Chris McCarver wrote:
... whereas in previous productions they only used the handhelds when off-ship....
Usually, but as I already said, not exclusively. "The Cage" is one exception. I can't think of other examples offhand, but I'm pretty sure it's not unheard of. (I'm not counting "Mirror, Mirror," since the characters were using their communicators for privacy rather than use the mirror ship's intercoms.)
How about the TMP "Dick Tracy" communicators. There was that one scene where Uhura and Chekov are on Kirk's wall screen, but I seem to remember Kirk and Decker using their communicators to talk to the bridge and other officers.
But I also found that the movie really drew heavily on Diane Carey's "Dreadnought!" Novel.
Plus with Admiral Marcus, because he was played by the same actor who played the Terra Prime leader, I wonder if the two characters are related (imagine, David Marcus' great-great-grandfather was the leader of Terra Prime).