The first thing users will notice on M600 is the addition of Windows Mobile 5.0. As stated before a Wi-Fi connectivity manager is included in this release along with permanent battery storage and an integrated multimedia suite. There is also a GPS manager, to ease the integration of a GPS enabled peripheral.
5.0 also incorporates two buttons at the bottom of the today screen. The menus are presented more as a PC then resembling the navigation of a phone in previous Window Mobile releases. Overall the look and feel of Window Mobile 5.0 is more of a laptop then a cellular phone, focusing on persistent data retrieval and PC functionality.
The M600 interface using Windows Mobile 5.0 is extremely easy to navigate. The customizable Today Page or home screen is convenient to notify of unread messages, time/date details, your upcoming appointments, task and more. From this central page you can access all pertinent phone and messaging related functions.
Another important feature to note with Windows Mobile 5.0 is the ability to navigate with one-handed operation. Soft key integration, an on screen QWERTY keyboard and landscape orientation are just a few of the enhancements that allow adept users the ability to use the device with a single hand. Windows Mobile 5.0 is not dependent on the stylus alone and with larger dynamic icons; many finger types will find this device easy to use without the stylus for most tasks aside from composing longer emails.
From the start menu in the top left corner you have complete access to every application and phone setting. The drop down menus split into three main collections. The first being user customizable for launching commonly used apps, the second showing the most recently accessed functions and the final launching the main programs and settings folders.
A strong central application on the device is the Wireless Manager. It provides the functionality to activate/deactivate the wireless interfaces on the phone including GSM, Bluetooth and Wireless connections. There is a shortcut directly to this application on the bottom right hand corner of the today screen.
With the including Wi-Fi capability, from this screen you will usually access the Network Cards application in the settings folder. From this screen you can see all available wireless networks and network adapters.
Operating on 802.11b WLAN, the M600 loads pages comparable to your desktop computer. The included Internet Explorer browser provides different views and displays. In the menu option of an open webpage, you can easily change the view to one column, default, desktop or full screen. In this same menu you also have the option to disable picture viewing. There is also 5 different zooming options, so no need to strain your eyes with this device.
On the same note as this extensive customization, the device supports landscape orientation (catered for right and left handed users.) This is a great option when writing documents or using any horizontally spanning applications.
Unfortunately, the M600 does not support EDGE. EDGE is one of the fastest and most popular data transmission methods used in the US. However, we must note this device is deployed primarily in Taiwan. For many users, this may be a reason to opt for an EDGE supporting competitor.
An upgraded Mobile Office Suite is included in this release. The PowerPoint is great for playing presentations, incorporating animations and dynamic effects. This application is not for editing, but is ideal for on the go playback and an optimal time to use the landscape orientation. Microsoft Word Mobile (previously known as Pocket Word before Windows Mobile 5.0) on the other hand, is a complete word processor solution. Any application that incorporates user input on this device provides an option of 4 different data entry methods. Keeping in mind that the M600 does not have a physical keyboard, they included multiple input methods for different style.
Block Recognizer: Users can enter characters using single strokes. This is the familiar touch screen input method of the past.
Keyboard: A full on screen QWERTY keyboard.
Letter Recognizer: Users can enter characters using natural character strokes and gestures you may be familiar with.
Transcriber: Reliably recognizes handwriting in cursive, print and mixed styles as well as numbers and symbols. Provides the ability to write complete words and sentences for the device to translate instantly. Basically allows the user to write anywhere legibly on the entire screen and it will translate it into text.
Of all the input method, I found the transcriber to be the most reliable and time efficient as it can handle a cluster of words or even a complete sentence with each input. Word completion is an option that is very customizable, with optional replacement. Using the transcriber, this is a feature that you may not need; however those who use single character strokes will find this useful.
The contacts application now supports photo attachments. The details of your contacts are neatly and logically organized. There are also clear icons to distinguish different options such as call home, call mobile, SMS and more. Windows Mobile 5.0 really incorporates a very visual GUI for user to associate common icons with actions.
Email, SMS and MMS are all located in a single application. Full email support is available (IMAP/POP3) and setup is extremely similar to that for standard Outlook accounts. Users who have used Outlook to add email accounts will have no problem getting started. Another messaging service built in for loyal Microsoft fans is MSN Messenger which has its own shortcut in the programs folder.
Making calls is just as easy as accessing your contacts. The touch screen dial pad is large and responsive. From this keypad you can view all pertaining call details including logs, your speed dials and most recent calls.
The M600 includes a 1.3 megapixels digital camera. Paired with the camera is a built-in optional flash and 4x digital zoom. The camera application merges well with MMS, Email and Media features. Windows Media Player is also built into the application providing the ability to stream music and videos. The 65K TFT provides a great outlet to view videos and graphics.
With the built-in Bluetooth v.1.2, the connection manager provides you easy accessibility to manage your connections. Headset partnership, ActiveSync, File Transport and vCard exchanges are all supported by the connection wizard. Our tests used the Motorola HS820 with flawless pairing and powerful enough to support a 10 meter range indoors.
Added convenient applications include a Calendar which syncs with Outlook seamlessly. The calendar can be viewed according to day, week, month, year or agenda with upcoming appointments displayed on the today screen. New appointments are reminiscent of the desktop based calendar in Outlook with complete customization and reminder functionality. The included task manager shows the most upcoming task on the home screen for your reminder and easy to use for daily task reminders. It is very similar to the calendar function in its use and reminder methods.
Just like any Microsoft product, Windows Mobile 5.0 comes with an extensive help file that can be used by any level user to troubleshoot the device.