Orange SPV M600 smartphone review

3.5 out of 5
price dependent on contract

For

Touchscreen, Windows Mobile 5 Operating System

Against

No QWERTY keyboard

The Orange SPV M600 is pitched at the business mobile phone user who wants a smart phone, but doesn't want to go the whole way and get all QWERTY-keyboarded up.

At just 58mm wide x 108mm tall and 18mm deep the M600, which is actually a black variant of HTC's Hermes model is only slightly bigger than a regular mobile phone however comes with the added benefit of running Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 operating system.

The fact that it runs Mobile 5 means that you can use Microsoft's direct push email service straight out of the box and that means although your responses via email are still likely to be one word answers due to the lack of keyboard, you can at least see what emails are coming in.

Other software included from the word go includes Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, Pocket Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. With more than 40MB of free memory, as well as an full sized SD card slot you can add thousands more application from cocktail recipe books to dictionaries.

Orange has of course customised the phone to its own interface and this sits neatly on top of the OS. Alongside some changes to the home page, the operator has added a PDF viewer, Zip manager, video player and voice control software.

On to the hardware and the M600 features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (802.11b) and infra-red on the connectivity front and a 2 megapixel camera for snapping shots when you are out and about.

Verdict

The M600 is for those who want some business functionality beyond just using a regular mobile phone handset, but aren't ready to go the whole way and get a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard.

Personally we find this package a little confusing. Hey if you want to check your email while you are on the move chances are, you'll want to reply to them as well and although the M600 features an on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition, it's not match for the keyboards found on models like the Palm Treo or the BlackBerrys of this world.

As a device, it works well, the Microsoft interface is easy to use and the screen big enough to see stuff without impacting on the overall size of the unit. However it's just too half-hearted for our liking.