Review of the Orange SPV C500

New in Tools – review of the Orange SPV C500. Also known as the Audiovox SMT5600, or to some people, the ScoblePhone. Full review pasted below…


Review – Orange SPV C500 SmartPhone

I have no time for this review. Executive summary?

It’s not a bad phone, with lots of software available, and lots of nice features, all wrapped up in a small package.

I have cleared a minute or two for you. Continue. What is it?

It’s a mobile phone. Cell phone for any Americans reading. It’s the smallest phone on the market at the moment to run Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition. In the US, it’s known as the Audiovox SMT5600. It doesn’t feel quite as well put together as a Nokia (the only other phones I have experience of), but it’s not bad at all, and it gives you a lot of features for such a small cheap phone.

What will it do for me?

It’ll let you phone people. It does that pretty well, which is still the most important thing for most people. It takes moderately poor photos (VGA, 640×480 – not much good for printing, but good enough for showing people on screen or sticking on the web). I’ll stick some examples at the bottom, and there’s plenty more scattered around the site – especially in our photo blog.

Why is it cool?

It’s small, it’s cheap, it looks reasonably good. It can take pics and videos, and send them by MMS to your friends. What’s not to like?

Why is it uncool?

If you like flip phones, it’s not one. It does email very nicely, but the cool kids have all stopped using email now anyway. I still use email. I’m not cool. This phone is probably more geek-chic than bling-bling.

Should I buy it?

If you’re on contract with Orange or similar, and you can get it as a free upgrade as we did, go for it. Have a good look at the Treo 650 when that appears, too, though – it should be pretty nice. If you only want a phone, and wouldn’t use the extra Smartphone features or run extra software, it probably isn’t the best choice.


Any more random thoughts?

Why yes, how sweet of you to ask. Every other review has also mentioned this, but the card is a pain. It’s mini-SD, not SD, so you have to buy a new card even if you already have SD cards. Orange supply a card, but only 16Mb. Enough for loads of pictures, but you’ll need more to use it as an MP3 player. Because these cards are more unusual, you’ll have a harder time getting them (If you’re in the UK, Dabs sell them), and they’ll cost you more. Sam got a 256Mb card, and it came with an adaptor to fit it into a standard SD slot, so at least the mini-SD card can then be used with standard SD devices and card readers. Also, the card fits behind the battery. Of all the damn stupid places to put it. So you have to turn the phone off before you can get to the card – this wouldn’t be so much of a problem, but it takes ages to start up again. Don’t count on swapping cards around – you’ll want to stick one card in there and leave it.

If you’re in the US, they’re available for less than free from Amazon – at the time of writing, they’re paying you $25 to take it with a contract, after all the rebates. We even get a little cut if you use our links.

In the UK, they’re only available from Orange at the moment.