There is also an option to take video footage at a top resolution of 176 x 144 pixels, although you shouldnâ€™t expect the quality to be outstanding and forget about shooting in anything but a well lit environment. There is a video player that can stream video over GPRS from the Orange website as well as a SIM manager application and a task manager that allows you to close down malfunctioning applications and free up precious system memory.
One minor frustration is the back button â€“ in certain applications this doesnâ€™t work and instead you need to use the soft cancel key. Apart from this it seems that most of the problems I have had with the SPV C500 are software related, but Iâ€™m happy to say that the Windows Mobile 2003 platform has surprised me with itâ€™s generally solid functionality.
With Orange being a network provider there is an Orange menu on the phone which adds a further few functions, such as the backup utility which allows you to back up your contacts, calendar, My Documents folder and SIM data to a secure Orange server. All of the other functions in the Orange menu apart from the Caller ID Photo application are online only and you really need to have GPRS enabled to make the most of them.
You donâ€™t get a whole lot of kit in the box with the SPV C500, at least not if you compare it with the Mio 8390. Orange only supplies the basics, which consist of the charger and a mini USB cable; a corded hands free headset, as well as the 16MB Orange Mini SD card. The hands free headset is similar to that of the Mio 8390 and offers reasonable sound quality and has an inline volume control â€“ this will save you having to pull the phone out of your pocket to adjust the volume. One problem I found with the headset was that the calls wouldnâ€™t always end when I pressed the button.
You might have noticed that there is a silver and black version available of the SPV, the C500s, but this is only available to customers that sign up for Orangeâ€™s Premiere talk plans. The functionality of the handset is however identical.
You donâ€™t get any software as such with the SPV C500 apart from the pre-installed applications, which is quite a shame, especially when you compare it to the Mio 8390. But its saving grace is that as long as you sign up for a new contract costing over Â£24.99 a month or if youâ€™re due an upgrade on a similar tariff, it wonâ€™t cost you a penny. And with this in mind, and the integrated Bluetooth, I canâ€™t help but recommend the SPV C500 over the Mio.
Considering that the SPV C500 is free with an Orange contract (depending on your choice of tariff), itâ€™s a bit of a bargain. This is a smartphone that has pretty much all the features covered, a reasonably small form factor and a potential price of nothing. Even the slightly disappointing screen canâ€™t take too much shine off the Orange SPV C500.