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A little over a year ago, I decided that I wanted more from my mobile phone and so I looked beyond the usual suspects of Nokia, Motorola, Samsung etc, and went for one of Orange's very own SPV range.
What is an SPV? ----------------------
Orange's SPV range are made by a company called HTC and they are smartphones that run Microsoft programs and have the features of a personal organiser. There are two types of SPV i) Smartphones - like a standard mobile but with Microsoft software and ii) Pocket PC - a touch screen personal organiser that doubles as a phone.
The M5000 --------------- The M5000 first became available around two years ago. It is large for a phone and when held up to the ear, the user feels like they have gone back to 1985 and are modelling a housebrick mobile. However this is more than made up for by the functionality of the device which I will now attempt to explain in the context of an 'average' day in my life.
0600 - Alarm time - having set one or more of the three alarms, I can then further choose which days of the week the alarm goes off on. The M5000 has stereo speakers (yes that's right a phone with stereo speakers) and the alarm is very loud. As the alarm can only be silenced by selecting the correct menu, you have to engage the grey matter to turn the alarm off which prevents falling back to sleep.
0630 - The train - The SPV M5000 features windows media player and has an SD memory card slot. This means that by plugging headphones into the 3.5mm socket, the phone is a fully functional MP3 player. The M5000 has two basic methods of operation: as a tablet like most other stylus driven machines, and by turning the screen through 180 degrees, it becomes a mini-laptop with full qwerty keyboard and this is what attracted me to it.
0800 - The office - The calendar function allows you to view your appointments for the coming days/weeks/months and add new ones very easily. I personally prefer a paper diary but if you can get used to it, th diary function is great. Another very useful function is the to-do list which allows you to prioritise entries. I use both but admittedly my paper diary is easier to use and preview over the coming days.
1200 - Lunchtime - Being midway through a housesale, I am reliant on reading emails. If you have an email address with POP3 functionality, the M5000 can be configured to check for and download emails at pre-determined intervals. If you don't have access to a computer then this is a very handy function indeed. You do pay for the data used to download emails unless your tarrif specifies otherwise. The qwerty keyboard allows you to quickly write emails and the huge (roughly credit card sized) screen is very, very clear indeed. It really is like using a shrunken laptop!!
1700 - Train home - Either solitaire or jawbreaker (both pocket pc classics) can be accessed through the games menu and make an hour long train journey go by incredibly quickly. This is also when I update my expenses using the pre-installed Microsoft Excel and Word. Both are simplified versions of what you will find on a pc but it is fully compatible. All SPV phones are compatible with Windows PCs and data can be transferred between them using bluetooth or a USB cable with the enclosed software.
2000 - Home - Charge - The battery life of this machine is not great and you will get less than a day of solid use. The phone can either be charged via a USB socket when attached to a computer or using a mains powered charger. A full charge can normally be obtained in a couple of hours so by the next morning, the battery will be more than ready for a new day.
Conclusion -------------- Good points ---------------- Huge, clear 65k colours tft backlit screen Tablet or keyboard functionality 1.3 MP camera takes clear pictures SD card allows huge memory if using 1 or 2 GB card Microsoft ease of use on menus and programs WiFi
Bad points --------------- It is huge and you feel stupid if you use it as a phone!! Battery life not great
Orange no longer sell this phone but used ones can be bought on ebay for around £50. This is a bargain. I have used mine for 18 months, despite having an upgrade, and plan to use it for a while yet.
Its size means it is not practical to carry in pockets but if you take a rucsac or handbag to work, it is a very useful piece of equipment to carry.
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