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Orange SPV M3100 3G handset

The ultimate smart phone?

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In operation, the SPV M3100 doesn't differ that much from the SPV M600, although it does feel slightly more responsive, which would make sense as its processor is twice as fast. An interesting feature that Orange has added is the wireless modem application, which allows you to set the M3100 to work as a dial-up modem. This can be done over a USB cable, Bluetooth or infra-red. It's just a shame that Orange doesn't have support for HSDPA as yet, but you can still use the M3100 instead of a 3G data card.

Orange_SPV_M3100_right_angle

Using the M3100 as an always-connected device works very well, although I had problems connecting to Orange's 3G and GPRS services at times. Wi-Fi worked very well, and you can adjust the transmission power of the integrated Wi-Fi adaptor to extend the battery life or to give you the best reception and range.

Voice calls also sounded a lot better than they did on the M600, with less noise and a clearer ear piece. As I mentioned earlier, the new headset is also much better and it's quite comfortable to wear even for longer periods of time. It's just a shame that you can't use a different headset if you want to listen to music on the M3100. Even so, the supplied ones aren't terrible for music.

You can get Microsoft push email straight to the M3100 and you can, of course, use normal POP3 email with it. It's much easier to write lengthy emails on the M3100 than just about any other smart phone except possibly a Blackberry device or a Treo, but the M3100 has so much more on offer than these devices.

Battery life is good for about two days of not-too-heavy usage - start connecting to 3G or Wi-Fi and you're down to about a day. You can manually disable 3G if you mainly use it for voice calls and this would make for a much better battery life.

Cost-wise the M3100 is quite expensive. Unless you spend more than £40 a month on your mobile phone tariff, it will set you back £150, but if you're a heavy user you can get away with paying £50 for it. Still, this isn't a bad price considering the features you get. However, you would really need to add a data package to get the most out of the M3100, and Orange sadly doesn't offer any great data packages yet.

Verdict

The Orange SPV M3100 is a first-rate Windows Mobile 5 smart phone with a wide range of excellent features on offer. It's not perfect, but it shows how good the Windows Mobile 5 platform can be with the right hardware. It easily out-manoeuvres its competitors in terms of both ease of use and of features, which goes to show that the traditional mobile phone manufacturers will have a hard time keeping up in higher end of the smart phone market. ®

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90%
Orange_SPV_M3100_tn

Orange SPV M3100 3G handset

A top-of-the-range Windows Mobile 5 smart phone with all the bells and whistles...
Price: £50-150 depending on airtime package RRP

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