Orange SPV E650 Windows Mobile Smartphone - Orange SPV E650

By Riyad Emeran



  • Editors choice
Orange SPV E650 Windows Mobile Smartphone


Our Score:


Since the E650 runs Windows Mobile 6 for smartphone, rather than the Pocket PC version, there is no touch screen support. This means that all of your navigation is done via directional buttons and select keys. At first I found this rather difficult and frustrating, since I’d been used to just stabbing at the screen with a stylus or even my finger. However, after using the E650 for a few days, I became accustomed to the new navigation method and soon found it perfectly natural to get around my applications this way.

Moving from a Windows Mobile 5 device to Windows Mobile 6 doesn’t seem to bring with it masses of advantages, apart from the fact that it looks subjectively prettier. One thing I did notice is that the smartphone edition of the OS loaded on the E650 has a slightly cut down version of Office Mobile. Unlike previous versions of Office Mobile that I’ve used, this version will not allow the user to create new documents, instead it only allows you to open existing documents. Strangely though, you are able to edit those documents, which means that as long as you have template documents on the device, you’re able to open them, edit them and save them as new documents. I’m really not sure why Microsoft has not allowed document creation on the smartphone edition of Windows Mobile 6, but at least there is a work around, meaning that this is only a slight frustration, rather than a potential deal breaker.

As with the last couple of Orange SPV devices I’ve tested, Pocket MSN was conspicuous by its absence. However, after a chat with Microsoft I was informed that Windows Mobile 6 will be shipping with Windows Live Messenger instead of Pocket MSN as soon as the final version is ready. Microsoft was kind enough to send me the latest beta code for Live Messenger, which I promptly loaded onto the E650. Live Messenger works very well indeed and gives you the option to be fully connected wherever you are. With effective mobile email, SMS and of course voice calls also on tap, the E650 really is a pocket sized office for the mobile worker.

The SPV E650 is driven by a Texas Instruments OMAP 850 CPU running at 201MHz. That’s a pretty modest engine for a Windows Mobile device, when you consider that the SPV M3100 sports a 400MHz Samsung processor, and that’s far from the fastest around. As a result, the E650 does feel a tad sluggish in some situations, the most obvious being when the screen switches from portrait to landscape – this can sometimes take around three or four seconds, which is a little annoying. There’s 128MB of embedded ROM and 64MB of RAM onboard – after installing Live Messenger I found that I was left with around 46MB of free storage space. Of course this can be augmented via the microSD slot, which is conveniently located on the right side of the device, protected by a rubber flap. Orange bundles a 128MB card with the E650, which is a little small considering that you can pick up a 1GB card for around £7.50 these days.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


August 24, 2008, 2:14 pm

I completely agree with Riyad that this is the device on the market that comes closest to being my ideal device - Phone, WiFi, Office mobile, IE, Hotmail and Gmail (easy to set up), superior texting capability, Qwerty keyboard (could be a bit bigger - I would not have minded the device being another centimetre longer), good mp3 and portable video player (with the help of free legal 3rd party software). The only gripe is the absence of a touchscreen.

Has anyone been able to download skype onto this phone? I tried but got an error message saying "Installation was unsuccessful. The program cannot be installed because it does not have sufficient system permissions".

Thomas Robbins

January 28, 2009, 11:07 pm

Completely confused by this review, we have around 50 of these mobile phones and I can tell you from a support aspect there terrible. We get at least 2 phone swaps a week this can be caused by keys falling off to the phone overheating, slide detaching itself, crashing, cutting off calls. It’s very slow for a phone it’s also not very well made and a little flimsy.

After a few months they just start to fall apart, the slide becomes stiff then sometimes just detaches itself from the base.

From my point of view this isn’t a good phone at all, I would give it 4/10 at the most.


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