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Fly Mobile SL500i / Orange TR1

 Fly Mobile SL500i Available now
14th May 2007

Fly Mobile is a very unfamiliar name in the UK, despite being headquartered in London. However this brand has proved a big success in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The Fly Mobile SL500i (also branded as the Orange TR1) is the first significant release for Fly Mobile in the UK. It's not their most advanced handset (you can see their range here) but it's a decently specified budget handset that's available now for pay-as-you-go/prepay customers.

It's a slightly derivative handset to look at - at first glance it looks a little like a Samsung but it incorporates a RAZR-like "kick" at the bottom. The display is a 176x220 pixel TFT panel in 262,000 colours. On the back is a 1.3 megapixel camera and the Fly Mobile SL500i also supports microSD cards (60MB is built in). As you can tell from the photographs, the SL500i also incorporates Bluetooth.

 Orange TR1 The software on the Fly SL500i / Orange TR1 includes a multimedia player capable of playing MP3, AAC, AMR and WAV files. There's a WAP 2.0 browser, some personal information management functions but no mention of an email client or RSS reader.

According to the manufacturer, the Fly Mobile SL500i / Orange TR1 measures 87 x 44 x 16mm and weighs 90 grams with a modest 2.5 hours of talktime and 6 days standby time. Orange's web site states that the TR1 weighs 74 grams which is not consistent with the manufacturer's specification.

There are two variants of the SL500i available in the UK at present - a black version similar to the one pictured as the Orange TR1 (for around £60), and a bubblegum pink version for sale on the Virgin Mobile network (for around £50). Either way the SL500i seems to offer good value for money - and this is just about the most popular handset in Fly Mobile's range in Russia.

Fly Mobile has a surprisingly wide range of handsets including ultra-compact fashion phones all the way up to Windows smartphones. Fly has worked with Toshiba in the past to create jointly branded devices. Whether or not Fly can succeed on their home turf remains to be seen - smaller manufacturers are having a tough time competing against the big names, but Fly Mobile seems to be confident that its wide range of phones and established customer base can give them the edge.

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Fly Mobile SL500i / Orange TR1 at a glance




GSM 900/1800/1900




176x220 pixels, 262k colours


1.3 megapixels


Compact slider
87 x 44 x 16mm / 90 grams



Memory card:








Battery life:

2.5 hours talk / 6 days standby


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