Around the back is a VGA resolution digital camera that takes quite acceptable pictures, but there's no flash, so forget about using it when itâ€™s dark. There is also a small mirror for self portraits.
Behind the battery nestles a Mini SD card slot, which is one of the tiniest memory card formats around, bar Trans Flash. Orange supplies a 16MB card pre-loaded with some trial applications, although since you have to pay for them if you want to keep them, I wonâ€™t go into any detail. Mini SD cards are available up to 512MB and are fairly reasonably priced compared to Memory Stick Duo for example.
The disadvantage of having the memory slot behind the battery is that you have to power off the phone before you can change the memory card, which makes it a less than ideal choice for playing MP3 files - the Mio 8390â€™s external slot is preferable but does add to the size of the unit. Size wise the SPV C500 is quite comparable to a SonyEricsson T610, although the SPV C500 is slightly taller â€“ dimensions run to 108 x 46 x 16.3 mm (HxWxD) and it weighs 106g with the battery fitted, 6g more than Orange quotes.
Unlike the Mio, the SPV C500 does have Bluetooth â€“ a feature that many mobile phone users will welcome, especially on a smartphone. Itâ€™s not quite as straight forward to set up a Bluetooth connection on the SPV C500 as on other mobile phones I have used, since you have to delve quite deep into the menu system to do so. However, I found out that pressing and holding the home key takes you straight to the Bluetooth and GPRS menu, making the procedure quicker when you know how.
There are a fair few Bluetooth profiles available and you can even sync the phone with your PC over Bluetooth with ActiveSync when you donâ€™t have the USB cable handy. One thing I found frustrating is that you have to enable Bluetooth and then press done, then go in to the same menu, select devices and then connect to your Bluetooth headset. Not exactly the easiest way of doing things.
The SPV C500 is a tri-band phone, so it can be used in most countries that you are likely to travel to. Although quad-band phones are starting to become more prevalent, most usersâ€™ needs will be serviced by tri-band.
The built in VGA camera takes pictures with a full resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, but lower resolutions are available. At the lowest resolution you can employ 4x digital zoom, but there is little point since the resulting pictures are very poor. The camera can also capture low resolution video and has some other gimmicky features including a special mode for adding Photo ID pictures to the entries in the phone book. The keypad has pre-programmed short cuts to many of the functions, which makes navigation quick and simple once you get the hang of it.