The Audiovox SMT 5600 Rocks!

So better late than never, but I must add my ringing endorsement to the Audiovox SMT 5600 Microsoft Smartphone.

I bought the Audiovox SMT 5600 on Amazon.com a few weeks back for $200. It also had a $150 rebate but I’m not sure if I will end up qualifying for it or not as I changed the type of AT&T; Wireless service that I signed up for.

My main reason for buying the phone was that I wanted something that I could sync up with my contacts in Outlook and even more significantly use it as an mp3 player.

As a phone the unit does a great job. It comes stock with a set of headphones that have a built in microphone. The headphones sound great and the mic works equally well. I’m really happy with the phone part.

Then there’s the syncing to Outlook — an absolute cinch. The software loaded up without any problem and the sync software is really intuitive. Now all of my Outlook contacts are on my smartphone. I was not using Outlook as my primary contact manager before (I’ve been using ACT for years) but will now migrate all my data over to Outlook and get rid of ACT. If I’m looking to call someone I just start pushing the numbers that correspond with the letters in their name and their name pops up and you select it and it auto calls them.

The phone has a camera but I was not very impressed with the photo quality. It’s hard for me to review this though as day in and day out I’m typically using a Canon EOS 10D SLR so most photographs are going to look bad in comparison. The camera feature will really only be used by me if I see something really photoworthy and don’t have my Canon.

The big killer feature for me is Windows Media player on the phone. First off, the sound quality is phenomenal — better than any .mp3 player I’ve ever heard. Better than the iPod in my opinion or other .mp3 players I’ve tried. It is especially good at the high volume range which is where I listen to most of my music on my noisy BART commute. The phone is Windows Media Player 10 friendly and I just plugged it in, randomized my 5 star list and then transferred about 50 .mp3s over. Again, the sound quality is first rate. You just sync to it as an approved device and you are in business. You even get a little photo of the album artwork as you listen to it.

The phone has a speakerphone option and I can play music out loud as well which also sounds remarkably good for such a tiny little phone.

There are lots of other typical smartphone features, email, internet, file transfers, etc. I thought Thomashawk.com looked pretty cool on the little screen when I booted it up.

Thanks to Robert Scoble for piquing my interest in this phone in the first place and thanks Josh Bancroft for hooking me up on the 1 GB chip from Kaitliac! I received it in the mail today and it is more than ample storage for my present needs. I hadn’t been able to find a 1 GB chip but now I’m set. And thanks to two other Microsofters, Sean Alexander and Sam Kamel who let me play with their SMT 5600s as well.

This really is a great phone and if you are in the market for a new one you should definitely check it out.

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thomas – How is AT&T;/Cingular phone service in the Bay Area? It’s horrendous in Sacramento (and a lot of other places, from what I understand), which is what’s preventing me from buying one of these. Verizon’s wireless service *just works*, but the only Windows Smartphone they have was made in the stone age.

  2. Discfree.com says:

    Cingular is awful. They steal from consumers and provide the worst customer support. Congratulations to Microsoft and some truly amazing software. The Mp3 player is very impressive. Hopefully we’ll see you introduce some type of a video phone in the near future since Jobs apparently isn’t interested.

  3. dejitaru says:

    I have an 1-mate sp3 which is the same phone and its great. They do actually play video and very well at that. http://divx.ppccool.com/

    go there and download pocketdivx encoder and betaplayer and you can watch full divx xvid encoded movies on your smartphone.

    Im still working on getting the dvr-ms files on the phone to watch recorded tv.

  4. Glad you like the phone, Thomas, and that you were able to get one of the 1GB mini-SD cards. Kaitliac has said she might do another order of those, since she sold the ones she has. If anyone’s interested, let me know, and I’ll see if she’s got any more.

    Have fun with your new toy! 🙂

    Josh Bancroft
    http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think that this phone has great features but there is one thing that I want to add. Having Sprite Backup for Smartphone isntalled in the phone complements the use of this phone. I have lost my phone and I had a backup file in my laptop. Once the insurance replaced the phone, I used the restore function and in less then 10 minutes I was up and running again. This application is great and also offers an upgrade mode feature that is very usefull when changing to a different phone. I think they offer a trial in http://www.spritesoftware.com. Try it it can save you lots of time if you ever loss your data.

  6. Cathy says:

    Recently got a SMT 5600 unlocked on ebay. Love it. Using with Cincinnati Bell (ATT/Cingular) with it. A bit convuluted to get data transfer set up but OK – used the cingular (ATT) setup page too:
    http://support.cingular.com/awswls/support/index.jsp?target=AllDevices.do%3FmanufacturerIndex%3D9999%26tab%3Ddevices
    Definately a great toy! I’ve got a lot more to learn. Any links to more configuration information would be great!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi – a number of the SMT 5600 reviews say you can only use mini SD cards up to 256mb in this phone. But there’s mention in a few places (like here) about cards up to 1GB. Will the larger cards work for sure without problem in the SMT 5600? Is there a size limitation or will even larger cards work when they become available?

    Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi – a number of the SMT 5600 reviews say you can only use mini SD cards up to 256mb in this phone. But there’s mention in a few places (like here) about cards up to 1GB. Will the larger cards work for sure without problem in the SMT 5600? Is there a size limitation or will even larger cards work when they become available?

    Thanks!

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    I use a 1 gig chip and it works great.

  10. Anonymous says:

    When you stream over Windows Media 10, do you get charged for anything more then your unlimited internet plan — I want to make sure I don’t get billed for streaming music from a home pc 24×7 🙂

  11. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’m not sure on the charges associated with music streaming as I don’t use this. I use my phone more as an iPod shuffle type thing. I’ll synch it every few weeks or so with my home WMP 10 and load up on new random music.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I just got the 5600 but can’t connect to the internet. I have the unlimited PDA service from Cingular.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have the Audiovox 5600 and after many confusing discussions between the store(s) and customer service, I’ve come to the conclusion that the 5600 only works with Cingular’s MEdia network, not the PDA connect or edge networks. One of the stores tried to get me to pay for the $45 dollar a month service. I would have been upset to find out afterwards that it doesn’t work with this phone.

    I could be wrong, but that’s just my assesment. Have you tried calling tech support?