Word Mobile and Excel mobile can be used for productivity – though the Windows Mobile 5.0 soft keyboard and handwriting recognition tools are far from ideal for extended data entry, and for best results you’ll need an external keyboard. Bluetooth is on board for pairing. PowerPoint Mobile is handy for viewing – not creating – PowerPoint presentations.
The usual Contacts and Calendar applications that can synchronise with your PC are here, as is the collection of tools grouped as Messaging (email, SMS and MMS management) Pocket Internet Explorer is included for Web surfing, Windows Media Player offers something for music fans, and WiFi caters for Internet access over a wireless network. I also got Skype running for free voice calls over my wireless network. Sadly, though, the WiFi only runs to 802.11b and not the faster 802.11g.
There is no MSN Messenger. Presumably Orange would rather you didn’t use this. While it has taken away from Windows Mobile 5.0, Orange has also added: the ClearVue PDF reader and the PVPlayer for watching video, a Zip file manager and voice control – for both speed dialling and various other tasks like running applications.
There are two things about the SPV M600 Orange is really crowing about. First off, it supports EDGE. EDGE is a network standard that might have passed you by as it has had little real publicity to date.
Briefly, in February Orange announced its EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) network, with 300 sites operational and the expectation of 1,500 by the end of the year. Orange says EDGE offers data connections at up to three times faster than GPRS, and is intended for areas not reached by 3G.
The catch is that EDGE support needs to be built into handsets. There were five at launch, and the number can still be counted on the fingers of both hands, so the SPV M600 is in a select group.
This is relevant to the other thing Orange is proud of with the SPV M600. It comes with Windows Mobile AKU 2.0 already installed. This is the upgrade Microsoft offers to allow its direct push email service to automatically send Outlook calendar, tasks and email out to devices. This will only be relevant to business users as it requires Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2. I should point out that AKU 2.0 is increasingly available for Windows Mobile 5.0 devices as a user installed upgrade: the advantage here is that it is installed out of the box.