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Review Siemens MC60
Siemens decided to be one of the first, who released youth phone with built-in camera. Ì55 was taken as the basis. Simple addition of camera and software update resulted in appearance of ÌÑ60. Other manufacturers also undertake similar actions, they offer two versions of the same device: with camera and without it. In case with MC60, the emphasis was laid on visual appeal of the phone, but not on its functionality or camera
The first that is striking it’s the keyboard located circle-wise. For the first time such solution has been applied in Nokia 3650, youth smartphone, but the keys were located in the reverse sequence, that created some troubles. MC60 doesn’t have such problems, alphanumerical keys are located in the habitual sequence. The keyboard is average by comfort, 8 and 0 are located too close to each other, that causes some discomfort when dialing a number. The backlight is red; the designations are well visible in different light conditions.
The device is focused on youth and it gives kindly impressions to the target audience, many people like its exterior. It is not known how long bright appearance remains up-to-date. Experience in sales of M55 and user opinions show that the model remains attractive during 3-4 months, and then the design becomes out of date, ceases to be striking. Certainly, it is a matter of taste and this design will remain bright for someone for several years. In our opinion, the device is created to attract attention in store.
Device’s dimensions are typical for this segment; its weight is also average. One can carry the phone in apocket of jeans or in a pocket of a shirt.
The screen displays up to 4096K colors, its resolution makes 101x80 pixels, that allows displaying up to 5 text lines and 1 service line. The information is readable on the sun, the screen doesn’t fade entirely. However, it’s necessary to understand that it is not easy to read the text on this screen. The readability increases when you switch on backlight. The phone is shown with switched on backlight on the picture below.
The images, especially pictures look poorly on the screen,
artifacts are visible as big pixels. You can also see color
and color blend variances. The screen is not capable to reproduce
images with normal quality that discredits the idea of built-in
camera, taking into account that absence of IrDA keeps only
one opportunity to transfer images – MMS. Certainly, the purchase
of cable can be considered as back-up, but it’s an additional
and unjustified expense.
You can see standard interface socket on the bottom butt-end. There’s strap holder on the top part of the device. The camera is located from the rear, it has no mirror, just the aperture in the case. The panel is embellished by following inscription: “High Sensitivity Digital Camera”. We’ll check this statement later.
External aerial connector is also located on the rear surface. Traditionally the device has changeable panels, they are easy to be changed. However, such features have serious lack, the phone begins crunching in hands after 2-3 weeks of active using. This fact doesn’t affect on phone’s efficiency, but it’s rather unpleasantly psychologically.
MC60 is equipped with lithium-ionic battery which capacity makes 700 mAh. According to the manufacturer the device is capable to provide up to 6 hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of standby time. In reality, the device operated about 2 days in case of 30 minutes of talking and up to 45 minutes of using other functions (games, organizer etc.) If you talk less, the device will operate up to 3 days. Time of full re-charging is a bit less than 2 hours.
Menu’s organization has no differences from M55, but good stylization for orange case color (M55) looks poorly here; the icons are too simple and have poor quality. The device is an exact copy of M55, so we will quote the description of main features from the corresponding review.
Phonebook. Phone’s memory allows storing up to 100 numbers, only 1 number and 1 e-mail can be entered for 1 name. In addition, it is also possible to assign a graphic file, for example a photo or just a picture to each entry. M55 has more features for phonebook, several phone numbers and fields for one name. It is not clear why these features are cut.
It is possible to create voice tags for several phone numbers, totally - up to 20.
All names can be sorted to 9 groups, it is possible to assign ringtones to each group.
Messages. Up to 100 messages can be stored in the phone memory, but in fact their quantity depends on free memory space, don’t forget it. In the total list, all phone numbers (from both phone memory and SIM-card memory) are displayed on the screen. Phone numbers from SIM-card are marked by a special sign. You can create SMS templates and special folders in this menu. This model supports MMS; all settings are rather simple, using tips of your operator, you will need 3-4 minutes to set everything. It is obvious that it’s better to use GPRS to receive and send MMS messages, it’s much cheaper.
I wasn’t delighted with an interface while creating messages. You can’t move quickly between pages, and you should call a context menu to know, how many pages you have in your message. A message size reminder, which is displayed before sending a message, is very pleasant. You need also to input a period (one hour – as long as you want), during which the message will be delivered. If you pay for the messages, size (depends on operator) it’s a rather important function. You can receive MMS manually or automatically. Besides, you can decide would you like to receive message in roaming. It’s interesting that sometimes, when you are in automatic mode, the phone gives a notice that this way can be expensive.
Mail client supports up to 4 accounts. Its capabilities are similar to Siemens S45i.
Calls lists. Last 10 dialed, 10 received and 10 missed calls are stored in the phone memory. Time and date of each call can be viewed here too.
Profiles. As always you can setup the phone profiles, which allow several settings to be turned on by one key (vibrating alert, type of ringing tone and so on).
Organiser. It has traditional structure, there is a monthly view, weekly view (with time scale) and daily view (with a schedule). Special menu items allow looking through all special events, for example, meetings, notes and reminders. Totally, up to 500 events can be stored in the organizer memory.
World time (time in big cities) could be also viewed here. Besides, the device has no dictaphone, but you can record ring tones.
Card-Explorer. This utility is used to view data, which are stored in flash memory. The phone has 946.44 Kb of free memory space (1.87Mb totally), it’s not much as you could imagine. But it’s enough to download about 10 melodies, two Java games and some photos.
Surf &Fun. Here we could find wap-browser in version 1.2.1. It was rather disappointing that version 2.0 is not represented here. An old version of wap-browser slightly limits functionality of the phone, it’s not possible to view a great amount of web pages.
The phone has some preinstalled games, they are known by other models.
Extra. Such applications as calculator, currency converter, stop-watch (with intermediate results), countdown timer, alarm-clock (including recurrent alarm-clock) are located in this menu. Here you also get access to voice commands (up to 10 voice tags).
Settings. There are all functions, which are connected with phone capabilities. We are not going to describe all of them in details, we'll only make some comments. For example, it ‘s better to switch off GPRS when you don’t use this feature, it will increase the battery life of the phone. Operating time is halved while using this function.
Camera. The camera is a unique difference from M55, the camera can be launched using key 5 in standby mode. The camera allows making photos of the following resolutions:
Brightness setup is available (from -3 to +3), it doesn’t influence picture quality. White balance can be set up for both outdoor and indoor modes, auto mode is also available. Hereon the settings end. The phone has no zoom or special effects. However, each photo can be enlarged at viewing.
Maximum file size (Premium quality) makes 10-11Kb, it’s not much. At the same time phone’s screen is used as a viewfinder. The picture begins twitch when you move the phone, the device doesn’t have time to render it. Received photos don’t reflect different colors on the screen, looks like the are dingy or have Sepia effect. The last thing is impossible in absence of effects, but the impression is steady.
Look at the photos on the screen, MC60 is probably the worst phone with built-in camera, screen’s capabilities are too poor. On the photo of white sheet circles round the focus are visible, it’s camera’s weak point. The photo of the girl doesn’t allow understanding who is pictured. The questioning of people, who know the girl for a long time, showed that the friends recognized her with difficulty - they used logic. So, the photos are necessary just to confirm that the device realy has a built-in camera. But if you have pretty fertile imagination you can use the camera, maybe it’s well-taken for young people. Thus, you can create a funny game “Guess who’s pictured?” or “What’s pictured on the screen?” Someone could consider such opinions too powerful, but take MC60 and try yourself to make a few photos, then we’ll discuss this problem.
The absence of IrDA doesn’t allow transferring photo’s directly to PC (you should purchase cable), the second way is using MMS, but it is more expensive. Photos’ quality are greatly worse on PC, but they are not good even on phone’s screen.
The volume of polyphonic ring tones is average (you can miss call frequently), vibration alert is typical for phones from Siemens, it’s average by force. The device has no problems with reception quality, it’s typical representative of Siemens’ family. In spite of the fact that the device is constructed on the same platform as M55, its phonebook has less features and the phone has no voice memo function.
Summing up all the previously mentioned it’s possible to tell only one thing. MC60 is permissible to be purchased in only one case, if you are ready to support your favorite company in hard times and if you are ready to overpay for poorly realized functions (camera, screen). The real cost of the device is lower by 85-95$, but it will be the same in half a year only. The phone will be sold due to the advertising campaign, and it will find admirers among the fans of this brand. People, who approach to phone’s choice deliberately and who count money, won’t purchase this model.
Published 06 October 2003
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