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For a long time, Orange was the first operator to bring new versions of Windows Mobile smartphones to the UK. Its SPV line really did blaze a trail. When connected Pocket PCs became available Orange took to them readily too, and is the first UK operator to market with the hardware design it calls the SPV M600, a connected Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 5.0.
What’s immediately distinctive about this device is its size. We often say at TrustedReviews that the ideal connected handheld has to be a careful mix of size and functionality. A large keyboarded handheld like the SPV M5000 with its 3G support and flip over Tablet PC style design, is good for working on the move if you don’t want to carry a laptop and don’t need to type a great deal, but it is cumbersome for the average pocket and doesn’t function well for voice calls – it’s too big to hold to the ear and pesky to use with a Bluetooth headset or cabled earphones.
The SPV M600, on the other hand, is the one of the smallest Pocket PC format connected handhelds, so that physically anyway, it might be ideal for doubling up as both a handheld computer and a mobile phone.
The SPV M600 measures 58mm wide x 108mm tall and 18mm deep and weighs 148g. If I sit it next to the SPV C600 (46 x 108 x 19mm, 105g) the difference in dimensions is barely worth noting. Certainly in the few weeks I’ve been trialling the SPV M600, and, in the month before that, the very similar i-mate JAMin, I’ve never felt compromised by needing to find pocket space for the format, because the advantages of carrying it rather than a Windows Mobile Smartphone are just so much greater.
Let’s start with Windows Mobile 5.0 itself. The version that runs on Pocket PCs comes with software which, in conjunction with the 2.8in screen really can make a difference to what you can accomplish when on the road. On the screen side of things, I wish the SPV M600 had stretched to 640 x 480 pixels, just for that extra bit of crispness this resolution delivers, but I have no problems reading texts on the 320 x 240 pixels it does offer. I should say, though, that anyone who finds small print in general a bit of a strain on the eyes, might not be so bowled over.