An Orange Microsoft phone that really looks like a phone

by Guy Kewney | posted on 08 June 2004

The thing that really puts people off pulling out the orange SPV in public? It's the "what's THAT!" exclamation from people who don't think it looks like a phone. Well, the new SPV fixes that ... and the battery life.

Guy Kewney

<1/> Looks like a phone ...

The new SPV C500 looks like a real phone; in short, it looks more like one of the boxes which Sony Ericsson made popular, suddenly.

Inside, nothing much changed from the E200 model. According to Microsoft:

* More versatile bluetooth functionality

* Longer battery life

* Even better voice call quality

I never heard anybody complain about the voice call quality. The main, most important thing about Bluetooth, is that you can use a hands-free headset without tangling it up with the car gear-stick. So the only thing that matters, is the battery life. Boy, that matters.

Here's this month's dark confession: the SPV E200 is actually my main phone. It's not for the battery life, believe me; you're lucky to get through 24 hours if you actually use it. Infuriatingly I found that they changed the wiring for the USB port when they upgraded from the "Tanager" model, so all my special charging accessories became obsolete.

So I'd switch to the C500 in a moment, even if you only get "second edition" Windows Mobile 2003 to justify it. I don't actually need a trendy-looking phone. I use the SPV for just one reason: Pocket outlook.

Outlook is the program from Sunnydale (the hell mouth) - I hate it. It's slow, clumsy, over-complex, does things I don't need done (badly) and doesn't do things I really need.

Pocket outlook, on the other hand, is the best phone directory on any smartphone I've ever used. All I need is to remember the first name, or the last name, or the beginning of the phone number and it finds the contact.

When Microsoft (desktop division) can write code like that, I'll stop mocking them in print.

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