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In use the SPV M500 works much like a PDA with phone functionality strapped on to it. This is really the only flaw of the SPV M500, although no fault of Orange’s but rather an issue that Microsoft needs to improve upon. Orange has added Spb GPRS monitor on top of the software that comes with the Microsoft operating system which allows you to keep track of your GPRS spend. It also adds quick access to screen brightness, battery life information, GPRS access, Internet Explorer and Pocket Outlook to the home screen. Orange also supplies ClearVue PDF and PPT – the former for viewing PDF files and the latter for PowerPoint presentations. The resolution on the SPV M500 is not ideal for either of these file types, but it’s a handy ability when nonetheless.
I’m not too fond of the phone application, as it’s too fiddly to use – especially when it comes to choosing a name from the contacts list without the stylus. Essentially I did miss not having a real keyboard as it’s simply much more tactile. Apart from this I have no real gripes with the SPV M500 and as long as you’re happy to share phone functionality with a PDA type device then the SPV M500 has a lot to offer. Besides the pre-installed applications the SPV M500 works with most Pocket PC 2003 software and I had it working nicely with TomTom Navigator 5 using an external Bluetooth GPS receiver. Considering that the SPV M500 is available from £99 with any contract for over £25 a month from Orange it’s something of a bargain.
The Orange SPV M500 is a pocket friendly PDA with phone functionality. As a business tool it’s a winner but it's also great for entertainment and Internet access on the move. At the price it’s a bargain.
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