Mini-Review of Orange SPV M5000

Gadget fever

Gadget upgrade fever is a condition that afflicts most IT people and it did seem an age since my last phone upgrade. In fact, I had been using my Nokia 6630 for almost a year when I started to suffer the familiar tech-envy.

As is the case when deciding the next phone upgrade, which way do you go? Do you stay with the tried and trusted or do you go for something a little different. Since I am a Nokia fanboy, it was the N80 that I coveted.

To prevent gadget fever from taking over, one must ask the question "just because you can upgrade, it does it mean you should?".

Therefore, did I need to upgrade? After installing Opera, Profimail, Smart Movie for DivX playback and the fantastic S60 game Micropool, I pretty much had a decent mobile office. The answer is, "of course I should upgrade!"

Show me the Gadget!

So I started to research the N80 and was a little disappointed with the early reviews once people actually got hold of them. Slowness, crashing and S60 v3 incompatibility with software I had already purchased. Did I need the hassle?

And for what? A slightly better camera and WiFi. I already have WiFi on a mobile device, my trusty HP IPaq 5500, purchased almost 3 years ago for over £400 and used now mainly a GPS device for my car.

I've always liked the Pocket PC range (I had a 3650 for 2 years before the 5500) and was feeling a little left behind with my 5500, the low resolution screen and its habit of clearing its memory if not left topped up with power.

So I started to look at the new range of Mobile 5 Smartphones, in particular the HTC Universal or as it's known on Orange, the SPV M5000.

After reading up on the SPV M5000 and finding out that Orange would give it to me for free, half the cost of my current monthly plan (from £50 to £25), give me a 12 (not 18) month contract and 100 free texts a month, I fell under the madness of gadget fever and agreed to take it. I rang Orange up at 5pm and had it by 11am the next day.

So....

And after using it for a few weeks now, here are my thoughts about it, bad and good.

Firstly, the SIM card lasted about 10 calls and went straight back into my 6630. I did think this would happen which is one reason why I stayed with Orange, so I could pick the phone device that suits my location. It just happens to be the 6630 all the time.

As a phone, it's physically just too big and the interface is simply nowhere close to the Nokia. Also, the fact that it crashes on a daily basis is not very encouraging.

As a Pocket PC or sub-laptop is where it's true strength lies, much better than my 5500 as it has a keyboard. The screen is fantastic and browsing on the web is hugely improved with the landscape mode of Mobile 5. I am looking forward to the final release of the Opera browser.

The improved screen resolution makes the Terminal Service Client much easier to use though they still have not updated it to allow you to use non-standard ports without a registry hack.

Conclusion

In an ideal world I would have a SIM linked to my current phone account that had a small data allowance on it.

So to sum up. Great gadget and improved PocketPC. Not so good phone.

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Comments

Well, it's over a year later and I thought why not update this article. The main thing is - I never went back to the SPV as a phone as I upgraded to a N95 which does everything I need. Apart from last more than a day but that is another post! However, the SPV might be fighting back. As a mini-laptop it is still quite useful, more so now that I have replaced the ROM image with Windows Mobile 6 which seems to be a big improvement. Not only that, the image has been modified so that my favorite programs are in the ROM now, rather than the RAM which helps memory usage. I purchased Opera and FlexMail 2007 to replace the dire Microsoft 'efforts' and also install various utilities in the ROM like Process Managers, RDP client, SSH viewers, MP3 and DIVX players. Now it seems my SPV has become all that it should have been! I'm still never going to use it as a phone though!

hi chris, surprisingly i got a spv m5000 and more surprisingly i read your comment :P Of course now, i also want to upgrade the device. Tried to follow lots of tutorials i have found so far, couldnt upgrade to wm6. i just cant flash the button rom, it gives error 222: device not responding, which i dont get why. I am able to use activesync though. I will be so happy if you help me upgrade this device to wm6. :) msn : eduedix at msn dot com Regards, eduedix

Hi, A friend has given me his old SPV M5000 which i need to update. " daughters at uni simultaneously make me poorere than poor! Arghhh I hear you sigh. No? Well you should. lol Anyway a google for win Mob 6 on this device brought up your blog. Encouraging except for the where and the how! I don't know if you were overwhelmed by demand or not but an email with a link to the modified rom with the basics added in as well as win 6 would be good. Also a quick tutorial on the how. I have used Active Sync 4.5 to upgrade to the latest version of Win Mob 5 but I hunger for 6. Also the ability to handle THE NEXT LEVEL OF WIRELESS ROUTER SECURITY UP FROM wep WOULD BE HANDY. Any chance you can help me out? Thanks, Iain bigchilliuk@hotmail.com

Hi, Apologies for the late reply but I personally did not update the ROM to WinMobile 6 - this was carried out by another engineer. I will drop him a line to see if he can help.