Other software includes Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition with the full Microsoft suite of software, including Pocket Office, Windows Media Player Mobile and Pocket IE. Other software includes “Album” for playing back various multimedia formats such as images and movies in the following formats: BMP, JPG, GIF, AVI, MPEG-4, MIDI, and WAV). With Album you can also annotate the images, perform slide shows with transitions, and even assess image histograms.
Also included is ClearVue PDF and ClearVue PTT for viewing PDF documents and Powerpoint presentations, respectively; Midlet Manager for storing, playing and using Java games and programs; Photo Contacts for assigning pictures to contacts so that they’re displayed when those contacts call; and xBackup for backing up all your files, settings, contacts and appointments to permanent memory or a memory card.
With the supplied headset headphones, the M2000 can also double as a music player. Sound quality is clear and crisp and there’s an on-cable volume control. The earpiece (set to speakerphone) is also quite loud and music is fully audible in a reasonably quiet office. As for in call sound quality, this was clear too with enough headroom in the volume level to remain audible in a noisy environment.
However, being a bit of an imaging enthusiast, the biggest disappointment for me was the VGA camera. Despite the 640 x 480 top resolution, the M2000 is simply not up to scratch. I’ve come across camera phones that can capture images with more quality. With all the sophistication the M2000 has on offer I was expecting greater results. Video didn’t fair much better either, showing the same kind of image degradation that you can see in the stills. On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t buy a PDA phone if you wanted to capture quality pictures, so for most users the M2000’s camera performance will be superfluous.
The key words here are mobile functionality, and in the M2000’s case it’s pretty loaded. With its bright, big screen and all these features (sometimes running simultaneously) battery life will be an issue. In my experience the M2000 endured my usage quite well. The 1490mAh lithium-ion battery is stated to cover four hours talk time and seven days standby which seems good. During prolonged usage on a single charge it’s closer to one/two days of active PDA use including up to an hour of talk time, before it will die. But remember that you’re typically going to perform day to day cradle charging which will always keep the battery topped up. In addition, you have a spare battery to cover you.
So what does all this cost? Well, that largely depends on the tariff you choose, but handset prices range from £99 to £379. Check out Orange’s phones for up to date quotes. For a general idea, I’ve gone for a Standard 200 minutes Plan with double minutes (400 mins for six months), with a 10MB Orange World Access (GPRS) data bundle. This comes to £38 per month over a one year contract, and the SPV M2000 will cost £249. In my opinion this is a reasonable price to pay for a what is essentially a PDA (which can cost more on its own), that also comes with its own keyboard, and of course doubles up as mobile phone, albeit a large one that’ll need a gradual introduction to your friends.
Why carry both a mobile phone and a PDA around with you? The Orange SPV M2000 combines the two and has enough features to keep the gadget junkie and business user truly satisfied. It is a large device and it’s heavier than your standard PDA, but then there’s an integrated useable keyboard (after some practice), and all the connectivity options you’re ever likely to need. A good buy for the connected generation.
Score in detail