Music the focus for new Windows Mobile SPV phone
Orange has launched the next version of its Windows Mobile-based SPV phone.
In this incarnation, Orange is concentrating on the music features. The SPV C550 is supplied with a 128MB SD card on top of its 64MB internal memory, suitable for up to 170 Music Player tracks.
Music Player is Orange’s media player, and uses the aacPlus format for encoding, rather than the Windows wma. But the player also supports wav, mp3 and mp4 format files, as well as Microsoft’s wma.
Tracks in the aacPlus format can be downloaded from the 300,000 available from the Orange World portal or copied across from a PC. Tracks can be backed up to a PC, although not played there. And playback is helped by dedicated keys for play, forward and rewind.
Downloading from Orange World costs £1.50 a track – more than downloading from online stores using a PC – but this doesn’t appear to have put people off. A spokesperson for Orange said that March saw Orange World doing 50,000 downloads, and rising, with around a million unique users on the music section of Orange World a month.
Success may be down to a mixture of convenience and the billing mechanism. Mobile users are already used to paying a couple of quid, or more, for a ringtone. A full tune for £1.50 is undoubtedly better value, and unlike downloading on a PC, the bill is ‘hidden’ in your tariff, rather than appearing separately.
Talking of ringtones, the SPV C550 also includes Orange’s Fireplayer application, which allows you to mix and edit your own ringtones.
The C550 represents something of a musical departure for the SPV line, whose smartphone lineage has always lent towards business use. Thus, many handsets would be bought by companies for staff, meaning no cost to the user.
The C550 is aimed at what our spokesperson called the prosumer, and said that the handset would be free with some of the higher tariffs available.
Business features are still present, courtesy of the Windows Mobile 2004 platform, with POP and IMAP email, calendar, contacts and so on, as well as mobile specific services such as text and of course voice.
The phone can connect wirelessly through infra-red and Bluetooth, and wired connections can be made through a USB cable.
There’s a 1.3 megapixel camera with a digital zoom; the 240×320 screen boasts a 65,000 colour depth.
It is supplied with a class 10 GPRS radio, compatible with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz networks in Europe and the US.
The SPV C550 will be available in the UK at the end of the month.