When Bill Gates heard rumblings about the Rokr, he and Orange contrived to make a Windows nemesis. The result is the C550, a genetically modified version of Windows smartphone, the C500.
Stop the upload and melt it
The C550 inherits its predecessor’s svelte allure but Smartphone 2004 isn’t exactly sexy – instead it warms the hearts of businessmen, with peerless Outlook syncing and email functionality. The 1.3MP camera performs better than the O2 XM’s but lacks the print quality of Walkman phones and the N70.
Don’t let those shiny media buttons fool you into thinking it’s a musical dreamboat, either. We were excited by the presence of Windows Media Player 10 and support for protected WMA files, but the process of loading it with tunes made us want to put it in an oven and watch it melt.
Our review models had big problems syncing with WMP10 (and Napster To Go), although we have been assured that the pre-production Activesync problems have now been rectified.
Even so, Windows-incompatible downloads from Orange’s music store will play only in a separate player, leaving you with two playlists. With inferior sound to the W800i and N70, the C550 sadly doesn’t quite cut it for music connoisseurs.