Audiovox SMT 5600 / SPV C500 (HTC Typhoon)
This phone has impressed me at every turn. I did lots of research on which phone to purchase. I am a former Sprint customer who was fed up with the lack of CDMA coverage in my hometown (suburb of Philadelphia). I also liked the idea of being able to unlock a phone and use it abroad if necessary.
A colleague in London had the Orange C500 version of the phone, and always would flaunt the features, the SD card capability, etc. I was jealous, and did the research.
I got the phone for $99 after rebate in late December and have not looked back. I've recently customized the home screen so that it looks AWESOME and have huge 1 GB MiniSD card in it.
I cannot rave enough about the cool little stuff you can do on this - I have a Nintendo Emulator on it and people have done lots to hack the phone so that you can add other GSM bands (make it a Quad Band World Phone for example), and the Outlook Syncing is seamless.
My first SMT5600 had issues though. My Green "Talk" button worked great for about a week and then it stopped functioning. Also the phone would only Sync for about 2 mins and then disconnect itself. This was very hard when there was lots of mail or appts to sync or I wanted to extract or insert a file onto my card. Cingular's return/warranty policy was awesome and I just received a BRAND NEW SMT5600 that I will treat a bit better.
HINT: use clear packaging tape to protect the screen and keep out pocket lint. I will also be getting a case (a rubber one that is form fitting) -- the magnesium black casing does not look as cool if it is dinged up.
The phone comes with stereo headphones and MP3s sound AMAZING through them. I have also hacked the phone so I can listen to SIRIUS satellite radio with it -- pretty neat and a lot of fun (use google -- it's easy to do).
Overall, I love the customization, the features and the unit is eye candy. If you can still find it, its a bargain! A great choice, just take care of the baby!
Transitioning from a Palm to Windows Mobile
I thought I would provide feedback from the perspective SMT-5600 PDA capabilities as a high priority -- the biggest draw for me was the size, as I didn't want to carry around a bulky Treo. After having the phone for the past 2 months, here are my observations, including converting from a Palm device:
- Leaving 'graffiti' and going to 't9' for text input is a big adjustment (as well as not having a touch screen). I actually like the t9 functionality now (don't use multi-tap much), and my list of often used words/terms is growing. I think my speed of text input now is about the same as with graffiti.
- The screen is a BIG improvement from my (monochrome) Palm Vx. Even small fonts appear nicely. The ability to modify the home screen is a nice touch.
- Some equivalent built-in apps provided on the Palm OS are noticeably missing. Specifically, the synchronization of Notes and a useful Search option (the Tasks feature is also weak). I ended up purchasing Oxios To-Do, Power Calendar, SmartPhoneNotes, and SmartPhoneFind. The culmination of these apps surpasses what I had with the Palm, though I had to shell out $$$.
- It is much easier to find freeware Palm apps compared to Windows Mobile. Also, the purchased apps are more expensive for Windows Mobile. Java midlet apps are another option, which I plan to explore further.
- Being able to explore the contents of the phone via ActiveSync is really nice. A major complaint I hear from people with other phones is that they have to transfer all of their files via the cell network. Since this phone has a USB port, you can easily transfer files/folders back and forth using a desktop PC (you do have to get used to the unique folder organization).
- I was able to easily unlock the phone (using free instructions from the internet) and have used SIMs from both Cingular and T-Mobile.
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase, and even more happy when I can find free/cheap applications for Windows Mobile!
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It's changed my life... really!
It's been almost a month with the phone, and I am still completely thrilled. Up to now I had only had iDEN phones; the SMT 5600 is so much more capable overall that I just don't miss push-to-talk.
PROS: So many... where to begin? Here's a good place: a perfect out-of-box experience.
Windows Media Player 10 and Napster To Go are both awesome! Definitely take advantage of Napster if you have this phone.
I think the phone is gorgeously designed, with rich-looking black and silver surfaces and a reassuring heft despite the light weight. The keypad backlighting is beautiful, as is the screen. Windows Mobile has nice font scaling, making web browsing a pleasure.
ActiveSync over the air with Exchange 2003 has worked perfectly, as has MSN Messenger. T9 works well.
Lots of apps available and endless customization possibilities for sounds, visuals, even Bluetooth on/off toggle via speed-dial.
Battery life: such a nice change to have a phone that can charge fully in two hours and have plenty of power left over after more than a day of heavy use.
IE in single-column mode is perfect for reading web forums, and the rocker makes it easy to scroll. The rocker is admittedly controversial, but for my needs (heavy browsing, light gaming) it's great. While not the best choice for all games it is the ideal Bejeweled controller. (Come on, Astraware, give us Bookworm for Smartphone!)
CONS: Not an EDGE phone, although the GPRS, at least when on an AT&T tower, seems plenty fast for all I've done with it, including IMAP e-mail and streaming Windows Media radio. Heavy GPRS use seems to drain the battery fastest of all activities.
AT&T/Cingular merger-related uncertainties-- will Cingular support the phone as well as AT&T has?
Unlike some of the other reviewers I've found the built-in speakerphone to be just adequate (iDEN has really spoiled me). Thankfully, earpiece and headset volume are both excellent.
I wish it had USB 2.0 -- but does any phone?
SMT5600 BEST EVER!!!
Surprisingly, this phone has been out for a while and it was a factor that was keeping me from going with it, but after months of wrangling with the decision to go with the VX8100, and/or the SCH-A970, both from Verizon, I decided to on this phone, a phone that I had in my hand nearly 10 months ago when it was available only with ATT. I loved it then, I love it even more now. Every feature you have read about is twice as good in real life. From the ergonomics and style (the way it feels in your hand), from the intuitive design where everything is convenient and well thought out, to the functions that are only going to improve with Windows Mobile v5.0 that will allow you to browse in landscape. Anyone who puts a Gigabyte of miniSD into this puppy will love the fact that they can copy mp3/mp4 (both) to the device as if it's a drive on your computer and then listen with sound quality as good and loud as anything I've heard from a portable audio device. The camera and CAMCORDER w/ sound work easily and seem pretty good, and the display is brilliant with all the necessary tools. The bluetooth worked great and found my Scala-500 earpiece that also came free with the phone (also free). From what I can see with the bundled ActiveSync software you can also transfer data with BT (as well as Infrared). The speakerphone and the silent modes were both easy to access, and the phone vibrates. I only wish that Avantgo would support this OS and from what I hear, this is going to happen, and that would make my journey complete. I will have found the perfect phone.
Are you kidding me? Oh yeah, I have two. I showed this thing off in my office and everyone is getting one now, AND my girlfriend got a Razr on my same order so that we can stay in network (we've switched from T-Mobile), and now she's returning her Razr because she had trouble with flipping the clam open, wanted a calendar and mp3 player after seeing how nice it was on the SMT5600.
This is by far one of the most impressive phones ive seen out there. I was used to Symbian my previous phones were a Sony Ericsson P800 & P900. I love Sony to death, but i was dissapointed in their customer service in the US since no one officialy has these phones support is limited.
MSN messenger included
Great Camera with video
Outlook and other mail sync capable
Sim PIM managment
Cons: Screen size is often to small
Battery life is not the greatest
Keypad is too small
Having to take out the battery to put in the SD card.
Things i suggest is downloading agile messenger it is an awesome program.
My carrier is cingular, but AWS also had this phone.
As far as signal goes all i can say is this phone gets more signal in more places
Best Phone Ever Owned!
This is hands down the best phone I have ever owned! I almost gave it a half point off b/c it is a windows based phone and we all know what windows is good for ... crashing! Honestly it has only froze up a few times and a simple power cycle solved the problem. I have watched a few movies on it and they were great (for a phone of course!).
A few of the things I love best about the phone are the call quality, reception, and screen clarity. In the past year I have owned a Motorola I730 (Nextel), Nokia 6820, Motorola V505, and now the SMT5600. I had the Nokia for two months before getting rid of it b/c I never actually talked on the phone b/c the call quality was so poor and the screen so horrible! Its coolest factor was the QWERTY key board.
The screen is phenomenal on the 5600! I have downloaded some pretty amazing backgrounds and it handles them perfectly (if properly sized down). The interface is extremely easy to use b/c I have been using windows for the last 9 years.
Mine is unlocked and I am using it on Cingular and live in a rural area in Oregon and have only dropped a call once in the last 2 months vs. every 5 minutes with my Nokia!
Overall I would recommend this phone to anyone who likes gadgets and loves to play with their phone a lot.
I have had this phone for a month now and absolutely love it. I have been through many carriers (Sprint PCS, Verizon) and many phones. On the GSM side I have tried the Sony Ericsson T616, Motorola V600, Nokia 6220 and 6820. I finally decided to try the 5600 because I have always wanted a phone with a light-weight PDA that syncs with Outlook and the 5600 is the perfect blend of phone and PDA. Audiovox has managed to pack a lot of features in a little candy-bar phone. I have preferred flip phones in the past but audiovox has managed to convert me into a candy-bar phone fan.
+ size - indeed the smallest MS smart phone I have seen
+ phone quality
+ crisp bright screen
+ Battery life
+ Build Quality
+ Volume buttons on side take time to get used to - they are small
NOTE: I actually like the joystick (despite many complaints on it about navigation). I find the navigation is easier especially when scrolling through lists the way its designed. The only problem with it is pressing the joystick button (action key) which is not always reliable and takes getting used to.
I highly recommend this phone for anyone who wants to sync outlook seamlessly with their phone.
I chose this phone after several months of reviewing other phones including the Sony P910a, Blackberry 7100g and Nokia 6620. I narrowed my choice to the Blackberry and Audiovox because of the a)cost and b)size. The Nokia is close but much heavier and thicker than the Audiovox. If I need to pocket the phone the Audiovox is much more comfortable. My carrier is Cingular and charges an extra $10 for the data plan with the Blackberry so that was the final tie breaker for it.
With Cingular the phone actually needs the Data Connect Unlimited plan ($39) to avoid excessive fees if you plan to user the internet and email. The email with these phones is real full sized email messaging not the glorified text messaging that most other phones use. Because of this you accumulate data transfers at faster rates, if you use this feature. I forward work email to my phone and do not want to have them truncated if its important.
Reception with Cingular in the Atlanta area is excellent. I was in the north Georgia mountains this weekend with a neighbor who uses Sprint. He had no signal and I had 4 bars.
Its important to read the owners manual especially if you're new to pocket windows. Much of the feature/functionality is clarified there. Do not assume the phone cannot do something without referencing that. There are also a number of sites dedicated to Smartphones which explain how to work with the phones. I've seen many message here with could have been clarified by referencing those places.
The little do everything machine
This is by far the best phone that I have ever had. OK so I haven't had that many different cell phones. But I have tried many and have done my research before buying this phone. I am so happy that I did my research and ended up getting the best damn phone you can't get anywhere near this price range.
Pros: Everything from
-Battery life is exceptional
Was going to buy 2 extra batteries as backup but I don't think I need to
Battery lasting almost 1 week with regular calling, playing solitaire on phone and taking pictures and playing wih phon in general.
-Mini SD expansion slot rocks. Just got a 1 GB mini SD card. Going to load custom applications on the phone. Setup a large MP3 library on the phone and maybe a couple movie in Div-X format
-Set my own wave file as ringtone - This can be virtually anything
-Bluetooth - which I am excited to try but haven't tried it again.
-The carrying case that comes with this phone is pure genius - the clip will never fall off your pants. You can run a marathon and your phone will still be on your belt. The case also protects the phone very well.
Synching Outlook calendar, e-mails contacts to phone book ect,
-Keypad keys are small to write text with - Still confortabel controls, I just wouldn't want to write an entire word document with the keypad.
-Applications don't close automatically, you have to go to task manager and kill all the open processes once in a while. This is standard on portable devices supposedly.
This phone is truly amazing I would recommend it to anyone!!!
Great phone getting pushed aside
I spent a ton of time reading reviews to decide on this phone. I switched from Verizon to AT&T, While verizon still has the best coverage overall, I have only dropped a call twice in two weeks.But overall at least I am not dealing with function crippling Verizon. But back to the phone.
You can review Excel files and word Doc. You just have to buy the software Microsoft sells. And that is the pure beauty of this Phone. Pretty much if you want it to do something..there is a program you can buy that does it for you.
If you can move a file on your computer to a different folder you can load this phone. you just slide in the expandable Mini SD memory chip available at Best buy, plug phone into PC, sync the two, and copy to your phone...MP3,Jpegs,Gif..etc.
To sum it all up, I was at a dinner with the owner of our company and a few other top executives, we started talking about phones and I pulled out my $160.00 SMT5600, played a actual movie,Played some MP3 ringtones and a full song, showed off my custom load screens and home page, opened an excel file and checked my work email.I was proud that they could not put my phone down the rest of the night! I was just smirking seeing their $600-$1200 phones dead on the table. did you get this?" How much did you really pay for it?" was asked at least 4 times. And the battery lasted the entire day loosing only one bar of power! To bad these phones are getting harder and harder to find. It does feel a little funny in your hands, the speaker is amazing based on size, I hear it just fine, in a crowded room. If nothing else use this phone to compare to others in your search. See the difference yourself.