Motorola MPx200: a first look

Summary:Motorola's new clamshell smartphone will use Microsoft's OS and run on Orange's network.

Motorola, Orange and Microsoft have unveiled a new phone running Windows Mobile 2002 for Smartphones. This is not the anticipated update of Microsoft’s Smartphone platform, but a slightly tweaked version of the software we’ve previously seen in the two incarnations of Orange’s SPV .

Motorola MPx200: a clamshell-design Windows Smartphone

The key physical feature that makes Mototola’s MPx200 different from the SPV is its clamshell design. The MPx200 has a 176-by-220-pixel 16-bit colour screen, plus an LED on the outside. The standard internal arrangement of a combined navigation and activation button plus softkeys is not surprising. However, the phone is small and light (48mm by 89mm by 27mm and 113g), and with a 200MHz processor it’s expected to be an efficient device. Ten megabytes of the 32MB of Flash ROM is available for the user, and there’s an easily accessible SD card slot that supports SDIO. The MPx200 will ship with a 16MB SD card.

Orange says it is particularly targeting ‘professional consumers’ with the phone, which is is a tri-band GSM device. Motorola claims up to 5 hours' talktime and 5 days' standby for the MPx200.

Among the tweaks to the Windows Mobile 2002 for Smartphones software are a changed MMS client, and the ability to delete all emails or SMS messages at once. More significant perhaps is the inclusion of a range of utilities from third parties such as IA Style’s Space Maker, which helps free up storage space, and Task Manager, which allows you to close running applications.

Notably absent from the MPx200 are both Bluetooth and a built-in digital camera. The latter will appear for this phone as an SD card, but no price has been fixed. Motorola has committed itself to a range of phones in this series, and future devices may feature built-in cameras. However, no word was forthcoming at the launch on the possibility of Bluetooth in future models.

Orange is making the MPx200 a Signature Device, meaning that it ships with a number of bundled Orange services. These range from news and information to ringtones, wallpapaper and other updates. You also have access to the Orange Backup service, which protects data against handset loss, allowing a replacement phone to have its data restored easily.

The MPx200 will ship with a docking cradle for data synchronisation with a PC, and will be available from October in Europe on Orange’s network. It will cost £239.99 with a contract.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Reviews

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