A little bit more information about this site and how it came about. I’ve been an Orange customer from the early days of Orange – my first mobile was a big Nokia 5. When I bought a Nokia 6210 I was very impressed with it – I’d had it for almost 2 years, but then I heard about the Orange SPV. It was promised for launch late October 2002, but I didn’t manage to get mine until November 15th 2002.

Shortly before I got the SPV I’d called nearly every mobile phone chain in the UK, asking after the SPV – but each one kept saying that they’d be delivered “soon”. One day “the missus” dragged me out to Merry Hill – a shopping centre near Wolverhampton.I strolled into the Orange shop and asked if they had one – they said they had, and they were selling like hot-cakes. The girl showed me the “test” SPV they were using to show customers .. the battery was going flat, the “Chemical Brothers” movie stuttered and broke up, and it seemed quite slow.. but I wanted it. The girl didn’t even know how it worked as it had only arrived that morning – but it blew every other phone off the shelf – then I looked around, and there were about 20 people around me going “bloody hell, that’s excellent! Can I have one too?!” So I grabbed it – it cost £99 at the time.


And that’s when it began …. There was limited support, and no-one knew what it could / couldn’t do. I set out to break it and fiddle with it as much as possible. I found some cool features, such as the fact that you could upload your own backgrounds. A simple web page grew into a full website fairly quickly. Initially we designed the site in Frontpage (yeah, I know).

Then Microsoft contacted me.. I gotta admit this now – I thought it was a wind-up. Microsoft wanted me to become an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for the Microsoft SmartPhone, which has now become Windows Phone. This was amazing, and it gave me the opportunity to pass on all the concerns and comments that I’d received from SmartPhone users to the people concerned. I met Paul (www.modaco.com) and other great peopole the way.

Our initial site had a rather strange name so, soon enough, Coolsmartphone.com was born. More and more people emailed daily. Now, if you’ve bothered to read down this far, and quite frankly – I’m amazed, ‘cus I’ve had a bit to drink and this is rambling on a bit now – but I want to thank you. This site isn’t all our work – it’s your news tips, advice and emails that keep everything fresh and interesting. I love checking the email every day because new stuff always appears. Also though, I enjoy answering questions .. I learn, and it gets posted on the site so that everyone else knows about it too.

As coolsmartphone.com grew we had to start moving servers. To begin with we were on a shared server in the UK, then we moved to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) in the USA, then – after a few more changes – to our own servers inside a state-of-the-art hosting facility. The site is powered by three currently – one being a backup server and one providing the database, whilst the third has the main web front-end.

Initially we covered just Microsoft Smartphone – that’s the non-touch screen device. Then we moved onto Pocket PC and Windows Mobile. When the iPhone exploded onto the scene things shifted very quickly and Microsoft have struggled to compete. Android was also a big shift in the market and we’ve moved to reflect these changes.

We’re driven by a team of really talented writers, bloggers and tech fans. It’s their continued and unrelenting dedication to hunting down the latest gossip, reviewing the latest kit and news that keeps this place growing. We attend the latest launches, cover the big events, test out the geeky gadgets and review the smartphones and accessories you’ll hopefully be buying.

If there’s one motto we have, it’s that we like to provide a personal touch and our own style to the content that appears here. You’ll find videos filmed in the kitchen, Bluetooth speakers tested in the shower and phones snapping real photos in real surroundings.

Above all, it’s your feedback and suggestions that point us in the right direction, so as long as you keep coming back, we’ll keep on going :)

  • Rickjn

    Gears – Please don’t take this personally but sorry I do not like the new format. The previous format listing news in order regardless of o/s of phone was good as it gave everyone a chance to see how the various o/s’s were leapfrogging or sinking against each other. Whilst I appreciate that the new site might need a bit of tweaking, I think it is a big mistake to force polarisation as soon as you enter the site (i.e. choose which o/s to browse). I think the important thing for most people is to get the news as it happens (i.e. what are the latest developments) whether android, iphone or windows – the new site does not appear to do this. If the format stays as is, it will be unfortunate as I will not be coming back because I don’t want to see everything just about my phone. In my case it happens to be WM6.5 and I have been aghast for a long time about microsoft’s apparent lack of interest/arrogance in WM with others very much taking the initiative. Hope this is useful. Should this post not take my email address, it is rickjn@btinternet.com. BTW, I have been with your site since near the beginning, Rick

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Rick. There’s still some work to do but we had to switch because it
      was becoming difficult having two systems running alongside each other. You
      can use http://www.coolsmartphone.com/all-posts for the “classic” view style and we
      will be working on bringing this to the main pages soon.

  • TimCor


    I am afraid that I agree with Rickjn about “polarisation” of the O/S to view, it may be an idea to have a. “All” section. My other observation (as an amateur web designer myself) is that the banner is too large and dominates the page (especially on 16:9 format screens) leaving less than half page at the bottom for the initial viewing. I hope that feedback such as this will help as I am a keen user of your site. Best wishes for 2011. TIM

  • Guest

    Gears – Ur new site is bloody awful !!!!

  • Jack

    Hi mate, My main issue with your new site is the speed it takes to load or navigate. Almost impossible to use on my Hero over 3g and usually my windows 2k computer loads most sites really quick but this one takes ages.

    • Anonymous

      We’re working on this – don’t worry. We had to switch to the new system as
      we were duplicating stories. The mobile site needs addressing, as does the
      load time. This is all being worked on.

      Leigh Geary (Gears)

  • Billinge

    I quite like the new layout, similar to a few other sites I use at the moment.
    One thing, how do we get to the forum (without adding forum after http://www.coolsmartphone.com)?

  • Andrew

    Don’t listen to the negative comments… great work on the site.

  • Charlie

    Great site, been reading your website since the original Orange SPV too… I still have mine for old times sake and it still works… Not a bad performer since the last official software update a while back. Videos worked well as long as the resolution matched the phone and the frame rate was encoded as 15 fps :)

  • Vormulac

    Shame the forums have gone, this was always my first port of call when I had a question about my phone – no longer, it would seem.

  • thegatekeeper

    This site is as good as useless now. difficult to navigate, no forums, just useless. i was here at the beginning and this was the first place to come for answers to any problems, not now though, this will probably be my last visit. The site does not even have its own login anymore so my old username and password are no more. sort it out before the site goes totally down the pan.

    • Anonymous

      We stopped the forums over a year ago. I’m guessing you’ve not visited in that time?

      Leigh Geary

      • thegatekeeper

        Yeah i have been having quick visits once a week or so to look at the news and keep up with whats new, i have missed not being able to assist with peoples problems etc in the forum, but it has not been until now that i need help myself.
        And can’t post in the forum because it is not there.
        Until the forums stopped this has been a great place for help, tips and news.
        I have always been using windows mobile from the start so got to know it well.
        But now with the useless windows phone i have had to change to android, i need help but can no longer get it here. very sad.
        I can understand why you got rid of the forum though, with all the spammers and the like, but even so, without forums where do you go if you need help, there are android forums about, but so many people want answers, but no one ever helps.

  • Lin

    How do you search this site?
    Its impossible to find a review …..and google just redirects you away from this web page

    • Anonymous

      Try the hardware reviews section

      Leigh Geary
      On Apr 5, 2012 4:39 PM, “Disqus”

      • Leica

        I can’t search either, just get 404 not found and a load of google ads to buy the phone that i am trying to find a review of. looking for motorola droid razr review, i have found stack of reviews but none review the ring/media volume, all i want to know is will i hear the thing when it rings, unlike my poxy sensation with virtually no volume at all, appears to be common with htc now, just want to find out if the razr will be louder.

    • Anonymous

      Try the Search option on the top right. What are you looking for ?

      Leigh Geary
      On Apr 5, 2012 4:39 PM, “Disqus”

  • Smellyshelly73

    i had a htc one s but unfortunately it was stolen when i get my new handset will i be able to get my products that i bought on my new handset

  • Sam Gibson

    I remember 10 years ago buying my SPV and then the later one (SPV C500) and finding only this site and Paul’s site and harassing everyone I could on both sites to help with Mobile Active Sync to prevent my corporation investing in BlackBerry. (We had a fleet of Compaq iPaqs too).

    I’ve been racking my brains for what the site used to be called. Any help?

    Also, interesting fact. The iPaqs and the SPVs were all made by HTC.

  • alistair

    i remember my original spv omg great phone,love to get another one for nostalga