24 Jan 2005

Smart Phone

So I finally got with the hip kids and upgraded to a fairly modern mobile phone. The cellphone du jour is now an Orange SPV C500. Based on the HTC Typhoon it's a phone/PDA type thingy running Windows Mobile Smartphone 2003. Ah, but is it any good? Here's my thoughts so far..


No. It's not sexy as the picture will tell you. It's as shaggable as Bill Gates. Next!


Yes it is fairly small, just a tad bigger than me Nokia 8310.


Feels quite sturdy so far although the battery compartment cover has developed a slight bit of travel which irks an obsessive loon like myself. Like Bill Hick's loose tooth I can't stop jiggling it. I also haven't dropped the phone yet - something I have done several times with all my old Nokias. Despite flying into several bits, scattering batteries, snap-on covers, spaghetti etc. all over the shop, they always survived to tell the tale. If this fell to the ground I would be most worried about the..


Yes it has a bloody enormous screen for a dinky phone. Nice and bright, easy to read from different angles. Trés bon.

Battery Life?

Pretty rubbish compared to me old Finnish wonders. Say about 4 days with easy use. I do have to bare in mind that this phone has a 200Mhz processor though. In fact it runs about 25 times faster than my old Commodore Amiga and has over 30 times more RAM. Amazing!


If you really care about ringtones you have deep issues that you need to resolve. Take your crazy frog and enjoy some electro-covulsive therapy.


As a proper little computer unit the SPV can run all manner or programs including music players. The bundled Media Player 9 is pretty crappy but can play WMA and WAV files. You can also download MP3 player software including PocketMusic which rocks bells.

However there is a problem with this phone which doesn't seem to be fixable at this time! It seems that the sound circuitry has a fit every 14 seconds or so, adding a semi-audible "tisss!" noise to whatever you play. This scuppers my plans for using the phone as an MP3 player in my car. Arse. See here for more info.

Sound quality?

Seems okay so far. I'd say my old Nokia 8310 was a bit better, although on the other hand that had a nasty bug that would make often make crackling noises for the other caller.


Yup its got it. Haven't tried it with a headset yet. I have used it to receive and send files with the Welsh One's Nokia 6230 though. One thing to note - the crappy file manager doesn't have a "send via bluetooth" option. You have to select "send via infrared" and then select the bluetooth device when it finds it. Very intuitive... not! Actually even that doesn't work most of the time. I recommend you download an alternative file manager like SmartExplorer and use that instead.


Yeah it comes with a midlet engine, although there's not a great deal of stuff out there that will play happily in it. A bit of a novelty feature really.


Yeah it has a VGA camera and it can also record video. It's okay, not brilliant. It does seem to have a stupid bug though where it won't go into camera mode because it thinks there isn't enough memory available for the preview - even when I've proved there is with Task Manager.

Other stuff.

In no particular order:

  • It has email capability with POP3 over GPRS. Neat-o!
  • It has a calendar and can synch with MS Outlook. Neat-double-o!
  • It has a dinky version of Internet Explorer for viewing websites over GPRS. Works nicely.
  • It has a USB lead so you can load and manage the files quickly. Groovy.
  • It has a scrollbar joystick controller that is less prone to mis-clicks than others I have tried like the Nokia 6230
  • Windows Mobile OS does seem a bit flaky to me! They still haven't got it right IMO. It has crashed a couple of times already... Also it takes an age for the camera to boot. Well over a minute...
  • Customizable. You can write your own XML files to control every aspect of the interface colours and homescreen layout. Even write your own custom plugins. Just go and check out MSDN.
  • They should make it easier to manage the sort order of the Start menu! I had to hack the registry... bleh.

Okay that's enough for now. I'll keep you posted, I bet you can't wait!

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