This really defies rational understanding. Windows Mobile brings Microsoft's often frustrating OS to mobile phones, and with it the infuriating boot times. While other phones, boringly perhaps, let you make phone calls as soon as you switch them on, the Orange C550 boots Windows Mobile for two minutes beforehand. Here's to progress! This functionality will be particuarly enjoyable in an emergency -- while you're being attacked, or trapped in a crashed car, you can while away the first few minutes of crippling agony by watching a pretty logo flutter on your mobile screen. Far more useful than, say, making a phone call. The future really is bright.
Once the C550 is up and running, there's a passable Web browser and some useful scheduling tools. Disappointingly, Internet access is barely above a crawl -- anyone familiar with a 14.4kbps modem and bulletin boards will be right at home here.
Our attempts to watch a film trailer on the C550 were thwarted by the fact you can't do this unless you're on a monthly tariff. Pay as you go customers are left out in the cold. Orange claim this is to determine your age, but we can't help thinking it's a fairly cynical ploy to extract more money before you get full functionality from the phone.
All that aside, the C550 is a fairly nice-looking handset that won't look completely out of its depth when you pull it out in The Ivy. -CS