Orange SPV C600 Regina SK

The SPV C600 is the latest in Orange's SPV range of Windows Mobile-based smartphones and the first to run Windows Mobile 5. Although it shares its screen with the SPV C550 music phone, it isn't designed specifically as a music player, and has more in common with the SPV C500.

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Orange SPV C600

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The SPV C600 is the latest in Orange's SPV range of Windows Mobile-based smartphones and the first to run Windows Mobile 5. Although it shares its screen with the SPV C550 music phone, it isn't designed specifically as a music player, and has more in common with the SPV C500.

The SPV range's looks have improved with each generation, and although the latest handset is thicker than its predecessors, it has a sleek grey and silver finish and a less fussy keypad. The C500's rocking directional bar has been replaced by a joystick, which is arguably easier to use and better for gaming. Texting is harder than on the C500, as the phone's number keys are more tightly spaced, but their raised surface means those with bigger fingers can still use the phone.

The C600 shares the C550's 320x240-resolution screen and while it has only 65,000 colours compared to the 262,000 found on some smartphones, it is clear and bright. The screen is also large for the phone's size, and the high resolution means there is more room for web pages than on most smartphones. Viewing full-size web pages on a mobile's screen is always a compromise, but Pocket Internet Explorer makes a good job of displaying even graphics-heavy pages. The browser is significantly improved over the C500's version, as there is a progress meter to show you how much of a web page has downloaded, and a zoom function as well.

There have also been changes to the phone's menu layout. Previous SPVs stayed close to the Windows Start Menu layout by giving a long list of options to choose from, but the C600's menu icons are arranged in a grid. This is more like a normal phone and clearer, as icons for each function are larger and easier to see.

One of the C600's main advantages is its ability to synchronise with Outlook. The SPV can synchronise with your PC's contacts and calendar using Bluetooth or USB, but as Windows Mobile 5 uses the TCP/IP networking protocol to communicate with your phone, you may have to fiddle with your personal firewall to get it working. Windows Mobile 5 supports persistent memory, so the SPV C600 doesn't lose any data if it runs out of battery power. The phone has 17MB of available storage and comes with a 32MB mini-SD card, so there is plenty of room for contacts and emails.

The SPV C600's camera has a 1.3-megapixel resolution compared to the C500's 0.3 megapixels. While the camera is an improvement, it is only good enough for viewing on your phone's screen, and not on a monitor, as it produces bleached-out colours.

This is only an incremental improvement over previous SPV phones, but the improvements over the SPV C500 are noticeable and turn an excellent phone into an even better one.

System Specifications

SMARTPHONE 240x320 resolution LCD, 64MB RAM, 64MB storage (integrated) 32MB storage (mini-SD card), four hours talk time, six days standby, weighs 105g

Author: Chris Finnamore

Computer Shopper Online