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Orange SPV C600 smart phone

It's all in the screen

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Orange SPV C600

The phone has been tweaked a little: the casing has much sharper corners than the C500, presumably to accomodate the larger screen. The C600 is also slightly thicker than its predecessor - 16.3mm vs 19mm - but this is hardly noticeable. The long sides of the C600 have sharper angles than the C500, which gives an illusion of the C500 being wider than the C600, though this isn't the case.

Oddly enough, the keys on the keypad are larger than those on the C500, despite the bigger screen, which takes up more space. The layout of the keypad has been drastically changed and the keys are closer together than they were the C500. Gone is the C500's love-it-or-hate-it rocker switch and in its place the C600 has a joystick. However, this is far from the best joystick I have used on a phone as it's quite stiff, making it slightly difficult to operate at times.

The two soft keys are still in the same location underneath the display, and the home and back buttons are located above the joystick. The call and end call buttons have been moved from the sides of the phone to a position just below the home and back button.

The camera button is still located on the left-hand side, while the volume up and down rocker has been moved down slightly on the right. This has been done to make space for a new button which gives you instant access to the Internet Explorer favourites menu. The C600 utilises the same mini USB connector, and it will charge over USB as well as with the included AC adaptor.

There's also a 2.5mm audio jack in the bottom of the C600 and the headset is identical to that of the C500. The sound quality it on par with the C500, but not nearly as good as that of newer phones, especially the more specialised music models. The lack of any kind of bass and treble control in the Windows Media player doesn't help to improve things.

The LED found on the front of the C500 has disappeared - the C600 sports two LEDs instead, one on each side of the ear piece. The right one is the power light and the left one is the Bluetooth LED. The power button is still located at the top of the phone alongside the IrDA eye. The speaker has been moved from the left side to a position just behind the power button.

The integrated camera in the C500 was fairly disappointing, even a year ago. The C600 has a 1.3 megapixel unit which captures stills at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024. Video is recorded at a fairly paltry 176 x 144 pixels in MPEG 4, H.263 or Motion-JPEG AVI formats.

The internal workings have been given an overhaul as well; the processor has been upgraded from an OMAP 730 to an OMAP 850, but rather strangely the clock speed has been reduced by 5MHz from 200 to 195MHz. The memory has changed, not in terms of size but allocation, so the C600 has a lot more available system memory, but in turn you get less storage capacity. Orange bundles a 32MB Mini SD card with the handset, double the capacity of the one the C500 shipped with. Still, this is fairly stingy when you consider that a 128MB card will set you back no more than £10 and the cost to Orange would be even less.

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Next page: Verdict

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