Orange – SPV M600 review

small but full-featured Pocket PC phone
Photo of Orange – SPV M600
£99.99 on tariffs between £25 and £39.99, free on tariffs over £40

Orange’s SPV M600 is a Pocket PC with SIM support, and is the latest addition in a large range of SPV devices, both Pocket PC and Smartphone. There are three things that make it stand out from the rest of the SPV range – and from many other Pocket PCs with SIM support too.

Number one: it is small. At just 58mm wide x 108mm tall and 18mm deep it isn’t a great deal bigger than an ordinary mobile phone. That’s important as it means the SPV M600 isn’t too much of a bother to carry, and you don’t feel like a chump holding it to your ear to make voice calls.

Number two: it supports EDGE. It is not the only Windows Mobile device to support EDGE, but it is among a very select and small group. EDGE is an enhanced GPRS service which delivers data at higher speeds. Orange announced its EDGE network in February this year, and sees it as a service for users where 3G is not available.

Number three: it supports Microsoft’s direct push e-mail system right out of the box. For most other Windows Mobile devices currently available, you need to administer a ROM upgrade to install this. This is more something for businesses than consumers, as it requires a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Second Edition based network, but if that is of interest, then ‘out of the box’ support will potentially be very useful.

You’d expect all the Windows Mobile 5.0 software to be installed, and mostly you’d be right. Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, SMS, MMS, e-mail support, Pocket Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player are some of the staples included, and you get the means to synchronise with Outlook on your PC. But MSN Messenger is notably absent.

Orange adds a PDF viewer, Zip manager, video player and voice control software to the mix, and there is more than 40MB of free memory for you to add more software as well as an SD card slot in the top of the casing if you need yet more storage space. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (802.11b) and infra-red are all built in for wireless communications.

As with many Pocket PCs there is a camera lens in the back of the casing. This shoots stills at up to 2-megapixels, and, most unusually, has a macro mode which lets you get those close-up shots. It is easy to switch in and out of macro mode by swivelling the lens surround.

Company: Orange

Contact: 0800 079 2000

The SPV M600 is a great size for a connected Windows Mobile Pocket PC. It feels like a phone but functions like a handheld PDA. Its screen is not the largest around at just 2.8 diagonal inches, but it is big enough for reading text and Web viewing.