got Google Maps working nicely with the “Valhalla” GPS update from xda-developers. Tomorrow I will be going into my office for the first time with the phone, and I have always had full-strength Vzw signal there with all of my previous phones, so this should be “interesting” when I yank out the twist-tie ;-}

    Has anyone else compared their signal strength before and after the ROM update? I would think the fieldtrial.exe program (“hidden” in the \windows directory) would be best to use for some “hard” data: it shows around 95 dbm RX Power with the antenna, and around -100 to -105 without it (as I recall).

  6. rokky

    Err make that fieldtrial reading -95 dbm.

  7. rokky

    Replacement phone did the trick – now I can get a signal after the update.

  8. Buddy

    Help with GPS…

    I have the Verizon vx6900. I updated it to Windows Mobile 6.1, followed the instructing at, installed the “Valhalla” fix, and a third party mapping program. However, I am not getting a fix on any satellite. I did a search for the GPS and my mapping program found it on com 4 with a baud rate of 4800 but it is not finding a satellite. I am not sure the radio or GPS is really on. Maybe the GPS and my mapping program are not communicating. Anyone know of some trouble shooting tips that may help me? Thanks.

  9. SLeepdepD


    That sounds like the exact steps I followed. Did you install Valhalla to the device or storage card (should have been device)? Did you set “Location On” in Settings > Phone > Services > Location Setting ? (I forgot to do that once 😉 ). GPS works for me with Google Maps, Live Search and GPSToday–have you tried any of these? Are you indoors?…maybe it just can’t get a lock.

  10. Buddy


    I installed Valhalla to the device and I followed each of the directions. I uninstalled Valhalla and went back through the directions and reinstalled Valhalla and still could not get a lock. I am using iGuidance maps for ppc. I used this mapping program on a Dell Axim with an external GPS with no problems.

    I set my phone on the dashboard of the car this morning on the way to work but could not get a fix. Maybe I will try GPSToday and see what happens.

  11. SLeepdepD


    If it wouldn’t result in too much work, you could always hard reset and try again. 🙂

  12. Buddy

    I thought about the hard reset. I might have to do that. Thanks SleepdepD

  13. Buddy


    I downloaded GPSToday and found the GPS to be working. That tells me I am having a problem with iGuidance mapping program communicating with the internal GPS on the phone. I am uninstalling and and then reloading it to see it that will help. Thanks for all your help. I am really enjoying this phone.

  14. Buddy

    You all may already be familiar with this application but I found it to be very helpful to find out if my GPS is working. It is GPSToggle and it is a Today screen app. that lets turn on and off your gps. You can read more about it and download it at this link…

  15. dustin

    has anyone as of late had luck upgrading vz xv6900 to 6.1. I tried it once and it fried the phone. im abit shy of doing it again.

  16. mary

    Buddy – I’ve ordered the phone and didn’t get the data plan either. Does the weather app on the home screen rack up KB…and they charge you?


  17. SLeepdepD


    Yes, the weather option on the Today Screen uses the Internet and thus KB. One thing I’ve liked about the phone (which I didn’t notice on my previous SmartPhone) was every time it tries to connect to the Internet it says the data connection is dialing #777 and has a button to Cancel.

  18. rokky

    The weather update download is a data item, so it will use chargeable KB’s, but I have no idea how many since I have the “unlimited” (who knows how unlimited?) data plan.

  19. SLeepdepD


    LOL…I’ve wondered about the “unlimited” plan too. Pandora was released for the Windows Mobile and I was planning on listing to it all day at work to see if Verizon gave me a nasty-call or something. I have the little adapter to turn the USB into a headphone jack, but it’s in mono–so I haven’t listened to it.

  20. XV6900 Upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.1 (plus GPS) « Jeff’s Blog

    […] with any of  them.  They look promising, just not yet.  I also was drawn into a lengthy thread concerning the XV6900 that’s actually from November 2008, when the “official” […]

  21. Buddy


    As already stated the weather app does use data. I also realized that my phone was accessing data periodically even if I was not using it. I finally called and had a data block put on my phone. You can log onto your Verizon account and check usage to see how much data you have used. Keep a watch on this on you can really rack up some data charges.

  22. Brent

    Why would anyone grab a smartphone and not get unlimited data? That’s the whole purpose is to keep you connected…..geez people…

  23. mary

    Thanks for all the information!

    As for why I got the phone – I dropped my three year old phone in a smoothie yesterday, and when I was researching Verizon’s choices, it was the one I liked best…and it was free, so I thought I might as well. I really like the PDA features and the look of the 6900. But since I have a macbook and work in an office where I am primarily at my desk, I don’t really need inferior internet on my phone. It’d be nice to use the occasional KB, and perhaps someday I’ll feel it necessary to upgrade…so I’m glad it has the features, but for now I don’t want to be surprised by my bill.

  24. Buddy

    I like this phone because I can sync it with my phone book and the calender appointments on my desktop. If I want I can even sync my email from my desktop on my phone, word, excelI, and powerpoint files.I can add many software applications to it and enjoy the many functions that it offers that a dumb phone does not offer. I can customize it according to my likes and dislikes and that includes not liking to pay for a data plan that I don’t really need. I am happy with my smartphone and not having to pay for unlimited data.

  25. PG

    I received my phone yesterday and did the ROM update with no problems whatsoever. I didn’t do the GPS update since I have a data block on my pay per KB plan. That said, I’m still kinda confused about the GPS function… does it require data inorder for it to work?

    Also, MS ActiveSync 4.5 is complete GARBAGE. Sometimes my phone doesn’t even connect and sync, and other times the program crashes my computer. Anyone having these problems as well? Is there another alternative to ActiveSync?

    Lastly, I just wanna thank all the people that posted some useful info on this thread. This is my first time using a Windows Mobile phone and I wouldn’t have even known where to begin without all the feedback. Cheers!

  26. rokky

    Re ActiveSync issues: make sure you are plugging the USB cable directly into one of the PC’s own ports, and NOT into a hub. I have found that makes a huge difference in getting rid of problems like yours, PG.

    BTW, I got tired of the antenna issues with both 6900’s I tried, and have returned it. Stock is too weak, and it seems sticking the twist-tie in the port makes the phone “throw a switch”, and become almost totally dependent on an external antenna. If anyone tries a “real” manufactured external, I would be very interested in learning of your experience.

    Meantime I will stick with my trusty (bulky) xv6700 for now – maybe when the Alltel and Vzw networks are fully merged, and I see something else “interesting”, I might explore upgrade options again.

  27. rokky

    …“real” manufactured external ANTENNA that is…

    A preview function for this forum would be REALLY helpful ;-}

  28. PG

    Yup, I plug my USB directly to the ports on my PC. I don’t really have any files to sync so ActiveSync seems kinda pointless at this point. Can you still transfer files from your PC to the phone without ActiveSync? e.g., using it like an external HDD.

  29. Bryan

    Anyone know anyting about Windows Mobile 7 that was recently introduced?

  30. Ceez

    w.r.t. external antennas, for a few days I used a 9db omni antenna. Huge improvement! Rokky’s “thrown switch” is actually the TERRIBLE solder job that holds the surface mount female antenna connector on the VX6900 RF board. When you disconnect the antenna from the phone, you actually rip off the SMD’s center lead from the board and break the trace on the board, permanently disconnecting the internal antenna. Then your external antenna is your only working option. If you are under warranty, Verizon will replace it. If not, do what I did: unsolder the connector from the board and solder a tiny jumper where the trace broke.

  31. Ceez

    I just upgraded to WM6.1. You can see the “messages in voicemailbox” icon briefly after the ROM flash but before personalization. After that, you have a great tethered modem (confirmed with both BT and USB), but no phone (and no voicemail or messaging icons). I guess I’ll have to call Verizon like everyone else who upgraded for reactivation. I’m on my 3rd VX6900 (first one the camera imager went, and the second one lost the antenna jack as I said above). All because HTC wants to save a few micrograms of solder per phone!

  32. rokky

    re external antenna, I seriously doubt my twist-tie improvisation connected firmly enough to “yank” the jack loose from its solder connection. It was downrigt loose feeling, and I had to work out a way to keep pressure on the twist-tie to maintain the connection.

    I could tell a big difference between that and the way a real external antenna seats in the jack on my xv6700 (surprised that has not done damage such you have identified to my 6700 with the dozens of disconnects that I have done – feels like it is a very tight fit). But, maybe it was more fragile than I realized, and not giving my any indication by feel that it had broken – will not be able to tell now since I sent back the 2nd phone, and am done with 6900’s (for now – thinking about the Omnia with its bigger screen, and now that it’s down to $50 with NE2 … 😉

  33. SLeepdepD

    BTW: aGPS is not working anymore.

  34. JTBob

    My GPS is no longer working as well. I upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1, installed the Valhalla GPS mod, and everything had been working great. I tried to use Google Maps again a couple of days ago, and I couldn’t get it to see any satellites. I tried to uninstall Valhalla, but it was always unsucessful. I tried to reinstall Valhalla, but that was unsuccessful as well.

    So what had been working is now dead. Anyone have an idea on what I can try to get my GPS working again?

    Oh yes, when I try to uninstall Valhalla, it says it can’t and would I like to remove it from the list? I click on yes, but it is still showing in the program list. I soft reset the phone and try again, but same result. I can’t get it to uninstall from the device.


  35. SLeepdepD
  36. col

    are you all retarted the update has been out for awhile now.. go to verizon and search xv6900 update dumbass

  37. SLeepdepD

    lol…no, we’re not retarded. We all have the WM 6.1 update; you should read the thread posted above about how GPS isn’t working anymore before you open your keyboard-warrior mouth.

  38. JTBob

    I downloaded both of the files, one to uninstall and one to install, but the uninstaller was still unsuccessful. I can’t think of what would cause this program to be so difficult to remove. So the GPS was working perfectly, and now it’s not. No matter what I try, I can’t get the previous installation of Valhalla to be removed. I can delete the files in the GPSServer folder under Program Files, but there is more involved that can’t be removed.

    So I take it my situation is unique? I’ll keep poking around to what I can do to get the GPS working again on my WM 6.1 XV6900.


  39. Brad

    I had the same problem and found the solution here (post 641):

    This required changing registry settings but was easy to do. You will need a registry editor if you don’t have one.Hope this helps.

  40. JTBob

    Yes, I got it working, thanks Brad. The link you gave had the perfect registry settings:

    I used the file to install a registry editor (Pocket PC 2002,2003 (ARM/PXA)) and made the edits to the above link, soft reset the phone and tried Google Maps and the GPS is working again:{940B734A-C437-41C7-ADED-2A4418802FD3}

    So I still don’t know why the GPS crapped out in the first place, but at least it’s working now and I know what to do if it fails.

    Thanks again,

  41. rokky

    Could it be that Vzw is deliberately changing these network settings to “disable” do-it-yourself GPS on phones like these to push users to buying their VZnavigator service? Or was it just an unrelated network “update”? Yeah, right…

    Not that I’m paranoid or anything…


  42. aaron

    hey jt I did the regedit with the same you used just got confused with the addres when i changed it its wont work

  43. SLeepdepD


    In the post on, the address is in HEX and you have to switch to HEX when entering it in the registry editor. Does that help or did I miss the problem?

  44. aaron

    yap its working now thanks a lot guys. you guys are awesome

  45. aaron

    anymore cool stuff i should know =) i love this phone and think before the only thing is missing is a navi but not anymore

  46. Randy

    To clarify, if I put a data block on my phone, will I be able to use GPS? From what I read, getting a GPS fix will require at least a small amount of kB, but it seems the GPS is built into the phone like a Garmin standalone device, so I’m confused. Thanks.

  47. Randy

    Looks like aGPS requires data but the GPS itself does not, as this person was able to use GPS with data block.

  48. Leah

    I just got this phone, and my start menu will not work. What can I do?

  49. SLeepdepD

    Wow, that’s a new one–I’ve never heard of that. Possibly a hard-reset would fix it? Hard-resets will delete EVERYTHING on your device! (data on storage cards will be retained) To hard-reset, with the device turned on, hold SEND and END and then with the stylus press and release the reset button–while continuing to hold SEND and END. You will then receive instructions to reset the device.