Verizon Wireless CDM8975 Review

Introduction and Design

It has been almost eight months since Verizon re-launched its PTT (Push-To-Talk) service with the introduction of the Motorola Adventure and rugged Casio G’zOne Boulder, with both using the more advanced EVDO Rev A network.  Now a third contender has entered, the Verizon Wireless  CDM8975, manufactured by Pantech.  It is a basic PTT device, lacking some of the higher-end features of its rivals, such as a QVGA display and  2MP camera (Adventure) or water and shock resistant (Boulder).  Because of this, the CDM8975 is geared more to the home (non-business) consumer, who is looking for a basic PTT device.

The retail box includes:

  • CDM8975 phone
  • 1100mAh battery with cover
  • wall charger
  • user manual


Unlike the Boulder and Adventure, which standout in a crowd, theCDM8975 does not.  This is mostly due to the lack-luster black plasticthat is used throughout the device, except for the unmistakable orangePTT button on the left side.  This also holds to the overall cheap-feeling construction,with crackling noises being produced just by holding the phone in yourhand, let alone opening and closing the flip.  This is a far cry fromthe Boulder’s tank-like construction.  Located on the front is a small 1” 96x96 pixel color display, which is no larger than a postage stamp.  Below it are music control buttons and stereo speakers. Located along the sides you’ll find the volume rocker, speakerphone,camera, and voice command buttons, charging/data port, 2.5mm headsetjack, and microSDHC slot that accepts up to 8GB memory cards.  The1.3MP camera is on the back, right above the battery cover. Unfortunately, the charging port uses a proprietary design, which meansyou have to use the included wall charger and will also have topurchase a special data cable for a PC connection.  We’re not sure whymicroUSB is not used, as most other phones have moved to that standard.

You can compare the Verizon Wireless CDM8975 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Opening the flip reveals the 2” 176x220 pixel internal display, which is capable of producing 262K colors.  Even though it is rather bright, it still looks washed out in direct sunlight, and the quality is not up to the QVGA displays used on the Adventure and Boulder.  The circular d-pad is of average size, and we didn’t have any problems using it. The white backlit numeric keypad has larger buttons than the competition, and was actually easier to use than the Boulder or Adventure.  They also provide a nice “click” sound and good feedback when pressed.

Verizon Wireless CDM8975 Video Review:

Verizon Wireless CDM8975 360 Degrees View:

Software / Features:

Just like the other two PTT devices, the CDM8975 comes with the standard Verizon Main Menu, with categories for media center, messaging, contacts, recent calls, and settings & tools.  Four themes are included (classic, modern, white, and wine), but they are mostly skins, as each only changes the menu’s color, not the overall design of the menu itself.  The only other menu customization is to change it between list, tab, or grid view.

There are two phonebooks, one for standard contacts and one for PTT contacts.  The standard phonebook allows you to store up to 500 entries, each with 4 phone numbers, fax number, and 2 email addresses, while the PTT phonebook only allows you to enter up to 500 PTT numbers and group names.

As with most other Verizon phones, the CDM8975 is capable of using the following pay services: VCast Video and Music, VZ Navigator, Mobile Web WAP browser, and game/ringtone downloads.  The music player is also standard for Verizon, but the playback quality is rather good, since there are stereo speakers located on the front flip.

Unfortunately, the 1.3MP camera doesn’t take better pictures than the BoulderOutside images have poor color representation and saturation, and almost look blurry.  Inside images don’t come out any better, with them looking grainy, due to lower light levels.  Video recording is limited to 176x144 resolution, but that’s not even good enough for posting to YouTube.


Even though Verizon has had Push-To-Talk service for years, it never really caught on as fast or as much as Nextel, mostly due to the slower connection speeds and limited device line-up.  With the re-launch of Verizon’s PTT service last year, they are hoping to close the gap, as it now uses the faster EVDO Rev A network.  Because of this, initial connection time between PTT devices is usually only one second, with voices also taking about a second to transfer from one PTT device to another. This is faster than we experienced with the Adventure and Boulder last year, which leads us to believe that Verizon has continued to make improvements to its network.  If  you happen to be in a non-EVDO area, you can still use Verizon’s PTT over a 1X connection, but times can take up to 15 seconds. With Sprint Nextel Qchat phones, you can only use PTT while in EVDO Rev A areas.

The voice quality while using PTT on the CDM8975 was good and louder than what we experienced with the Adventure and Boulder last year.  We believe this is due to the stereo speaker located on the front flip, but there is also a newer Boulder that has a similar design.  The orange color of the PTT button makes it hard to miss, and its location on the left side makes it ergonomically easy to use with your fingertip.  In the end, we’d like to see more high-end PTT devices released for Verizon, as the three current phones aren’t likely to win-over current Sprint / Nextel customers.


Call quality of the CDM8975 was better than the Boulder, with voices on our end sounding clearer and more natural, but still not as good as when using the Adventure.  People that we called, who were using a landline, also said our voice sounded better    when we used the CDM8975 or Adventure than using the Boulder.  Reception was never an issue, as the CDM8975 would normally have 2-3 bars of EV and 1X in high-coverage areas, and didn’t drop any calls.

The included 1100mAh battery is rated to provide to up 4 hours and 45 minutes of talk time or 3.7 days of standby time on a full charge.  Our testing showed both of these times to be accurate.


Out of the three current PTT phones for Verizon, the CDM8975 comes in last, and behind the competition, with mediocre construction and low-end features, as it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, despite the good PTT voice quality  If you’re looking for a good PTT device for Verizon, we’d first recommend the Motorola Adventure , since it is in the same price category as the CDM8975, has more features, and is built better, followed second by the Boulder, for its ruggedness and durability.


  • Large orange PTT button
  • Loud PTT volume
  • Good music playback


  • Overall poor construction
  • Low quality 1.3MP camera
  • Boring design

PhoneArena Rating:


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