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Orange SPV C500

 Orange SPV C500 Discontinued
Due Q3 2004

The Smartphone market has proved to be a little disappointing during 2004 so far, with very little activity. Two of those most anticipated players, the Windows-based Motorola MPx220 and the Symbian-based Sendo X have so far failed to materialise, and frankly most Smartphones currently on sale are clearly last year's models.

Orange's announcement of the imminent arrival of the SPV C500 is a bit of a relief then, especially for those who favour the Windows platform for their phones.

The most striking thing about the Orange SPV C500 is how normal it seems. It weighs a reasonable 100 grams, and the form factor of 108x46x15 mm makes it only slightly larger and heavier than the yardstick Sony Ericsson T630.

It's not just about size, although we'll come back to that. The SPV C500 also comes with a useful software upgrade in the guise of Windows Smartphone 2003 Second Edition, plus the usual software package that makes the Windows-based platform especially attractive to corporate users. Orange subscribers can also back up their data onto the Orange network itself for safekeeping.

Back to the hardware, and the SPV C500 comes with a fairly standard Smartphone resolution of 176x220 pixels in 65,000 colours, a VGA resolution camera, removable memory on a mini-SD card, tri-band GSM support, GPRS, Bluetooth, plus infra-red and USB connectivity.

Multimedia playback on the SPV C500 includes MP3 support and Windows Media formats, plus there's an XHTML web browser and tight integration into Orange's value-added network services.

On paper, the hardware and software looks similar to the previous generation of Orange SPV phones, until you realise that the SPV C500 is only about three-quarters the size and weight of its predecessor.

This particular handset has been manufactured for Orange by Taiwan's HTC, who also make the original SPV, O2's XDA II and Xphone and other Windows-based devices. Orange intend to launch about 20 "signature" phones like this over the second half of 2004.

Perhaps the SPV C500 will help Microsoft's platform be more widely accepted - currently the Windows handset range is pretty limited. Certainly, we think that Orange, HTC and Microsoft have set a new standard in Smartphone design which will give Symbian a run for its money.

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Orange SPV C500 Specifications


Q3 2004






176x220 pixels, 65K colours


640x480 pixels


Standard "candy bar" format
108x46x15mm / 100 grams









Battery life:

Not specified


Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition


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