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Review GSM phone Siemens C65
Siemens C55 remained the most popular model in the middle segment for a long time. For the moment of its appearance it was the most functional device of its class that allowed to keep the level of its sale the same for about two years. The sucessors of C-series, models C60 and C62 can be considered halfway solutions, they brought nothing new comparing with rivals and had low sales. Siemens C65 became important to the company because the company's position in many markets depended on its success (in future it is a bestseller that is to improve sales of low-end phones). The specifications of the device were changed several times, thus for the moment of announcement 3 MB of memory available to a user were pointed out (the same data on the company's site, for example, in Data Sheet), now the device has 11 MB of memory and 6 of them are available to a user from the beginning. In memory size and functionality the phone is almost a complete analog of elder models - CX65 and M65. The difference is in a simplified design, cut of possibilities of IrDA, smaller screen, worse camera and another battery. On the one hand it is enough, on the other hand - the model is one of the best in its class.
The design is traditional for Siemens, and plastic is exaggeratedly cheap (especially the back panel), that's the way to distinguish the model from the elder ones, make it less attractive. The front panel is interesting enough, glossy and dull plastic are combined here. It is hard to estimate the design because it is a subjective matter, but it is possible to say that the quality of material in C65 is comparable with the devices of this class, the model is loses only to Motorola C650 by this feature.
The assembling quality is very decent, the panels do not have backlashes, and the device does not creak in the hands. It is easy to take the panels off using a key that is included into a standard kit.
The screen has the resolution of 130x130 pixels (28x28 mm) that allows to show up to 7 text lines and one service line. The display is STN 65K and is one of the most qualitative that are set in the modern devices of this class. Thus it is better than in Motorola C650. In CX65 and M65 the screen is larger and the information is more visible in the sunny day. In the room the screens are completely similar.
The display fades in the sun and it is more critical than for large screens because of its small size, information is viewed worse. You can change contrast level in order the picture got a better view in the sun. The function to change font-size is present traditionally, you can make it very large that allows not to think of the sun. This possibility is also interesting for people with poor eyesight. A possibility to set brightness for backlighting is interesting if to talk about staying in the room.
The keypad is made of plastic and has an orange backlighting. The brightness of the backlighting is not even and characters are seen not in all the conditions. Navi joystick is comfortable to work with, no any accidental movements. Digital keypad is also comfortable enough, no troubles in working with it.
IrDA gap can be seen on the left-side surface, and there is a strip hole on the left side of the top end. A standard interface connector is on the bottom. There is a connector for antenna adapter on the back of the device, and a CIF-camera gap near it.
Battery type is Li-Ion, 600 mAh. According to the manufacturer it works about 6 hours in the talk mode and up to 410 hours in the standby mode. In Moscow (MTS network) the device worked for 4 days in case of 45 minutes of talk time and 45 minutes of using other functions. The battery life of this model showed better results than elder ones (CX65, M65), the reason is a smaller screen. The device has rather a good working time for its class. Full charging takes about 1.5 hours.
The main menu looks like a list of nine icons with quick navigation with the help of digital series. There is a possibility to assign the call of the most frequently used functions to digital keys. Submenu looks like a list, everything is traditional here. It is possible to move along the menu using shorcut number navigation. It's nice that in general navigation along the menu is close to the most comfortable. The phone has the full localization of the menu and input and similar to other phones by the company.
There is an enet log as in Alcatel's phone. All the information about all the missed calls, messages, missed reminders and alarm clock alerts is stored there. In some kind it is more logical and convenient for a user. Thus left soft key is assigned to a journal that appears with the first event. On pressing it you find yourself in a list where you can view every event, all the events are signed by the type (call, alarm clock, message and has the first line with phone number, the beginning of the message, alarm time and so on).
To compare united event log with a usual organization of missed calls I will remind the way it is done in Nokia's phones (it is possible to mention the other manufacturers but Siemens competes with Nokia and it is more logical to compare these two companies). So, missed calls have the highest priority, you'll see notification about them on the screen. Having viewed information on calls and switched to the standby mode you'll see information about received messages. Looking through them you will see information about missed notifications and so on. So, as you can see the organization of a united list looks more well-taken.
Adressbook. Internal memory is shared dynamically between all the applications, but at the same time there is a limitation in 1000 names for the phone book. You can keep Name and Surname, Home, Office, Mobile phone numbers, two Fax numbers, two e-mail addresses, a link, Company name, its address (City, Street, Post code, Country) for a name. In addition to these fields there is an opportunity to enter birthday and set a reminder for it. And there is a possibility to assign any graphical file to a name, whether it is a photo or just a picture.
In the general list all the icons for all the filled in fields for a name are displayed (in one or two lines). The photo is not shown and to view it you should view the whole information on the name.
There are 9 users' groups in the phone, there is a possibility to rename each of them and assign a photo. A special melody may be assigned to a group, but it is useless to look for this setting in the addressbook, it is referred to call settings. It is not quite logical but you can get used to it.
During incoming calls the picture is shown not on the whole screen but it is rather big. Another minus is that the number is displayed only during first seconds and if there is a photo it is replaced with it then. Also the type of the number is not shown, only the name. In general even for outgoing call you click on the user's name, choose a necessary number from the list and call. The icon is the same for all the numbers, no differences. Hence, a question rises - what is dividing into groups necessary for in general, excluding synchronization with PC? There is no possibility to reassign fields, that means that if a user has two mobile phones then you'll have to keep the second one as Home or Office phone number. It doesn't make any discomfort but a confusion may appear especially if you have many acquaintances with several mobile phones.
Messages. It is possible to save up to 100 messages in internal memory, which is shared dynamically. General list shows messages in internal memory and on a SIM-card, the last ones are marked with a corresponding icon. You can create templates and folders. There is a support for MMS and the settings are rather simple, you'll make them in 3-4 minutes (for Moscow and Saint Petersburg they are preset).
The interface for entering messages is really nice, it is possible to shift between separate pages quickly and there is no need in calling contextual menu. Notifications about the size of the message appearing while sending it became a pleasant surprise. Also you have to set the time period for delivery to the addressee (from one hour to eternity). If your operator charges for the size of the message the function is really important. Getting MMS is possible in manual or automatic mode and the last one is possible only in your network but not in a roaming. It is interesting that in automatic mode the phone honestly warns that sometimes it can be expensive.
There is an opportunity to create own templates. The realization of work with mesages is on the same level as the best models have. A pleasant additional feature is a possibility to choose a font-size while reading messages (standard, large and small). You are free in your choice.
Call lists. There is a call log of 100 outgoing, incoming and missed calls with date, time and duration. This is the first time that lists in a usual phone but not a smartphone are so long. That gives a possibility to keep the calls from the same number received one after another separately and not to sum them up. The type of the number from the phone book is not specified but the number is shown in an evident view.
My Stuff. In this folder you keep all the programs and files, everything is structured and clear. There are two ways of displaying the folders - as a list and thumbs. For the photos the second way is more preferable. Unfortunately, all the standard folders look the same way if displayed as icons, that makes some confusion and one has to look at notes on the top.
Internal memory is about 11 MB and 6 of them are available to a user from the beginning (depends on preinstalled applications).
Settings. Here is everything that deals with functional capabilities of the phone in this or that way. We will not descrive each menu item in datails. Let us only point out that if you do not need GPRS then it is better to switch this item off to prolong the battery life. Using GPRS influences the battery life greatly, it may get twice shorter (including talk time).
There is a possibility to choose color schemes for menu. Traditionally you can set the alert type of the phone (vibrating alert, call melodies and so on), that means to choose an appropriate profile.
Organizer. The calendar itself is organized traditionally, there is a month view, a possibility to switch to the week view with dividing on hours or to the day schedule. Separate menu items allow to view all the events of a certain type, for example, meetings, notes and memos. A total number of storable events is 1000.
Events may be once and recurrent, there is a possibility to set the view of all the fields while entering an event or only some of them. A voice mark may also serve as a reminder.
There is a separate to-do list, it is possible to set not only the date but a notification also. Evaluating in 5-mark scale is possible for a task.
Notes are ideal to enter a small text message. A note can be open to general use or confidential, then you'll have to enter a phone code.
You can see world time in the biggest cities from the organizer menu, it is very convenient. A dictaphone is also here and the number and duration of the records are limited only by free memory. By default it is about 140 minutes. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to make it work during a conversation, the phone restarted all the time.
Extras. In this part of the menu you can find an alarm clock, it may be set for certain days of the week. The alarm clock is one.
Sound recorder - it is a menu, similar to dictaphone. It allows to record a melody and set it as a call melody.
Calculator - a function to remember intermediate results (memory function) appeared, the calculator is convenient.
Unit converter, everything is simple and functional.
A stopwatch allows to create up to two points of reference and save them to a file. Countdown timer is also present.
File System. The utility to view the capacity of flash memory kept for user's data. It is possible to create own folders, move the contents of existing ones, change view (a list or icons with preliminary view of graphics). The phone may be used as data carrier, it is enough to transmit any file to it (any format).
Fun&Surf. Here is wap-browser version 2.0, the settings for it are a bit higher than average, it is easy to add new bookmarks.
Games. A new version of Stack Attack Advanced is preinstalled in the phone, it became 3D and at the same time with making the game more difficult the attraction of the previous one was lost, it is not so interesting to play.
Bubble Boost Ц arcade, not very bad.
PhotoPet Ц one more electronic Tamagotchi.
Wappo Junior Ц game for logic, it is not very interesting.
Applications. Only Photo Editor is really worth talking about. The possibilities are too poor, allows to add frame, an icon, rotate an image and it is all. Editing possibility may be called from any list but then you'll have to choose the file from the list again. In general it points out that the program is not integrated with the phone and interface.
Camera. CIF-camera is integrated into the phone, the manufacturer decided to quit standard indication of the resolution, there are only names - Premium (352x288), medium, Wallpaper. It is interesting that in elder models the word Premium means VGA resolution, but CIF means High. To all appearances the developers got lost in the names.
We should also point out a possibility to choose a default name for a file, in particular they may contain current date and time (it is a template). The white and black balance may be set automatically or manually (street, home).
The screen is used as a view finder, when moving abruptly, the picture almost does not get blurry. The pictures look perfect on the screen, the device is not bad by this feature. There is a timer for self shooting. One touch is necessary to adjust brightness and use digital zoom (3x). The zoom function is digital and should not been applied, the quality is not the best and it is seen on this picture. The taken pictures may be used in the phone as you wish and may be sent to other devices via IrDA.
The model is not a champion in the quality of photos but such pictures are quite acceptable for using in the phone.
Productivity. The phone supports Java MIDP 2.0 and that is why we took corresponding measurements of its productivity. Before representing the data we should point out the chronical problem of the devices by Siemens, applications are loaded for a long time. There are certain improvements as compared with previous models but the speed is still very low. For example, image editor is loaded for 30 seconds, games are a bit faster. Phones by Siemens have the least productivity in their class (only Motorola C650 loses to them).
The results are very close to the ones got from the 65-series phones by Siemens, the difference is minimal. The thing that upsets the most is long time for loading applications, it is not so long even on Motorola C650 with a slower processor.
As for the quality of connection Siemens C65 has no troubles, it provides confident connection and transmits voice well. The volume of the polyphonic call signal became higher as compared with the previous series, it is heard better. Vibrating alert is average but it is enough for the majority of situations.
The model exceeds all the represented devices in its class, it has more memory, IrDA (it can't be used for GPRS connections, but supports OBEX well), battery capacity is enough. Low resolution of the camera and middling photos can hardly be considered disadvantages of the device of this class. The real disadvantage is that software is unready, the device is unstable. As the practice shows the majority of the serious problems will be solved in the first 6-7 months but small defects may stay. Just compare with CX65/ M65 the situation is the same. The present shortcomings are not critical for ordinary users, they will barely notice them. For those who uses the phone as much as possible they will get evident very soon. In that case I advise to wait for several months and then buy the device. For the moment the price for C65 is $185-200 and it is acceptable. It is a preliminary price and by the middle of autumn it will be about $175. The most attractive price for the model is $150 and from that moment buying it seems right. Let me note that the device will certainly become the hit of sales and it has no rivals in its segment.
Motorola C650 may be called a rival. It differs in better material of the body, VGA-camera and a possibility to be used as GPRS-modem (with mini-USB cable). In all the rest the model practically loses to C65.
Ericsson T610 may be considered a rival during the autumn, the
device differs in better screen, the presence of bluetooth, polyfunctional
IrDA and qualitative body decoration. It doesn't have any other
advantages and now it is in deficiency on the market and that will
not influence the sales of C65 considerably.
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Published 30 August 2004
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