Orange SPV E200 GSM
Phone running Microsoft Smartphone 2003 OS
Posted May 10, 2004 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief Discontinued and replaced by the Orange C500 and Audiovox SMT5600
In the US, we have two MS Smartphones to choose
from, the Samsung i600 and Motorola
MPx200 both of which are clamshell devices running the older
MS Smartphone 2002 operating system (OS upgrades for these models
are expected sometime this year). The Orange SPV E200 has a candy
bar design, runs Smartphone 2003 and adds two popular features:
Bluetooth and a VGA camera. The E200 was designed by HTC, the same
folks who designed several iPAQs, the T-Mobile
Pocket PC Phone Edition (XDA) and XDA
II. It's also sold as the Xphone and iMate Smartphone2. Though
not offered by US carriers, you can purchase this world phone from
importers such as Expansys and Dynamism. The E200 is a triband
GSM phone that runs on 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands and will work
anywhere in the world where GSM service is available.
For phone-centric users who need a phone first
and a PDA second, Microsoft Smartphones make a great deal of sense.
The SPV E200 is about the same size as basic candy bar mobile phones,
and is smaller than other manufacturer's smartphones. It features
one-handed operation, has standard phone creature comforts yet
can sync easily with your desktop and offers slimmed-down versions
of standard Pocket PC built-in applications. MS Smartphones do
not have touch screens, nor can they run Pocket PC software. Instead
you'll use buttons on the keypad to navigate the phone's apps and
controls, and you'll need to get MS Smartphone versions of 3rd
party apps if you wish to add software to the phone. Both Pocket
PCs and MS Smartphones are part of the Windows Mobile OS family,
and you will likely feel at home with an MS Smartphone if you're
comfy with Pocket PCs.
Design and Ergonomics
The SPV E200 looks and feels solid and well made.
Weighing in at 4.58 ounces, this phone will easily fit in your
pocket and not feel overly heavy. If you're familiar with the SPV
E100, this model is just a tad larger. The front face has a slick-looking
silver metallic finish and the buttons are chrome colored. The
sides and back of the E200 are matte black and the entire unit
casing is made of plastic. The large, exceptionally vivid display
dominates the front face, and a joystick navigator and two action
buttons are located directly below it. The back of the phone is
flat and the sides have a gentle contour. The phone has a very
clean design with only the stereo headset jack on the right side,
a large IR window on the top edge and a sync connector on the bottom.
The SD slot and all controls are located on the left side: power,
camera launcher button and the volume up and down rocker. The VGA
digital camera lens is located on the back, just above a small
mirror for self-portraits. Like most phones, the battery is located
at the back of the phone and the SIM card sits in a holder under
the battery. Above the camera lens is a port for an external antenna,
which is covered by a rubber plug. As you'd expect, the speaker
is at the top, just above the display, and the mic is at the bottom.
In terms of ergonomics and usability, the Orange
has a good keypad. The mid-sized backlit keys are easy to see and reasonably
easy to press. The Send and End buttons are located on top of the number
pad area, just as with standard cell phones. Below the Send and End
keys you'll find the two MS Smartphone action buttons: the Home and
Back button. The navigation and control pad lives above the keypad,
and when you press a key, the bright blue backlighting turns on, making
it easy to dial in dim locations. The keys do take some effort to press,
and are a bit slippery thanks to the chrome finish. While your phone
likely won't dial from accidental key presses, you do have to make
a modest effort to press each key.
Above, back of the phone with the
battery out. The SIM card lives under the battery (see the red
arrow on the SIM holder)
The package includes the phone, a Lithium Ion battery,
SIM (for Orange's service), a cradle, USB cable, world travel charger,
inline adapter for charging the phone directly from the charger rather
than the cradle, 2.5mm stereo headset, a thick printed manual, CDROM
with ActiveSync 3.7 and MS Outlook 2002, and an 8 meg SD memory card
(with bundled apps).
Wireless Voice and Data
The SPV E200 is a GSM world phone that works on 900,
1800 and 1900 MHz bands and supports GPRS for data. We tested it in the
US using both an AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile SIM cards and accounts.
The phone worked fine for both voice and GPRS data, and should be compatible
with most all US GSM providers. Voice quality and clarity were excellent
with the E200, and it has good RF. We found that it did very well in
strong signal areas, but wasn't quite as good as the Nokia
3650 and Nokia 6820 in fair to poor signal
areas. GPRS was easy to set up and we used the phone to surf the web
with the MS Smartphone version of Pocket IE, and we used it as a modem
for the Tungsten T3 over Bluetooth
as well (using the generic GSM driver). Web pages optimized for phones
and PDAs load very quickly on the SPV E200, and non-optimized pages take
between 50 and 70 seconds to load, since GPRS averages about 35 - 40K
in our area.
You can power off the wireless radio to use the phone
in flight mode.
Standard cell phone creature comforts abound, and you'll
be able to speed dial, use Caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and
use one of eight profiles for the phone. If you enter the first few digits
of a phone number, the phone will display all matches, and filter the
matches as you enter further digits. Simply use the d-pad to select one
of the matches to dial. You can assign up to 98 speed dial numbers from
your contacts list (2-99 are supported, and 1 is reserved for calling
voicemail). Using Profiles you can customize the ringer volume, ring
type, alarm type, alarm volume and notification method. The phone comes
with eight profiles and you can customize a profile to suit your needs.
Phone security features include keypad lock, phone lock, password protection
and call restrictions.
Horsepower and Expansion
The E200 has a TI
OMAP 132 MHz processor and 32 megs of RAM. That's a
middle of the road processor for an MS Smartphone, and fast for a
phone-centric device, though MS Smartphones don't feel faster than
regular feature phones running on slower processors. Why? The Windows
Mobile OS has more overhead than a regular phone, but you do get
a great many features in the deal. The phone feels plenty fast, and
the new OS is faster as well.
Like all MS Smartphones, the unit has an SD slot that
accepts SD and MMC memory cards for expansion. The Orange supports SDIO,
which means you'll be able to use SD WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS SD cards
when MS Smartphone drivers become available.
What's New in MS Smartphone 2003?
Doubtless, you may be considering this phone because
US models still come with the older MS Smartphone 2002 operating system.
Just as with Pocket PCs, the 2002 version is based on Windows CE 3.0
and the 2003 is based on Windows CE 4.2. Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone
offers the following improvements: Support for NAND, Bluetooth support
(MS provides an API), .NET Compact Framework, IPv6, better IE (supports
HTML 4.0, CSS and WAP 2.0) and always on connection support.
The Orange has a VGA camera capable of taking
still images in JPG format up to 640 x 480 in size. It can also
shoot at 320 x 240 and 160 x 120 resolutions and supports four
quality settings: Basic, Normal, Fine and SuperFine. You can
save images and videos to internal memory or a storage card,
use digital zoom and several light compensation settings. The
camera can also shoot videos with audio at 352 x 288 and 176
x 144 resolutions and you can record audio with video if you
wish. Video files are saved in AVI format. Picture quality is
comparable to other VGA phone cameras, and videos are decent,
though a bit blurry if you pan the handset around while shooting.
The SPV E200 has Bluetooth wireless PAN (personal
area networking), so you can use Bluetooth headsets and use the
phone as a wireless modem for your PDA or notebook. We found
pairing with headsets a bit trying until we applied Orange's
March 2004 ROM
update which offers several improvements, including better
Bluetooth. Likely new phones are shipping with the updated ROM
version. Note that the Orange supports headset profile.
Does this phone work as a wireless modem over
Bluetooth? Yes. I paired the E200 with a Palm
Tungsten T3 over Bluetooth and used the phone as a modem
for the T3 on both AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile GPRS. I used
the Motorola GSM driver to do this.
Display, Multimedia and Battery
The Orange has a wonderfully vibrant and bright
color display that's a real crowd pleaser. It's a 65k color 176
x 220 transflective display, and that resolution is standard
for MS Smartphones. The display is viewable outdoors, though
like all transflectives, it washes out a bit.
MS Smartphones don't offer runtimes that are
comparable to standard feature phones and basic mobile phones
since they're running fast processors and power-hungry software.
That said, even with the SPV's camera and Bluetooth features,
both of which consume additional power when used, it manages
to get runtimes similar to the Samsung i600 running on the standard
battery. If you're a heavy phone user, make use of Bluetooth,
shoot a lot of videos or images and watch movies, the SPV should
last you through an eight hour day on a charge. If you're an
average phone user and don't use Bluetooth frequently or the
PDA features, it should last you two days on a charge. The standard
1,000 mAh battery is user swappable and is a good capacity for
an MS Smartphone with these features.
You can charge the battery by placing the phone
in the included sync/charge cradle, or you can plug it into the
AC charger using the adapter dongle. The unit comes with a world
charger with interchangeable prongs and runs on 100 to 240V AC
at 50-60 HZ.
Indoors, illuminated by a sliding glass window
Outdoors, sunny day
Like all MS Smartphones, the SPV E200 can play
MP3s and videos using the included Windows Media Player for Smartphone.
It has a 2.5'' three ring stereo headset jack and comes with a
set of stereo earbud headphones with a call send/end button. The
headset and phone sound quite good for MP3 playback, but you'll
want to get a good sized SD card to store a decent collection of
tunes. You can also play windows media files stored on the phone
or located on a web site.
Bundled 3rd Party Software
The included 8 meg SD card contains several popular
3rd party applications which you can install on the phone. Titles
include CodeWallet, eWallet and ListPro from Ilium
Software, Dockware, PocketSlideShow (for viewing PowerPoint
presentations), Power Tasks (a list manager), Rebound (a game).
PDA Functions: PIM and Multimedia Applications
Microsoft Windows Mobile for Smartphone OS has
a set of applications that provide features for both power users
who crave multimedia and gaming abilities and business users who
need to share and sync their existing data with the handset seamlessly.
All MS Smartphones come with apps that are equivalent to Outlook
on the desktop, along with MSN Messenger and Windows Media Player
for Smartphone. For PIMs, the phone can sync both to Outlook and
MS Exchange servers for email, Tasks, Contacts and Calendar.
Inbox- This email
client supports POP3, IMAP and SMTP servers and offers authentication.
It plays nicely with Exchange server and you can sync emails to
and from the desktop as well as send and receive them directly
from the phone.
Pocket Internet Explorer- This
browser supports WAP, HTML, and cHTML (compact HTML). It also supports
web pages with images and sounds, SSL and cookies but it does not
support frames. The navigation is made easy via lists of favorite
links, most recently-visited web pages and pages in History. The
Options in the browser allows you to modify various settings, such
as allowing cookies, playing sounds, showing pictures, selecting
networks, etc. It may not be a desktop or full-fledged PDA browser,
but it's very handy for getting info from the Web when you're on
Contacts- The handset
can store a very large number of records. The Contacts app on your
phone provides many convenient ways for you to send messages, dial
numbers and access web sites directly from the Contact records.
While the Contacts is well integrated with the phone features,
it can't sort or search. Contacts displays your records sorted
alphabetically by last name. While you can't search by company
for example, you can filter by category.
are three views in the Calendar application: Agenda view, Week
view and Month view. You can enter a new event in any of these
three views. Other than basic schedule information (date, time,
place), the Calendar app provides you with more fields for additional
info. These fields allow you to specify a reminder time, re-occurrence,
status (tentative, busy, free, mark as private) and notes. In addition
to entering a calendar event on the phone, you can synchronize
the events from your Outlook Calendar, import from iCal (a web
calendar server for Windows) or vCal, and even import items from
attachments in your email messages, SMS messages and more.
Tasks- You can use
the Tasks list for keeping track of your to-do items. You can create
these items on the phone or sync them with your desktop Tasks in
Outlook. You can mark any of the items on the list as complete
or incomplete, and you can delete the items. You can also set reminders
for these to-dos.
ActiveSync- If you
use Outlook on your desktop, you will love ActiveSync, which is
the same syncing software that comes with Pocket PCs. In fact,
if you have both an MS Smartphone and a Pocket PC, you can sync
each of them using the same Outlook and ActiveSync installation.
ActiveSync for the desktop is included on the companion CD, and
is built into the SPV E200. Install the syncing software on your
desktop, connect the cradle's USB cable to your PC, place your
phone in the cradle, and you are ready to go. ActiveSync is a flexible
program that allows you to specify which types of PIM info you
wish to sync and how often you wish to sync it. Your Outlook email
message can be synchronized to your phone via either your desktop
Outlook Inbox or a Microsoft Exchange Server. Both email messages
and calendar items will only be synchronized within certain parameters
(for example, messages from last 3 days or calendar items for two
weeks, etc.) while all contacts can be synchronized to your SPV
Windows Media Player- Yes,
MS Smartphones can play stereo MP3 and streaming video. Using the
included three-ring stereo headset, you can enjoy pretty high quality
sound in Windows Media Player. The SD/MMC card slot comes in handy
for you to load up a card full of multimedia content—insert
the card and you're ready to listen to music or view videos through
WMP. Of course, this will enable you to take full advantage of
rich media web sites that serve WMP format movies. This pocket
version of WMP supports most of the Windows Media video formats
and MP3 playback. If you are making your own video and MP3 files,
make sure that you check the manual and use the codec versions
that are supported in Smartphone's WMP.
T9 Mode- MS Smartphones
support 3 input modes for entering text and numbers: Multipress,
T9 and Numeric. The first two are used to enter text while the
last one is used to enter numbers. You can switch modes by holding
down the T9/ Asterisk (*) key while inputting data. We've all used
the Mulitpress and Numeric methods on other phones, and some users
will be familiar with T9. When you enter text in T9 mode by pressing
a numeric key, T9 will analyze your key presses and attempt to
complete the word for you. If the T9 database doesn't have certain
words, you can go back to Multipress mode and enter the word. Once
the word is entered, it will be stored in T9 database as well.
MSN Messenger- Yes,
you can message on the go using MS Smartphones!
A compact, well made, powerful phone. Worth a
look for those who are phone users first and PDA users second.
Pro: Excellent Outlook syncing: no more wearing out your thumbs
entering contacts and calendar items into your phone. Attractive,
clean design. Has Bluetooth and a VGA camera. Gorgeous screen and
the latest OS. Con: Since it's an import, prices are high compared
to carrier subsidized US phones. Bluetooth isn't smooth compared
to Nokia phones.
Price: Approximately US $600 (may
also be sold as the iMate Smartphone2 and Xphone)
color LCD, 16 bit, 65K colors. Screen resolution:
176 pixels wide x 220 pixels high.
: 1,000 mA Lithium Ion rechargeable. World
AC Adaptor: 100 ~ 240 VAC / 50 ~ 60 Hz.
MHz Ti OMAP 710 processor. 32MB Flash ROM, 32 MB
SDRAM. Can be expanded using SD and MMC cards.
x 116.7 x 23.3 mm (1.92" x 4.6" x
.92"). Weight: 130 grams, 4.58 oz.
the Box: CDs, manual, phone,
cradle, battery, world charger, stereo headset
mic with call send/end button and 8 meg SD card
with bundled apps.
900/1800/1900MHz bands and GPRS for data.
in speaker and integrated
mic. Supports alarm sounds, LED alert and vibrating
alerts. Stereo output
through 3 ring 2.5mm headset jack, MP3 playback.
Voice recorder functionality.
Mobile 2003 for Smartphones operating system. PIM
applications include Contacts, Calendar and Tasks.
Calculator and file manager are included. Internet
Explorer for surfing web sites, email client that
works with Outlook. MSN Messenger is included. Windows
Media Player included for playing MP3 and streaming
video. Voice recorder included for recording voice
memo and more. 3rd party software on SD card includes
eWallet, ListPro, CodeWallet, Rebound, Dockware,
PocketSlideShow and Power Tasks.