By August 25, 2006

Orange SPV M3100 Review (Part 2)

It’s been about a two weeks since I posted the Orange SPV M3100 Review (Part 1) so I thought I would follow up with my experiences with the device.

SPV M3100 Mini Picture

Let me start out by saying that the SPV M3100 is not a perfect device but then I would be surprised if it were, I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect device.

I have had a few problems with the M3100. One really annoying and recurring problem is with the device locking up or crashing. I reported this on the blog a few days ago and have been contacted by a few other M3100 owners, I’m not alone with this problem. I’m seeing this happen a couple of times a day whilst using a various aspects of the M3100, I can’t find a common cause. All you can do when this happens is poke the stylus up its bum to reset it.

The headphones and the headphone socket on the SPV M3100 is a subject that’s getting rather a lot of attention. Integrating the audio connector into the Mini USB socket on the device seems like a really bad idea. It means that you can’t use your own headphones with the SPV M3100 what makes matters worse is that the headphones that come with the M3100 are awful. The only good reason I can think of for integrating the audio in to the USB is for use with a car kit but as most car kits are bluetooth now it does seem rather pointless.

M3100 USB Headphone Hack Cable

I posted a how-to hack for the headset that comes with the SPV M3100 so that it can be turned into an adapter to use with standard headphones. Incidentally the USB socket on the Orange M3100 is known as an Enhanced Mini USB (EMU) connector

The Battery life on the M3100 is a little disappointing. Orange claim a talk time of 4-5 hours and a standby time measured in days. In practice I’ve found that the battery life is a lot less than this, I’d say that it may be as little as half of the claimed capacity. My previous device, an HTC Wizard, had a much better battery life and I have been using the two phones roughly the same amount. I have to remember to charge the SPV M3100 almost every night.

M3100 Underside

The reception or signal strength on the M3100 is much better than any other device that I own. I live in a village that is in the middle of nowhere. I wasn’t able to get much of a signal on the Wizard at all, one room in the house gave me about 1 bar. The M3100 on the other hand has a much better reception and I can use it in the whole house and have a couple of bars on the signal meter.

The keyboard is brilliant, so much better than the one that you would find on the Wizard or the M2000. It’s on par with the keyboard on the M5000 (HTC Universal) but is smaller and a bit more slick. The sliding mechanism is a lot tighter and positive than on earlier HTC devices.

M3100 Open

Overall I really like the Orange SPV M3100. I like the black and grey case design. The processor seems quite fast and easily capable of dealing with the few applications that I throw at it. The screen is decent and bright although there is a slight yellow cast to it. I haven’t had any problems with touchscreen alignment that some other people have reported. I find that I use the scroll wheel an awful lot too!

Final Verdict: Orange SPV M3100 is definitely a phone I’ll be hanging on to for a while!

Over the next week or so I will be posting a review of the HTC TyTN and comparing this to the M3100.

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): smartphone, Pocket PC, Tracy & Matt, Orange, M3100, HTC Hermes, HTC TyTN, SPV, Orange SPV M3100]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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