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View Full Version : Audiovox SMT-5600 Mini-review


zoomy942
09-07-05, 05:37 PM
PART 1: Overview (Added 7 Sept 05)


I have been so completely blown away by this phone that i decided to write a mini-review of it. I am going to add to it as I discover different capabilities of it, and trust me... there are plenty.


Everyone loves gadgets. Be it some MP3 player enhancement or a PDA add-on for an IT professional, there are countless devices for everyone. The only problem with having so many options is having to carry around all these devices with you on an everyday basis. Case in point, any gadget junky will normally have an MP3 player, a cell phone, a PDA, possibly a mobile game player, and maybe even a portable DVD player. With this in mind, converging these functions into one device would be an incredible innovation. This is where the Audiovox SMT-5600 comes in. This phone is capable of much more than I written about, but I will cover the significant features and continue to update but half the fun of this phone is constantly being surprised with how flexible it is.

SPECS

174 MHZ ARM processor
23 MB ROM
28 MB onboard RAM
2.2Ē 64K display at 176X220
3.3 oz
1050 mAh Lithium Ion battery

This phone is available from Cingular wireless for $199 after the Mail-in rebate of $50. It comes with the phone, a USB cable to sync it to a PC, a travel charger, and a stereo headset. The phone is overwhelmingly beautiful. It is very tastefully styled with an overall black color scheme, with a subtle silver line along the sides and upper center of the back. Itís 2.2 inch display has a resolution of 176X220 and will display 64K colors. It feels very solid during use and all the buttons give a satisfying response when pressed. It weighs in at 3.4 oz, so despite all the features, it is still not a bulky device. There are two softkeys under the screen and a Home key and Back key under that. The Home key is a shortcut to always return to the main screen, and the Back button is similar to the CLR button on more common cell phones. Along the right side is a camera button and on the left side there is the standard volume buttons.

A phone that resembles a PDA this closely is going to need storage. Audiovox ships the phone with 28 MB of onboard flash memory. You may be thinking about how that lack of space can possibly make this phone worth reviewing. Well, Audiovox thought the same thing and placed a MiniSD card slot under the battery. A 256MB card is what Audiovox recommends, which I tested and it worked fine, but when is 256MB enough space? I ordered a 1 GB MiniSD card and much to my surprise, everything functioned normally. So when you purchase this phone, spend the extra money and get the largest MiniSD card available.

The real power of this device is the OS. It uses Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition and there is a multitude of software available that will enhance your user experience. First off, letís look at the included features. The onboard camera is your standard cell phone quality, although the resolution as higher than I expected at 640X480. The picture below shows the difference between a 4MP camera and the phone camera. The SMT-5600 performed admirably despite not having anything past Auto-focus. With the 1 GB memory installed, there is space for 20711 pictures. The onboard camera also functions as a camcorder. The video is only slightly choppy, but thatís to be expected for a cell phone. 821 minutes of video are available with the 1 GB memory.

Audiovox gave the SMT-5600 several different options to communicate with other devices. The most common will be USB. On the bottom edge, there is a 5 PIN USB port for connection to your PC, which also charges the device. Second, there is an Infrared lens along the top edge and can be used to beam files to other IR ready devices. Lastly, there is Bluetooth built into the phone that can be used to totally replace the USB cable. Through the Bluetooth option, you can wirelessly sync up to a PC and stay sync as long as you are in range of the Bluetooth signal. Thatís extremely useful for anyone who wants to keep there phone updated with their PC while not having to leave the hone attached to a USB cable.

Having a version of Windows on this phone allows it to be manipulated very much like the desktop version of Windows can be. You are able to change the menu styles, change the home screen look and adjust every error screen too your liking. The SMT-5600 will play .wav, .mp3, and .wma audio files, so having a very custom ring tone is easier than ever. Simply plug in your phone, drag the file from the PC to the phone and thatís it. Windows Media Player 10 is included, so this phone also poses as an MP3 player. The games for the smart phone are very well written. I have included pictures of Worms World Party by Jamdat Mobile so you can see the video quality. I think anyone with a Smart phone should be required to play this game as least once. There is nothing like sitting in line for an event and playing Worms. Game play during all the games I have tested was always perfectly smooth and very stable. One thing to note though, ensure that whatever software you want, you try the demo first. Some software does not specify whether itís a Pocket PC application or an MS Smart phone application.

In regards to the software available for this phone, it is incredible how much is available. Everything from using your phone with a GPS receiver to have a GPS tracker, to ripping DVDís into the phone is out there. There are programs that allow you to view Adobe files as well as open any Microsoft Office file. For example, with a simple Google search, you can find a program that will allow you to tweak the registry, similar to TweakPC. Most games are very good quality, and generally have a trial period, so you can try before you buy. I highly recommend giving PocketTV or Betaplayer a try, as they are both video players that view files Windows Media Player 10 will not. I have come across several MP3 organizing programs which reinforces this phone versatility (i.e. as an MP3 player).

This phone is clearly designed to compete with Research in Motionís infamous Blackberry. All of your email, calendar events, tasks, and contacts from MS Outlook can be synchronized into the phone. In addition to that, With MS Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2, any enterprise network will be able to wirelessly push Email related items to its Smart phone users wirelessly. The SMT-5600 has Outlook built into the phone, so viewing and replying to emails is very straight forward. MSN Messenger and Pocket MSN Explorer are included as well, which just adds to the communication options Audiovox offers. Pocket Internet Explorer will display HTML web pages after it formats it for the screen, but overall recreates the pages accurately.

I have always been enamored with the efficient use of technology; however, it is rare to see so many functions available in one device. The possibilities are literally endless with the Audiovox SMT-5600, especially since the OS is MS Windows. I have never been more satisfied with a cell phone, and I would recommend this phone to anyone. This one product makes carrying around numerous gadgets around a thing of the past; just bring along the Audiovox SMT-5600.

EDIT: PICS WILL BE UPLOADED ONCE I GET HOME.

PART 2: Connection options (Added 7 Sept 05)

The goal of this phone, ultimately, is for users on an enterprise network to be able to sync their Outlook items to their phone, so they are always up to date. This is a feature that begs the question "How did I live without it?" With this in mind, I will concentrate on the different methods of connecting the SMT-5600 to a PC.

First, USB will most likely be the prefered method of connecting due to the ease of setup and the included USB cable. It is a standard USB cable with one end being a mini 5-pin connector. Its as simple as plugging the phone at the bottom with the mini plug and connecting the other end to your PC. After installing MS Activesync software, it will automatically detect your phone and prompt you to choose how you would like to sync with you PC.

If you use Outlook, the Audiovox will ask if you want to apply all of your Outlook settings to your phone. For example, my device copied all of my work emails and calendar events into my phone. In addition, it copied my folder structure of my corporate email into my Mobile Outlook as well. This is useful because navigating through emails is a familiar setting as it was an exact copy of what I navigate on a regular basis at my desk. You are able to view any attachments that are in emails, including pictures and videos.

The other connection option is using Bluetooth. This is where the true power of this phone begins to show. Be sure you read the help information provided by the Activesync software when setting up your Bluetooth, as it can be confusing. I was unable to configure my device with Windows XP SP1, so anyone not wanting to use SP2 may be out of luck. Once SP2 was installed, everything was much easier. Windows detected the device (be sure to set your phone to Discoverable in the Bluetooth setting) without a problem and allowed me to setup a passkey to ensure a secure connection.

The best part of Bluetooth with this phone is being able to do many things wirelessly. You can sync your email anyway in range of your PC's Bluetooth transmitter, and better yet, you can surf the internet using your PC's internet connection. Once setup, I could open the mobile Internet Explorer and not have to use the Cingular network to access the web. This is amazing, as most data plans add $10 to $15 to your bill. Another benefit of this is your PC now becomes the filter for your web surfing. Your windows firewall works just the same, and your virus scan still monitors your web. So, it is possible to be on the web without the hassle of bad content. Mobile Internet Explorer can display any standard web page, exactly like a PC does. All we need now is Firefox for Windows Smartphone Second Edition. :)

Lastly, while connected with either USB or Bluetooth, transfering files is as simple as drag and drop. Some files need to be converted to work on your Smartphone, but the MS Activesync will take care of this as needed. Some files take much longer to transfer, especially over Bluetooth, but this is to be expected. When moving a Smartphone formatted DVD (which I will explain in Part 3 of this ongoing review) it takes about 10 minutes over USB, and about 20 over Bluetooth.

zoomy942
09-07-05, 08:21 PM
These pics are taken with a digital camera of the phone itself. Notice the size when compared to a MS Intellimouse. IT is very compact considering all the features it has to offer. Kudos to Audiovox for creating a device that has endless possibilities yet keeping the size reasonable.

I had to throw a pic of Worms World Party in there, since that game has basically made this phone a godsend.:)

zoomy942
09-07-05, 08:42 PM
These 2 pics are taken with the phone onboard camera. Not too bad.

superklye
09-07-05, 09:17 PM
this seems like a really badass phone and only makes me hate my Samsung P207 even more. What a waste of $100.

Cingular has been sucking recently, too, though. I have dropped calls all the time, plus, sometimes, I don't even GET calls or VMs. Or, if I do, they come hours later.

zoomy942
09-07-05, 10:04 PM
you think this phone is cool now, wait till i get to the software available for it and what you can do... for example..

GPS navigate
pocket dvd watching
games, games, games
and so much more...

jAkUp
09-08-05, 12:11 AM
Try to install Duke Nukem on it!!!

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=55616&highlight=duke+nukem

superklye
09-11-05, 11:32 PM
you think this phone is cool now, wait till i get to the software available for it and what you can do... for example..

GPS navigate
pocket dvd watching
games, games, games
and so much more...
DVD watching on a cell phone? That's awesome, but the screen is so tiny.

zoomy942
10-20-05, 09:41 PM
things have been settling down for me so i'll have a massive update soon. this phone continues to be amazing

|JuiceZ|
10-21-05, 01:00 AM
things have been settling down for me so i'll have a massive update soon. this phone continues to be amazing

Looking forward to it :thumbsup:

zoomy942
08-30-10, 05:06 PM
i actually liked windows mobile? eww!

ragejg
08-30-10, 08:41 PM
What. Are. You. Doing.

:bleh:

Re-living the old days are we?

zoomy942
08-31-10, 12:03 AM
What. Are. You. Doing.

:bleh:

Re-living the old days are we?

lol. kinda nostalgic yeah