A few days ago, the world (for me) passed another technological milestone – I now had full and unmetered Internet access for 99% of the time*. I’d just bought the Orange SPV Smartphone.

This phone is quite a nice piece of kit; it has a decent sized colour screen with a reasonably fast processor. Importantly, it synchronised quite beautifully with Microsoft Office (which it should do, since it runs Microsoft Smartphone 2002), and it has GPRS access to the web and my email.

Let me repeat that – it has full web and email access. This has been nothing short of a dream of mine for years; I can’t count the times that I’ve thought, “I wish I had Google right now,” or “I wish I didn’t have to wait until I get home to check my email.” Plus, it has instant messaging support via MSN messenger.

On the whole, it’s a good phone, and lightyears ahead of my previous comparable devices (Sony J70 and Visor Deluxe). Being among the first generation of the new wave of smartphones (the Nokia 7650 being another example), it has its niggles. These include:

1) A short battery life
2) Small and difficult to use buttons
3) Lag time on menu transitions

which are all irritating but nowhere near enough to offset the loveliness that is mobile Internet access. I’ve heard a lot of whining about ‘Oh, it’s a Microsoft phone so you’ll have to reboot it every day.’ I haven’t had to reboot the phone yet, and in any case, all phones need the occasional rebooting. I have no especial love for Microsoft, but there’s no use in making false claims.

The phone was relatively cheap, and it also came with a camera that takes pictures at 640×480. I don’t intend to use the camera that much, but it’s nice to have the option. I wouldn’t recommend this phone to most people, since most people don’t care about mobile Internet and email access, but for avowed techies like myself, I believe there isn’t a more cost-efficient smartphone available now or in the near future (the SE P800 included).

*I hesitate to say 100% of the time because there will inevitably be signal dropouts.

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