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Review GSM phone Siemens A65
Siemens has been releasing low-end models to the market traditionally by simplifying previous models. The cut functionality doesn't look a disadvantage in the majority of cases because it's a low-end segment. The quality of the screen that looks impossible for a higher price segment is enough acceptable here.
The design doesn't stand out for any original solutions, the same version of Siemens models we have seen for many years. There are two color solutions (Moonlight Shadow, Sterling). The difference from other low-end models is the presence of a 4-directional navi button, this is the first time Siemens has applied this solution in this class. The button is comfortable and makes no problems. There is an orange backlighting for the keypad, it is seen well not in all the conditions (characters of two languages, small font-size). Number keys are average in size and rouse no cavils.
The dimensions are 100.7x11.7x19.3 mm and the weight is 76 grams. The presence of interchangeable panels allows making the device look differently. The screen has the resolution of 101x80 pixels and shows up to 5 text and one service line, 4096 colors. The screen doesn't amaze with the quality of the picture. It's a first generation screen morally and one shouldn't expect well graphics from it. The screen is acceptable in its segment still but it has a short time to live, about 3-4 months and then the phone will get considerably cheaper.
There is an interface connector on the bottom end, it's standard. The back cover hides a 700 mAh Li-Ion battery. That's interesting that the design of the cover came from Siemens S55 and a strap is passed under the cover. According to the manufacturer the device may work for about 250 hours in the standby mode and up to 6 hours in the talk mode. In Moscow the phone worked for about 2 days in case of 30 minutes of talks and up to 45 minutes of using other functions (games and so on). The device may work for about 3 days is talking less (up to 20 minutes) and minimal use of other functions (up to 10 minutes, alarm clock). Full recharging takes about 2 hours.
Icons of the main menu give away a low-end model, event on the models with similar screens pictograms looked more attractive. The main menu is represented as three rows of icons and there is a fast navigation using number series. Submenus are vertical lists. Big font-size may be chosen in the settings, that it a standard function.
Phone book. Up to 100 numbers may be saved in the internal memory. Only one number and e-mail (up to 50 of them) address is entered for a name. Also any graphical file (a photo or just a picture) may be assigned to a name.
All the manes may be divided into 9 users' groups, personal call signals may be assigned to any group.
Messages. Up to 100 SMS may be saved in the main memory that is shared dynamically. A general list shows both messages from the internal memory and from a SIM one, the last are indicated with a special sign. You may create a template and separate folders for messages. The device supports MMS, the settings are rather plain, following your operator you'll set them all in 3-4 minutes. That's natural that using batch communication is much cheaper for sending and receiving multimedia messages.
Call lists.Last 10 outgoing, incoming and missed calls are kept in the main memory with time and date indicated.
Profiles. The way the phone behaves in different conditions may be traditionally set (vibra call, call melodies and so on).
Surf&Fun. A wap-browser version 1.2.1 is hidden here, that was rather unexpected that the 2.0 version is not present in the phone. The old version puts limits on the phone, less resources may be viewed.
There are several preinstalled games that are known by previous models (Stack Attack, Wapo, Magic Picture).
Extras. Such functions as a calculator, a stopwatch (with intermediate results), an alarm clock are in this menu.
Settings. Everything connected with functional possibilities of the phone in any way is gathered here. We won't stop on any certain items, will only note that when GPRS is unnecessary that's better to turn a corresponding item off, the battery charge will be enough for more time. Using batch communications tells upon working time greatly, it may shorten about twice (with the same number of talks).
The quality of connection is typical for devices by Siemens, no problems. The volume of 16-tones polyphonic alert is average and the same concerns the power of the vibracall. The device with the price of 100 USD is an intermediate solution between low-end phones of previous generation and new ones. For instance, the phone is evidently inferior to Motorola C380, Samsung C200 and the price for them is more. In the nearest future the price for Siemens A65 will fall with the fall of the price for the two models above. That must be a great offer by the company and that means the price will be about 80-85 USD. Motorola C155 and some other low-end models may be considered similar devices.
We are grateful to Alt Telecom for the provided device.
Published 15 December 2004
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