The Orange SPV C550 is an iPod-esque music-centric handset featuring Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, a 1.3 Mega pixel camera, dedicated music buttons and Windows Media Player 10. It gives you the ability to play MP3 ringtones and use all the software that we feature on CoolSmartPhone.com.
It comes complete (from Orange at least) with a 128Mb MiniSD card and is roughly 1-2 mm taller and thicker than the SPV C500, it has new style earphones, Orange Music Player and Fireplayer. The slightly larger screen shows off the new font and the body of the phone has a new soft feel to it.
Screen resolution is much easier on the eyes and the screen itself is brighter and more vivid. The colours seem deeper and more realistic on pictures.
The joystick is an improvement if you have larger fingers as it is easier to ‘click’ without accidentally pushing it slide side to side.
Comes with a 128Mb mini-SD card (SanDisk).
Larger capacity battery – too early to tell if battery life is improved. C500 has a 1050mAh 3.7VDC battery (ST26A) the C550 has a a 1150mAh 3.7VDC battery (ST26B) beware of cheap replacement batteries with only 700 or 900mAh.
Keypad buttons are slightly larger and feel firmer to the touch.
Overall the phone seems more responsive and faster to load applications once in windows.
Nice pair of headphones included to listen to music, although rubber cover juts out when anything is plugged into it…
Sound quality is good when on phone calls. The speaker phone seemed a little more muffled than on the C500 but not dramatically.
Camera quality – click here to see a photo taken with the C550 and compare it to to this one taken on the old C500.
Larger than the c500 (slightly more bulbous). Feels a little cheaper than the C500.
Very small soft buttons and home and backspace buttons are difficult to use the later especially when correcting text messages.
TomTom Mobile 4 does not work on the new higher resolution screen :-(
Mine didn’t have the answer phone telephone number set up when it arrived. (+447973100123 for those in the same boat).
In my opinion, the C550 is very good and continues to grow on the success of the C500. I would point out, that owners of the C500 will see little in the way of ‘ground-breaking’ significance with the new patch including WMP10 other than the screen. Owners of Tomtom mobile 4 will need to contact Tomtom with regards to its suitability/compatibility on the C550. The included 128Mb mini-SD card is a welcome surprise and makes the music side of this phone worthwhile for those doing short journeys, although most music lovers will need to fork out for a larger storage card. I can’t help thinking in the back of my mind that some C500 owners would be better off waiting for the C600 rather than using their upgrade entitlement on a handset that is only marginally different to the one they currently own.
Here’s a video, taken with the C550. Video is recorded in 176×144 and has 2x digital zoom – as does the still image capture. Click below to view – you might want to right-click and choose “Save Target As”, then view it in Quicktime.
The C550 is available with our partners below…