Review

Orange SPV M5000 Review

Orange have recently introduced their new signature phone, the Orange SPV M5000.

The device is available world-wide with different operators and carries different names throughout the world like iMate Jasjar for example.

Although on first looks the device appears to be big, on further inspection the M5000 is a powerful and intelligent Pocket PC for all your needs.

Read on for full review...


View: Orange SPV M5000 Review


View: Orange SPV M5000 - Orange


The device

The M5000 is the first 3G pocket PC available. From first looks it's rather big and stands out. The device is very well built and well finished. This device is the perfect tool for the travelling business man who have a "man bag" in tow.


Along the top of the device you can find the SD slot (not mini-SD) and the power button.


Along the left hand side of the device you will find two connectors for WCDMA and GSM aerials, the mini-USB port, reset button and 3.5mm headphone jack (yes a standard headphone jack!!).


Above this part of the device on the pivot edge you can find the answer and hangup buttons which allow you to take calls without opening the device fully. Combined with the earpiece on the outside of the device you never need to open the device to receive calls.


On the right hand side or front of the device (depending on how you're using it) you can find two stereo speakers between the camera button, flashlight (for the camera) button, voice prompt button and volume up and down button. The speakers produce a good sound depending on what you're playing but they cope well with bassy tunes.


At the back of the device you can find the 1.3MP camera with flashlight and the battery cover across the whole of the back of the phone.


Opening up the device reveals the high quality and useful QWERTY keyboard. Just above the keyboard is the bright and crisp TFT screen. The screen is big enough to play movies on when travelling and is bright enough to make them look very nice.


Below the screen there is a navigational pad and the second, 0.3MP camera for 3G. Along the top of the keyboard are handy function keys for contacts and phone and at the bottom of the keyboard you can find keys for messaging and Internet Explorer. The keyboard will light up if the light sensor detects that there is a low amount of light in your surroundings and the keyboard glows a sexy red colour.






Windows Mobile 5

Like the SPV C600, the device contains the standard Orange homescreen plugin allowing you to surf through the most used parts of the device in style and ease. As the device is 3G on Orange you will see a U for UTMS (same thing as 3G). I've found that my signal can fluctuate depending on where I am but in central London I never have any problems at all making video calls and surfing the web on 3G. If you're worried whether you'll be able to receive 3G then check here .


Video calling is a breeze, you select "video call" and this will dial the person with 3G enabled. If the other user does not have 3G then it will only connect via voice. You can chan ge cameras to choose which camera you'd like to use. Video calling appears to be smooth but a little pixely. It's almost like a 30K stream of some Realplayer movie but it's fairly clear to be fair.


Making normal voice calls are done through the usual way of selecting a contact or dialing the number on the QWERTY keyboard.




Applications






Because the M5000 is a Pocket PC and not a smartphone, Microsoft have bundled in Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and Powerpoint Mobile. These are very handy applications if you want to continue working on that spreadsheet you've been working all day on. Powerpoint Mobile does not allow you to edit PPTs only read them.




Powerpoint Mobile

Also included are ClearVue PDF, a ZIP application and the standard bubble breaker and solitaire games.



As with all Windows Mobile 5 devices MSN Messenger is now encorporated into Pocket MSN. This allows users to check their hotmail on the go and sign-in to MSN Messenger. Unfortunately MSN Messenger hasn't changed much from Windows Mobile 2003SE but look for a change soon once Windows Mobile Live is launched fully.




Settings

Along with a connection manager the settings options on the phone allow you to change the themes, homescreen, power options and memory options amongst other settings. I'd recommend turning the brightness of the phone down to the 1st notch as this will dramatically save battery life.







Contacts

Like other WM5 devices the contacts options have been greatly improved. It's now clear which number is which with pretty pictures defining mobile numbers, home numbers and email addresses. You can now add pictures to the contacts directly and custom ring tones. Selecting contacts is as easy as all Windows Mobile versions. You dial part of the number or name directly into the phone which intelligently detects the contact you are looking for.



Internet Explorer

IE has been overhauled in Windows Mobile 5, you can now find out how much data is being downloaded as it's clearly being displayed on the screen whilst you refresh the page. The fullscreen mode is great and if you're going to be surfing for long then it's a good idea to turn this on.






Windows Media

WMP10 has been included with the device. The device handles high res movies very well unlike the smartphone range. WMP10 allows you to sync files with your PC using ActiveSync 4.1. If you record in AVI with the camera then WMP10 plays this fine now. Like previous versions you can play video full screen too.



Camera

As there are two cameras onboard the device the camera application allows you to choose either one of them. The quality of the 1.3MP is outstanding. The ability to use the flash light is great for pictures in the dark and handy if you want to blind people too ;) There's a lot of different controls and modes allowing you to change the colours of pictures, gamma, brightness and size. The main new addition to the camera is the new modes. "Panorama" mode allows you to take clips of certain shots and stick them together allowing you to take a whole picture of a room etc. "Burst" mode allows you to take shots of quick moving objects and "sport" mode lets you take several pictures in quick sucession. Perfect additions to this great camera.






Conclusion

Despite the fact this is a fairly big device, if you're a mobile worker or a business user then this will not be an issue. Personally I think the best way to use this device is with a bluetooth headset as this allows you to quickly operate the functions and voice dialing. The ability to use bluetooth, wi-fi and 3G in one device is very handy. Using the M5000 means you'll never be far from your email or the web.

The M5000 like all WM5 devices will allow you to receive email over "push" mail with Exchange 2003 SP2. Since push email hasn't been released yet we were unable to test this but we shall update this review once this has been released (1Q 2006).

All in all if you're a businessman who needs an all in one device with Word, Excel and Powerpoint abilities then this is the device for you.


Link: Orange SPV M5000

Technical Specifications:

Talk time 5.0 hours

Standby 10.0 days

Weight: 285g

3G

Bluetooth technology

GPRS

Mega Pixel Camera

Photo Messaging

Tri band technology

Video Calling

Video Messaging

WiFi

Windows compatible

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