By August 19, 2006

Tracy reviews the Orange SPV M3100

[color=#6200aa]Matt has given you a run down of the technical stuff in his review so this is going to be my view of using and living with the Orange SPV M3100![/color]

[color=#6200aa]My previous phone was a T-mobile MDA (Jam) which is pink – very girly! [/color]

Hermes vs MDA

M3100 vs MDA

[color=#6200aa]The main things I use my phone for, apart from making calls, are text messages, email, calendar and the task list. I also browse the web and play games while out at shows with our dog Bailey. I therefore made these top of list when testing the device 😛 [/color]

[color=#6200aa]Obviously the biggest differences are that the SPV M3100 is slightly larger than my MDA mainly because of the slide out keyboard. I decided that the size issue was not too much of a problem as it still fits in the phone pockets in both my handbag and briefcase. [/color]

[color=#6200aa]The keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, while it is much easier than having to type using the stylus on the screen I found that the ‘Backspace’ key is in the wrong place! I keep typing ‘P’ instead but I am sure with time and practice I will get over this small problem. I’ve also noticed that two of the keys (the ‘T’ and the ‘S’) are a bit lazy and require a bit more pressure to make them work. When typing this is a real pain.[/color]

[color=#6200aa]Having the keyboard has made using the email and text messaging easier and quicker. I really miss pocket MSN though, as I like using MSN messenger but I don’t like Agile Messenger much. Bearing in mind that the M3100 uses a Microsoft OS I can’t see why they have removed MSN. Very strange! So now I can type nice and fast but have no MSN to chat on! :([/color]

[color=#6200aa]Being an Orange phone the SPV M3100 comes with an Orange toolbar on the today screen which is enabled by default. Initailly I did find this useful but then I tried to customise the today screen as I wanted to be able to see my upcoming appointments and if I have any unread messages or active tasks. Using the Orange today screen plugin means that you can have one or the other but not both so I ended up with the screen looking exactly like my old phone! So someone somewhere has really wasted their time with that, surely it could and should have been able to do both![/color]

[color=#6200aa]My second disappointment came when I discovered that they still haven’t bothered to change the standard games – I am completely bored and fed up with the existing Solitaire and Jaw Breaker (cunnigly renamed Bubble Breaker!) and had really expected something new by now but apparently I am going to have keep paying for games to play![/color]

[color=#6200aa]I can’t comment on video calling as other than Matt, none of my friends have 3G phones 🙂 and we don’t have 3G coverage at home (we barely have any coverage so 3G would really be an upgrade!!) but then I can’t say that it is anything that I would ever really use but might be fun to play with. [/color]

[color=#6200aa]The 2.0 mega pixel camera on the phone is excellent and much better than any phone camera on the previous phones I have owned. The ‘flash’, however, is a complete waste of time.[/color]

[color=#6200aa]I also found the little scroll wheel on the phone very useful when browsing the web and email. It is very neat, and reminded me of the wheel on the Blackberry! On the other hand the stylus is quite frankly a pain in the bum – it is just too small and fiddly and, on the device I have, is actually very difficult to get out as it always feels like it’s stuck!![/color]

[color=#6200aa]As for the case that comes with the SPV M3100, while there was a temporary enjoyment factor, flipping it open to see how strong the magnet is for closing it, I feel that the case is actually worse than the case that came with my MDA and I still won’t be using it day to day. The only time I can imagine using is when I want to clip it on to my belt when I am working outside or out with Bailey, the rest of time I will do as I do now and just put the M3100 straight into my bag! I find all of the cases for these phones too fiddly and when its ringing you just can’t get to it quick enough to answer the damn thing![/color]

[color=#6200aa]In conclusion, the only thing that would sway me in to swapping to the Orange SPV M3100 over keeping my nice pink MDA is the slide out keyboard. When I consider the things I use a phone for there’s just not enough improvement over my existing phone and I certainly would not pay £150 for the M3100![/color]


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