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Orange SPV M5000 – 3G Smartphone Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £100.00

The issue with any pocket size device is usability. Of late the trend for pocket size devices is to make them hand held, with as much physical space as possible dedicated to the screen. The obvious down side to this is the lack of keyboard and this problem has been addressed in a number of ways. The most obvious solution has been the soft keyboard, where you stab at letters displayed on the screen with a stylus or your finger. The other method has been some form of character or handwriting recognition. Unfortunately input methods like Palm’s graffiti are difficult to master, and although the handwriting recognition built into Windows Mobile does a great job of deciphering my scrawl, it’s far too slow to be used for anything other than short notes.

Of course I admit that I’m probably the exception when it comes to using pocket size devices on the move. Most users won’t be sitting on a train writing a review like I am right now, which is one of the reasons that size won out over usability.

One of the many things that Sandra and I have in common is our love for the classic Psion Series 5 – a PDA with a keyboard that rivalled some notebooks at the time. Even today I have yet to see a mobile device with a better keyboard and I used to regularly write entire features on mine back in the day.

But despite my somewhat unusual mobile working habits, the need for a full keyboard on a mobile device has become more apparent than ever, even for the average user.

With data services becoming the norm on mobile devices, more and more users are enjoying the benefits of email on the move, while the more adventurous are even chatting on instant messenger services while they’re out and about. Once you start to use these kinds of services you’ll soon realise that a soft keyboard is far from adequate.

This is where the Orange SPV M5000 steps in – on paper it offers everything you could ever want from a mobile device, but I’m always aware that what looks good on paper doesn’t always work so well in practice.

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