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Review Siemens M55
Siemens tries taking the most of the same platform in various products, the same concerns to Siemens M55. In case with this device we see cut Siemens S55, besides, youth design. Functionally the device has no IR-port, bluetooth, as for the rest, it corresponds to Siemens S55. Let's talk about the design and about the category of users for which it is intended.
The appearance of Ì55 gives away the youth model, the designers have given sport style to the phone. Instantly comes comparison with model Ì35 which has similar style. The device has nothing common in appearance with Ì50. The rounded case is diversified with the precisely outlined keys, multi-colored inserts on the side-frames and on the back side of the device. The model is produced in several colorings, all of them look attractively, the extremely rare case.
People frequently ask about Ì55, whether the case has proof properties. No, there is no any additional protection against dust or splashes in this model, it is the usual, standard case. It coincides by sizes with Siemens S55 (101õ46õ22 mm), thus the device looks smaller, than is actually, affects the successful combination of colors. Different changeable covers are not stipulated for this model, this is a rare exception of the initial and the middle level devices of new model line. The weight of the phone is 83 grammes, in combination with the sizes this allows carrying it any way you like. The string fans should pay attention, that the fastening is located under the battery cover, just as in Siemens S55. The string isn't included into the standard kit.
The screen in this model is the same, as in Siemens SL55 and it's better than Siemens' S55 screen. The screen displays up to 4096 colors, the resolution is equal to 101õ80 points that allows displaying up tp 5 text lines and one service line. The information is read on the sunlight, the screen doesn't become blind entirely. The main menu icons have been drawn again, has been made more successful graphic appearance, the phone looks more tidy. I'll also note the fact, that the displaying of 4096 colors for this segment is normal, the model does not look out-of-date. And if such quantity of colors is little for business or fashion segment, for the youth devices it's normal.
The keyboard is made of plastic, there are 4-way navigation key and two soft keys under the screen. The realization of the keyboard is extremely successful in this model, despite of the small buttons sizes, it's pleasant to use them, the phone sensitively reacts to pressing. The same concerns to numerical keys. The minus is only in the left soft key, it is not always possible pressing it from the first, and sometimes it is necessary to concentrate attention on it. It is the biggest minus of the keyboard, it is comfortable in all other respects.
The designations on the keys are small by size. Taking into account, that the backlight is of orange color, as well as the buttons, it becomes clear why the font on keys is seen not in all conditions.
There is standard system connector on the bottom end face, you can use the cable for Siemens S55, it is required to you if you want synchronizing the data from PC or using the phone as the modem.
It is interesting, that the microphone is located right here, it is latent in the hollow. The microphone aperture is also located on the back surface of the device. It is necessary to remember for those who like to clasp the device, including the bottom part, in this case the interlocutor couldn't hear you.
There is the socket for the external aerial adapter at the back surface. The back lid which covers the battery has vertical backlash and if to move it specially. You don't feel the backlash during phone using, therefore it doesn't worth paying attention to it.
The lithium - ionic accumulator in capacity of 700 mAh is installed in Ì55. According to the manufacturer's statement the phone is capable to provide up to 6 hours in talk mode and up to 250 hours in standby mode. In case with the Moscow MTS network the phone worked about 2 day at 30 minutes of talking and up to 1 hour of other functions using (games, organizer etc.). If to talk less than 30 minutes (up to 20 minutes), and use other functions (up to 10 minutes, alarm clock), the device is capable to work about 4 days. The time of the full battery charge makes a bit less than 2 hours.
Finishing the story about the appearance of the device, it is necessary to stop on the Dynamic Light function. There are LEDs on the lateral surfaces of the phone, they flicker in standby mode. On the one hand it is possible to switch-off it; perhaps, this is the plus for those who is irritated by the LEDs blinking, for example, when the phone lays on the table in front of you. But on the other hand you can appoint various work modes of LEDs for various events (message, call, battery charge, alarm clock, etc.), they can smoulder as fire carbons or on the contrary winking quickly. There are several work patterns in the phone; they are really interesting in work. Extremely seldom you pay attention to such light warnings, the presence of LEDs on each side is more likely the function intended for attraction of others sights, the cope well with this function.
As it was already spoken, the icons of the main menu are redesigned, but the structure and the opportunities of the menu have remained the same. The color scheme is successfully selected for the phone's appearance, it creates good impression. I'll quote from review of Siemens S55 with the description of all functions.
Phonebook. This handset has a dynamical memory. In the phonebook not more than 500 entries can be stored. You can add such fields as name, first name, phone, mobile, two faxes, two e-mail addresses, URL, company, its address (city, street, post code, country). Besides you can input a birthday and activate a reminder to know about the day in time. It’s also possible to assign a graphic file, for example a photo or just a picture to each entry.
In each name entry it is possible to create the voice labels for individual phone numbers, all them can be up to 20.
All names can be allocated on 9 groups, it is possible to appoint ring tones for individuals groups.
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’ll need 3-4 minutes to set everything. It’s 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 time 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 time-table). 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, one can find a dictophone in this menu, number of records and their duration is limited by free memory space of the phone.
Card-Explorer. This utility is used to view data, which are stored in flash memory. The phone has 921.6 Kb of free memory space, it’s not much as you could imagine. But it’s enough to download about 10 melodies, two Java games and some photos.
Fun & Games. 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.
With the standard kit come two Java-games, logic Wappo, you have to find the exit before the monster catch you. In Extreme Game you drive a bicycle, make different tricks in air. The music accompanying the game, is dynamical, the minus is only that the game loads for a long time. Generally Java works not so quickly in phones from Siemens (S55, M55, SL55) , it is a shortcoming.
Other standard application is widely advertised by the company, Cubasis Mobile, this is a musical editor which allows mixing four channels . The received melodies can be saved in the phone memory, can be sent to friends with messages. The opportunities of the editor are strongly limited, the melodies which turn out, are the same and quickly bore. Generally this is the one day entertainment, maybe two, then delete it.
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)..
Siemens M55 supports SyncML that allows you to save all phone notes and contact on server.
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.
My menu. As always you could create your own menu with the most frequently used features (up to 10 items from 27).
Ì55 is the full analogue of Siemens S55 by the reception quality, there are no any problems whit it. The speaker loudness is sufficient, you hear the interlocutor well, however, as well as he hears you. The loudness of 16-voice polyphonic ring tones is increased in comparison with Siemens S55 , it is the plus of the device. The phone is not audible in conditions of bustling street , but in rooms you won't miss a call for certain. Vibration alert is also felt not bad, but you won't feel it from a bag.
The beginning of the Russian deliveries is expected already at the end of June, the beginning of July. According to our assumptions the cost of the device in the beginning of sales will make about 200 dollars. It is the high price for this device, the justified price is 150 dollars. Taking into account the flexible company's price politics and the fast reduction of prices for new models, it's necessary to expect , that Siemens M55 will fall in price during a couple of months. Beginning from this moment the given model will become extremely popular, despite higher price, than the competing devices have. It is necessary to relate the presence of original design, good functional richness, to the pluses of this model. The IR-port absence is impossible relating to lacks, as its presence in this segment is an exception, than a rule for the time present. The model has turned out successful for this segment, in my opinion, it will repeat the success of Siemens M35.
Published 4 June 2003
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