First the Motorola MPX220 starts trickling out, and now the Audiovox SMT5600 (a.k.a. the HTC Typhoon/SPV C500/Qtek 8010/Dopod 565)is available from AT&T Wireless:
Official AT&T Wireless page for the phone, including ordering, is here.
This is the smallest Windows Mobile Smartphone out there, and the specs are similar to the MPX220 – Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphones Second Edition, Bluetooth, VGA Camera, mini-SD, and a nice large screen. The SMT5600 is also the first device to ship with Windows Media Player 10 embedded, meaning you can copy your DRM-protected content from the new MSN Music Store or your Window Media Center (recorded TV shows, etc.) to the phone.
The phone will cost $199 with activation of a new plan/2 year contract with AT&T, or $319 with no plan. No word on whether the phone is SIM locked to AT&T Wireless’ GSM network, but given their history, I would guess it is. According to an email conversation I had with the support people at http://www.c500-unlock.com/, they can unlock any HTC Typhoon/C500-based phone, including the Audiovox SMT5600, given the IMEI number. So it doesn’t look like that will be too big of a barrier.
Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research has posted his impressions of the phone here.
As much as I’ve been looking forward to the Moto MPX220, I’m starting to lean toward this phone. It’s been getting tons of praise in its guise as the SPV C500, in contrast with the complaints that have been surfacing from early MPX220 owners, who have been noticing Bluetooth problems, build quality issues (especially the hinge, which seems flimsy), and low volume during calls that makes it hard to hear. None of these issues have been reported with the SMT5600/C500. The only downside, to me, is the candybar form factor – I’m become quite fond of the clamshell design of my MPX200, and the built-in screen protection that it offers. But the SMT5600 is absolutely tiny (barely bigger than the closed MPX220, and much thinner), and has bigger screen (2.2″ vs 2″).
Unless I decide to jump ship to the Treo 650 (if the GSM version gets released anytime soon), this will likely be my next Smartphone.