Not everybody can justify spending hundreds of pounds on the latest high-spec mobile gadgetry, especially if basic emailing is your only requirement. At just £99 plus the cost of the top-up charge, the Orange SPV E610 provides an ideal platform for this task. For this price, you'll get a rebranded Amoi 6711 with a customised Windows Mobile 5 interface and a Qwerty keyboard as standard. It's available to buy now from the Orange Shop.
The Orange SPV E610 won't win any awards for cutting edge style. It does offer a lightweight 125g profile and is coated in a rubberised material to ensure the device won't slip from your hand. Its 64mm (2.5-inch) screen supports a QVGA resolution of 320x240 pixels. To the side you can utilise a handy jog wheel for navigating around the Windows Mobile OS. There are also additional shortcut buttons, including one for accessing the 2-megapixel camera software, on the right side.
Beneath the screen lies standard phone buttons, a directional pad and a Qwerty keyboard with evenly-spaced, angled keys. The keys themselves are plasticky, but they do offer good feedback when composing emails and texts.
The camera possess an LED light with a self-portrait mirror at the back. Its image quality -- especially on outdoor shots -- really impressed us.
With a 260MHz CPU, 28MB of free system memory and 77MB of storage space, the SPV E610 performs reasonably well, though our test video in Windows Media player did have a problem playing back in full screen mode. Thankfully, Orange has supplied an alternative video player that can handle 3GPP movie files.
Despite the phone's Windows Mobile 5 OS, Orange has also done a good job of disguising the interface with its own custom theme. Additionally, the network provides flexible pay as you go data bolt-on packages for emailing/Web browsing. Daily and weekly data bundles are available and a fair usage policy will apply.
Battery life gave us just under two days of moderate use and call quality was respectable.
Despite the cosmetic changes to the OS, it's still Windows Mobile 5 underneath. This means the OS won't support HTML emails and much of the software is out of date; you won't find Windows Live services or the latest Internet Explorer supplied. No document viewers are installed either, so receiving email attachments will be difficult, although you can buy other, inexpensive programmes to help with this issue.
We didn't really expect to find Wi-Fi or 3G support on the device, but for basic emailing, its GPRS/EDGE was adequate. However, Web browsing was more of a challenge, especially as we only ever seemed to pick up GPRS connectivity during testing.
While its camera quality is good, it has long shot times and almost grinds to a halt when the view screen is set to full (with the highest resolution chosen). The supplied headphones were basic and not as comfortable to wear for longer periods. You'll also need to connect them via the mini-USB port, as no 3.5mm socket is available.
The SPV E610 may not be cutting edge in terms of modern standards, but for £99 plus the top-up charge, you can't really complain. Orange has done a good job of glossing over the Windows Mobile 5 interface. If basic emailing is your main requirement, the SPV E610 should prove ideal.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday