Both the VX8600 and Chocolate seem to incorporate the same 1.3MP CMOS camera.  Pictures taken outside during the day have better than average color saturation, but have soft edges and lack detail.  Pictures taken indoors are more challenging unless there is a sufficient amount of light.  There is also no flash, which makes night time pictures nearly impossible to take.  Pressing the Camera button on the right side of the phone will initialize the camera in under 3 seconds.  Pressing the OK button will capture the image in less than 1 second.  You can then choose to Erase the image or Save it, which takes an additional 4 seconds.  This means the time to take one picture, save it, and take another picture is about 6 seconds.  Because of this, it can be difficult to take pictures one right after the other.

The available Camera Options include:

  • Resolution: 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144, 160x120
  • Self Timer: 3sec, 5sec, 10sec
  • Brightness: -9 to +9
  • White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent
  • Shutter Sound: Shutter, Silent, Say Cheeze, Ready 123
  • Color Effects: Normal, Sepia, B&W, Negative, Solari, Vivid
  • Night Mode: On, Off (this slows down the shutter speed)
  • Front Display: On, Off (this turns on the front display for self portraits)

Pressing the camera button a second time will open up the video recorder.  You can start and stop recording by pressing the OK button.  The only options available for videos are Brightness, White Balance, Time limit (15sec or full memory), and Front display.  Videos are only recorded in 176x144 resolution, which means playback on a computer will show off the low resolution, low frame rate, and blotchy colors.  This feature is only a novelty that is designed for “fun” more than “quality”.  The pictures and videos recorded with the VX8600 nowhere compare to the higher quality that is achieved by the A990 and ENV.  If you are looking for a phone that has the best camera on Verizon's line-up, then we would recommend those two phones.


Both MP3 and WMA music files can be played back on the VX8600 with the use of a memory card.  Place the MicroSD card in the phone and go to Menu, Settings & Tools, Memory, Card Memory, Options, and Format.  Then connect the card to your computer and transfer your music files to the “my_music” directory on the memory card.  After the files are transferred, place the card back into the phone and access the music player.  It lists music by Genre, Artists, Album, Song, and Playlist.

Once the song is selected and begins playback, you can close the flip and the font music control buttons will be illuminated bright red.  These are touch-sensitive, just like on the Chocolate, and allow you to Rewind/Skip-Back, Play/Pause, and FastForward/Skip-Ahead.

However, you cannot use other features of the phone, like sending a txt msg, while listening to the music.  Currently this is something only the Chocolate can do.  The overall quality of the music playback is limited by quality of the speaker that is built into the phone.  Unlike the chocolate that has the speaker on the back, the VX8600 has it on the front.  Despite this, the music has a “tin can” sound to it and lacks any bass and mid-range.  It is unfortunate that these “music phones” have cheap speakers.  The only solution is to use either a wired stereo earbuds or Bluetooth Stereo device.  This is the only way to achieve better quality music playback.  If you are looking for a phone that has better built-in speakers for music playback, we would suggest the A990, VX8300, KRZR, and ENV.


The VX8600 uses Qualcomm's BREW format for applications.  There are no preloaded games or applications on the phone, and must be downloaded from Get it Now.  Games range from Action, Sports, TV/Movie, Classic, Puzzle, Casino, Strategy, and 3D V Cast.  Out of all the application, the VZNavigator is the most useful.  Once it is downloaded, it will provide you with the ability to have turn-by-turn direction to any destination in the US.



1. bob unregistered

I like the 8600, it looks nice

2. phil unregistered

Really nice, detailed review. Best phone review I've read in a long time, thanks.

3. Skykid14 unregistered

Thanks for posting such in-depth reviews of these phones. Very very helpful!

4. neesk unregistered

I've had it a month and it's the best looking phone out there. The battery life is excellent and the sound quality and signal strength are fine. The cons: 1. I have big fingers--too big for the tiny slippery buttons. 2. Speakerphone is barely louder than the regular phone level. 3. External touch-sensitive buttons can be activated easily while phone is in my pocket, then the music can start to play or just slowly drain the battery. If you never use speakerphone and have small or med. sized fingers, this is a great phone. I think I need the 8300.

5. brenden unregistered

Ditto. This review was really thorough and helpful. Thanks for the depth.

6. tsantsa unregistered

nice reviewit's a good (as in so so and okay) phone nice flash interface

7. cvs unregistered

Real nice n pretty. The touch thing on the front was cool to mess with. I lost my beloved vx8000 to water and upgraded to this. The buttons are horrible to press when open and I'm forever pressing the wrong buttons because it's so flat. They placed the other buttons on the top flap which is the hardest to reach in the world. Plus it feels flimsey like it will break. i dont like it anymore.
  • Display 176 x 220 pixels
  • Camera 1.3 MP
  • Storage 0.023 GB
  • Battery 800 mAh(3.66h talk time)

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