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SPV vs. SE T616

August 19th, 2003 · 3 Comments

There’s an interesting article been written comparing the Orange SPV Smartphone (running Microsoft Smartphone 2003) and the Sony Ericsson T616 (the US equivalent of the T610). The reason I found it interesting is because I’ll probably be upgrading my phone in a few months and I’m in a bit of a quandary as to which route to take.

Normally, choosing which phone I want to upgrade to is not a particularly difficult situation – I just get the best phone that I can afford. With the development of smartphones (phones that can do lots of PDA-like things) and the fission of the market into distinct operating systems like Microsoft, Symbian, Linux and proprietary, things have gotten much more difficult.

At the moment I own an Orange SPV, which I am reasonably happy with. It’s a bit big, and it has a short battery life, but otherwise it’s a very fully featured phone that has a great browser, email client and is highly customisable. The SPV represents, to me, the higher business-end of the phone market – it’s not quite as sophisticated as the SE P800, but it’s not bad either.

A few weeks ago, my brother got an SE T610, along with lots of other people. I quite like the look of this phone – it’s probably half the volume of the SPV, it has Bluetooth, a built-in camera and a respectable battery life. However, it’s email client and browser can’t match the SPV, and basically it doesn’t have the advanced features of the SPV (which is obvious from the comparison linked above).

Personally, I don’t feel that either phone is superior. If I had a T610, then I’d miss the quick dialling and the email and browse capabilities of the SPV (not that I use the latter two all that much). With my SPV, I’m missing a much smaller phone with a longer battery life and built-in camera.

Things will get yet more muddied very soon with the release of the SPV2 (touted to have a better screen, design, battery life, bluetooth and built-in camera) and the SE Z600. Then of course there’s the SE Z1010 and the SE P810 following shortly, and I might even have to think about moving over to Three.

While obviously this quandary is a simple result of the expansion of the phone market, and that all of this development and competition is great news for us consumers, it used to be so much simpler in the past…

Tags: review · shopping · tech

3 responses so far ↓

  • Eccles // Aug 20, 2003 at 7:15 am

    I’m not totally convinced it’s such a good thing. First point to make is that there is always going to be something better just around the corner. A lot of people are put off by that as they feel their investment (as they are getting quite expensive) will be obsolete within a short time. I also think the the companies involved are shying away from an important lower end of the market. It is very difficult to buy a simple phone to make phone calls (remember them) and text messages at a reasonable price. There are always going to be too many design compromises involved in trying to merge a PDA, email, browser, phone, SMS, fridgemagnet, sex toy and aubergine into one device.

  • Adrian // Aug 20, 2003 at 12:58 pm

    Well, I don’t think it’s the case that simple phones are being neglected – Nokia and SE and all the rest do have a fair range of low-end phones. But I would agree that perhaps they could pay a bit more attention to making a really good simple phone.

  • Mossy // Aug 23, 2003 at 6:36 pm

    I have an Orange SPV as well – its reasonable as a phone, but what its really done is take over from my aging Palm Vx as my personal organiser. I have a horrid memory :(

    The main niggle with it is that its absolutely horridly set up – you can speed it up to near nokia standards with just a few registry tweaks and changing some settings – oh, that and the application locking present. Sillies.

    As these smartphones are all first generation, the ease of use isn’t at comparable levels to others – where’s the sms length counter for example :)

    It’ll improve, and there’s the T100 and 3100 for people who like simple phones (the Nokia 6100 has to be one of the nicest phones I’ve used for simplicity).

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