Even if 3G+ is not in your area now you can make two way video calls via standard 3G; the lens is at the top right of the screen.
There are plenty of side buttons. On the right edge is the main power switch, one which on a long press lets you make a voice recording and on a short press launches the built in voice speed dial software. There is also a button for using the built in camera.
The left edge is more interesting. The M700 includes a scroll wheel with a press-to-select feature. This sits neatly under the left thumb. Beneath it is an OK button. It enables you to do quite a lot of things without needing to tap the screen, and scrolling through long texts is very easy.
On the bottom edge of the casing is an infra-red port. This, along with the built in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi gives the full range of wireless connectivity options. I am glad to see infra red here. It gets left out so often but is really useful for making quick connections to other devices.
The bottom edge also houses the mini USB connector that you need to use for mains power, PC connection and the provided stereo headset. I can’t say I like the headset very much – its in-ear buds are large and my ears just don’t like this kind of headset at all. I wish room could be found for a 3.5mm headset adaptor.
Orange provides a carrying case with belt clip and a spare stylus with the SPV M700. You also get a vehicle power adaptor. That might seem odd, until you realise that the M700 has a SiRFstar III GPS antenna built into it, which means you can use it as a Sat Nav device.
Orange has its own off-board Sat Nav solution, and you can use this if you wish. You will pay at your usual data rates to download trip routes. Alternatively, you can do what I did and use third-party navigation software.
I found the GPS antenna to work really well and I can’t help wondering why Orange doesn’t make more of it. In fact, that is an understatement. Orange doesn’t even bother to mention its presence at its web site.