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Review Siemens A55

Package:

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Manual

The differences between Siemens A60 and its older brother C60 are slightly noticeable, basically its one and the same phone. The changes between them are more or less traditional, A60 doesnt have several features and its memory has been cut to 550kb. Siemens strategy is simple - if you need more functions go buy another, more expensive phone. This model will be released only in one cases color Stone. The lacks are: neither MMS nor external camera is supported. Thats all, the other functions are similar to C60s ones. Thats the reason why weve decided to paste several quotations from the review of Siemens C60.

The phones design is classical, and doesnt differ much from other x60 models from Siemens. Phones sizes are typical as well 110x47x23 mm, however, when you look at the phone it seems rather fat. The weight of 85 grams doesnt seem to be a heavy burden to carry.

The display is capable of showing up to 4096 colors and has 101x80 pixels screen resolution. Up to five text lines can be shown on the screen, plus one used for service needs. Screen remains readable even when its facing direct sunlight, although it does become a little pale. Images, especially pictures look rather weak; you can even see artifacts, which turn out to be big dots. Sharp color overlay is seen as well.

The keyboard is made of plastic, just like in the A55. And if A55 was famous due to its crunchy keyboard, then you can call A60 a rattle. Just shake the phone and youll hear the keyboard shaking. As to keyboards convenience, its average, keys are just a little bit smaller then they could have been. Keypads backlight is orange. Backlight can be fully seen only in complete darkness. When you are outdoor or indoors, the font used for keypads becomes hard to read. You can actually see neither digits nor letters clearly. The only thing that saves the phone is its keyboards standard position; there is nothing to get used to.

System connector is located on the phones bottom, meanwhile the hole for strap is located on the phones top.

Panels can be changed; its typical for this series. Although you will have to deal with the fact that the new cover will start crackling after a while. This will not affect the performance, but at the same time it can be a little annoying.

A60 comes with Li-Ion 700 mAh battery installed. Siemens claims that the phone can work for 6 hours during the talking, and up to 250 hours in the stand by mode. We were testing this handset in Moscow, our network operator was MTS. The handset worked for about 2 days with 30 minutes spent for talks and around 45 minutes spent for other phones functions. The phone will work for three days in case you talk about 20 minutes per day and use other functions (10 minutes per day + the alarm clock) less. It takes about 2 hours for the battery in order to charge up.

Menu

The main Menu is presented with 9 icons, its possible to navigate through it using the number sequences, this will save your time.

Phone book. Phones memory allows to store up to 100 contacts. You can add only one phone number and e-mail for each entry. Plus, every name can be associated with an image, a photo or simple picture. All names can be sorted into four groups. Custom ring tones can be assigned to each of the groups.

Messages. Up to 100 messages can be stored, and once again the memory spreads dynamically. Messages from phones memory and SIM-card are shown in one list. SIM Cards sms are marked with special icon. You can create templates and folders if you like.

Records. Phone can store up to 10 last dialed, 10 received and 10 missed calls. Date and time are shown for every entry.

Ring tones. Choice of melodies, type of the ring, thats what, has been cut from the Settings to Main Menu.

Extras. This menu offers you to use timer, stopwatch, or alarm clock (can be programmed for 1 time only, the only positive change is that it shows current time).

Personal. Pictures and melodies are stored here.

Surf&Fun. WAP-browser v1.2.1 and two games StackAttack 2, Puzzle are located in this menu.

Settings. You can setup phones functions here. There is no need in describing all sub-menus, since theyre already known if you have used a Siemens phone once. By the way, I recommend disabling GPRS, if you do not use it. It will save you some battery power.

Impressions

Polyphonic ring tones volume is average (there will be times when you can accidently miss an important call), as to the vibrating alert its typical for Siemens phones, it has an average strength. No network problems were encountered during our review, once again its a typical Siemens phone. This model belongs to the budget segment, and its price is 110-115 which seems very reasonable for the amount of functions presented. Motorola C350s functions are better, but this model has been around for more than a year and people got bored of it. On the other hand, you can buy Alcatel 332 that has slightly better display but its design reminds of Alcatels old models. You cant expect something else from a budget model considering its price. The price will be the deciding factor in Siemens A60s success; it will be popular for more than 1.5 years until x70 series will be released. The demand for budget models is very high; its average consumer doesnt really know what to buy: a slightly more expensive model which has more functions and a color screen or a phone with the black & white display since it costs less. There just arent enough budget models with color displays yet.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Alexander "Lexx" Zavoloka(Lexx@i-5.delfi.lv)

Published — 15 January 2004

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com

 

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