Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Handhelds Wireless Networking Hardware

Microsoft Orange SPV Phone Review 237

Ian Bell writes " just posted a review on Microsoft's new Orange SPV which is the first commercially available Smartphone. The SPV stands for Sound, Pictures, Video and you can download games like Doom or listen to MP3s on the speaker or even chat to your friends using the built-in MSN Messenger. But for all that the SPV features, there is no Bluetooth support. It still looks like a killer phone and I like that it is smaller than the PocketPC phones currently on the market."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Orange SPV Phone Review

Comments Filter:
  • by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:31PM (#6111888) Homepage Journal
    I was deriding the Yopy a couple days ago for having a chiclet keyboard. This thing's got a chiclet keypad. Make it bigger!

    Add to that the fact that you're going to get face-grease all over the screen every time you talk on the phone. I don't see any reason to get one of these yet.
  • by seanthenerd ( 678349 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:35PM (#6111920) Journal
    I believe, as an Apple fan, that Apple should make a really good phone for all us geeks wishing we had big wallets. They could get Jonathan Ive [] to do it, and put a *scaled-down* version of OS X on it. Plus, they could call it the iPhone! (It has a *ring* to it, yuk yuk...) I would definitely buy one (if I had said big wallet).
  • by OmniVector ( 569062 ) <egapemoh ym ees> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:42PM (#6111960) Homepage
    Why the hell is it taking PDA/Cell Phone/MP3 Player/Keyboard/Mouse manufacturers so DAMN long to get bluetooth implemented as a standard across the board for syncing devices, which is what it's particulary good at - close distance, high bandwidth traffic. It's beginning to really piss me off since it has the implications to be so useful.

    I urge for the day i can use my iPod as a clicker device to go to the next slide in a presentation, or when i can set my iPod next to my laptop and automatically sync it. I urge for the day i can walk into a room with a bluetooth keychain and have my pre-programmed computer automatically turn the lights on and start playing music ala Minority report. We *HAVE* the technology to do all this, why the hell are hardware manufacturers kicking their damn heals so much?

    ok i'm done ranting
  • by tickleboy2 ( 548566 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:44PM (#6111966) Homepage

    It seems strange to me that there is no Bluetooth support... especially since it's from Microsoft. If they intigrate Bluetooth, they could definitely do a lot of cool things between it and a computer (or several devices for that matter). Maybe it's because Bluetooth isn't widely accepted yet but without the devices, how is it goint to become widely accepted?

  • The BSquare Maui (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:48PM (#6111986)
    I read a while back about BSquare's Maui device which according to the article was a pretty cool device. GSM is included along with Bluetooth, if IIRC.

    Unfortunately the company can't seem to find an ODM who wants to bring them to market. Another case of good technology getting killed before even reaching the marketplace.
  • Slow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:51PM (#6112004) Homepage Journal
    Seems the reviewer thought the phone was sluggish at times. I'm not surprised at this; Microsoft certainly has lost the art of writing solid, efficient code. As have most of us, unfortunately. And apparently the signal quality sucks, the audio sucks, and the buttons are too small.

    So why would anyone buy this phone at all?

  • Big deal. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by almaw ( 444279 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @12:12AM (#6112108) Homepage
    I want someone to realise that I always carry around my wallet, my keys and my phone.

    Why is it, therefore, that we don't see a combination smartphone/pda/wallet? An average wallet is large enough to put a decent-sized LCD screen and a keypad in (after all, many wallets are quite similar in design to a clamshell-type 'phone).

    This would be a kick-ass device because it'd have a big screen *and* reduce the amount of space everything takes up in my pockets. Surely it's the obvious thing to do?

    Hang on - given it's obvious, I'll just off and patent it...
  • Re:Obscure UI? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zulux ( 112259 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @12:20AM (#6112140) Homepage Journal
    What a joke - he coulden't make an emergency call.

    Most Ericsson phones will let you dial 911 or 112 (or whaterver it is in Europe) at any time - even during the PIN unlock stage, before you've entered a correct PIN.

    Just like a typical Microsoft product - like their fileservers that come with builtin 3DPinball, Wordpad and Solitaire - but don't actually do a decent job of serving files.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @01:38AM (#6112458)
    because it's from Microsoft is why there's not Bluetooth. They don't want device to device communications because there's not a desktop OS involved. Frankly, I'm surprised HP has pulled it off with not only supporting Bluetooth on the ipaq but also with their Linux website( ).

    Even though Bluetooth is pretty low power it's not a technology Microsoft wants. IMHO.

  • by akpcep ( 659230 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @02:55AM (#6112750) Journal
    I actually have one of these, I've had it for a few weeks. I'm perfectly happy with it, especially since the handset cost me £30 (when I renewed by Orange contract, which I was going to do anyway). Audio is fine through the headphones, the built in speaker is a little crappy but certainly no worse than on the Sony Z7e I had previously (which was a piece of SHIT.) The OS is easy to use, OK not blindingly fast) but the screen is excellent, file browsing is a piece of piss and it Active Syncs with my PC like this - *plugs phone into provided USB cradle* *removes phone from cradle* No probs. My only gripes are that the keypad is RIDICULOUSLY small, and while I could have got the plug in keyboard for an extra £25, I can't be arsed carrying it around for the sake of SMS and navigating files etc. Second gripe is that to download and install non-official software you have to 'unlock' the phone (Orange do freely give you instructions on how to do this on their site) by modifying and reuploading a config file. Then it's Doom, SNES emulators etc a go-go. I haven't done this yet due to lack of time, but I shall. Once I unlock it and get a decent sized SD card, this is going to be a pretty handy budget PDA style device which is easy to use, very portable (it really is tiny) and to be honest, just as reliable as any other mobile device I've ever owned. While it is great fun to bash MS, if you want user experience, this phone hasn't once behaved badly and I've been giving it heavy daily usage. So there you have it.
  • What? This is news? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @04:08AM (#6112954) Homepage
    These things have been out in the UK for so long that version 2 is being released!

    Granted, this is because version 1 was so poor that no one brought one - less than 100k units were shipped (which considering that there are about 10m sales/yr of high end phones in the UK is terrible). And that number was _after_ they started giving them away for free with a £25/mnth contract.

    Microsoft fucked up by making a bad phone - not really a surprise - and the only people who brought them were the XBox-modder wannabe-techie types who wouldn't know the different between C and Cobol.

    The most amusing part is that the only reason these phones sold _at all_ was because the DRM functions (you can only run executables signed by Orange and Microsoft) were broken by hackers very quickly - in fact for the French version it only required a reboot to execute. Now thats great security!

    Annoying never fixed bugs include numbers stored in a different way from Outlook/OE so that when you sync your phonebook you can't dial the numbers it downloaded, text messaging that randomly doesn't work, out-of-memory errors, and a phone so large and butt ugly it belongs in 1980.

    Another stunning victory then - Nokia must be quaking in their boots.
  • Great Paperweight (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @04:09AM (#6112959)
    Most of the team I'm working with bought these phones when we started on a project in the UK. They've been using them for about 6 months now, and these phones are loathed by all of them. They crash all the time, are very slow, and the user interface doesn't seem very intuitive at all. I'll stick with my Symbian phone.
  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vurg ( 639307 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @06:55AM (#6113492)
    No, Howard does that all the time not to be popular. He's already popular (go to and he's a regular in phone conventions and stuff.
  • by HawkingMattress ( 588824 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @07:53AM (#6113711)
    My brother owns one of these. We found it very sluggish at the beginning before we figured out that when we thought we closed an app, it was just minimized... I just used it five minutes myself, and what really got on my nerves was all the microsoft-ish things like having to register to use the file explorer, then realizing that the registration server is down... (took two days before my brother could reach it). Then you can't install the apps because they're not signed, wonder why, and figure that developpers have to pay something like $500 to microsoft so they "review the code".

    I'm not an anti microsoft zealot, but I think it was my phone it would have finished its life explosed on the wall after a few hours out of frustration
  • Re:Slow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcjulio ( 68237 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2003 @01:43PM (#6116630)
    The sluggishness of the device has nothing to do with the OS or apps software on the phone, and everything to do with the flash filesystem and the driver that powers it. The SPV is quite powerful enough to run snappy on WinCE - the bottleneck lies in the file I/O tech used for this version.

    This will eventually be fixed, but it will require new hardware and/or driver upgrades. It is currently the #1 SPV complaint, I believe.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.