Now that I bought a successor in linux based 300MHZ intel xscale motorola E680i with stereo speakers s65 is lying spare and so I thought of giving this great phone that has served me so well a detailed write-up.
background on siemens s65:- If you have seen Oceans Twelve this phone is used by Bradd Pitt in the movie. Siemens S series is the most stylish siemens phone series for the business proffessionals. Its the first megapixel mobile phone in the world(nokia 7610 came in India first but s65 started selling before in Europe). Good looks and simple functionality are the USP of this phone. A siemens sp65 followed later without the camera due to restrictions at many European workplaces on phone cams. The siemens s65 and sp65 have been best sellers for siemens after the superb sl65.
why siemens s65 :- THe Previous phone I had used was a siemens sx1 even after everyone tried to force me away. I was just charmed by the alien looks. Even the shopkeeper had tried to sell me a nokia 7610 but I stuck to my decision.I should say I was mighty impressed by the siemens sx1. Then I came to Toronto on 1st January 2004 for further studies. I was not impressed by the mobile phone market here after the excellent experience in India(what's with contract schemes and expensive phones???). I started looking for a phone. My first choice was a sendo X symbian phone. But there was only one online store(www.expansys.ca) which had this phone and it was very expensive than in UK. Next I had a look at the E680 but a successor was already planned. THe price then was $600CAD. Then one day I went to the Eaton center and saw the siemens S65. Just looking at it I was charmed by the phone. The black and silver looks were sexy enough for me. I bought the phone for $550 canadian including 15% tax.
the contents I got were
32mb mini SD card
SD card converter
A USB cable was not included(necessary for regular firmware upgrades until siemens introduced Over the air FW upgrades.) I bought one from FIDO authorized dealer for $58.
This purchase came at a time when news were afloat that Siemens can sink anytime. The love at first sight was enough to whitewash my mind.
The phone runs on proprietary siemens OS and the easiest I have ever used
My phone came with FW 11 but currently I am running FW50.
Connectivity is helped by Bluetooth 1.2(7610 has only 1.1),IR and USb cable. Windows xp style file search function.
1.3 MP camera with 1.45 min video rec.
65K tft screen(The best non-fading screens to to have under Indian SUnlight)
40-chords polyphonic ringer which is not really impressive due to lack of bass.
11mb built in memory with 32mb RS-MMC
midi, Wav(only files with specific bit-rate)and AMR ringtone support
good battery that lasts 2-3 days under average usage.
weighing in at 98grams this phone will slip into your pocket and you wont know. It looks small at first sight but is not really so. You can feel the dimensions easily. Nokia Sonyericsson and siemens have been really good at providing theme support for their phones and s65 also has good themes support.
Body:- The phone has a black plastic on top as a styling touch in the middle of a silver finish. On the left side there is a IR port which is hardly visible. To the right there is a volume control in silver finish and it really stands out. On the bottom is the charger *** headset jack *** whatever you need to attach the phone with. A memory card slot with hot swap is also present( nokia learnt hot-swap years later). On the back you will find the 1.23 megapixel camera with a silver steel kinda ring covering it. Lots of dust gets inside the lens and its hard to clean. An external antenna connector is also present that is a siemens trademark. ON the front side there is a steel lookalike plastic running around the corners. The speaker is placed above the screen in silver netting. The screen is a 176x220 and takes a prominent space. There is a joystick in silver with in the middle again and looks good. The keypad is small for my hands but I have never had a problem using it. There is a button for browser by default that can be customized just once by the user if he wants. I goofed up here like majority of the users. There are also two other softkeys that can be programmed to my liking.
PS:-A positive about the joystick in siemens phones like the SE jogdial is that We can use the joystick to browse through the menus without pressing it all the time.
starting up the phone:-As soon as I start the phone A dialog box shows up. "start the phone". I need to press ok In 5-7 seconds or the phone will switch off automatically. TO many its a menace and to many its a boon. I was not affected as I never switched my phone off. As soon as the phone starts there is this excellent bright and crisp display. battery indicator on the right as usualy and SIgnal strength on the left. The keypad light is all white on black and looks really rich.
camera:- The 1.3 mP camera is better in direct light compared to nokia 6630 and 7610 but sucks big time in yellow light or at night. The size of the photographs ranges from 120kb to 240kb. Nokia 6630 in comparision takes anything from 240kb to 400kb but has better colours. I would rate nokia 6630's camra better but then s65 is supposed to be the first megapixel camera and I am pretty satisfied by the picture quality.Also nokia 6630 is priced more. three settings are available indoor,outdoor and automatic. you can also adjust brightness.digital zoom is just a gimmick as in all phones.
some of the pics from my s65(resized)
mediaplayer:- A java based basic media player plays video files as well as ringtones. Sound comes out of the only speaker which also plays ringtones and used for calls. This kind of setup can be called a drawback of the design as sometimes ring may just blow into your ears.Mp3 is not supported surprisingly for a high-end phone. but then most executives dont used phones as mp3 players.
Java MIDP:- This phone has Java MIDP 2.0. I installed various programs but the best of all was the one where i could use my phone joystick to control my laptop. I actually used it once to give a presentation in the college. Cool stuff it was.
Games:- three games came installed. Siemens 3d rally with 3d graphics is an excellent game.
Worms is another 8-bit kinda game but is entertaining
Sea battle is a game similar to the boardgame sea battle.I will call it a TP game. Many may like it while many may not.
Programs:- Cocktail manager is a program that helps those who like to try new drinks
Survival dictionary that has words in different languages. I actually used the dictionary to propose to my current GF. IS really nice stuff and an asset to the phone.
email,photo editor,gprs services, download assistant are some programs that I never used but other users have not had problems with it.
PDA:- Siemens s65 has appointement, notes,tasks, password protect files for the same and a world clock to help with pda functions
Exras:- calaculator, File system which is better than the one in 7610, unit converter, sync options work very well.
network:- My s65 has actually had network where many nokia's and sonyericsson phone have lost their signals. Its a siemens USP.
scratchless display- a superb feature:- My siemens s65 had a display with scracth resistant material. In the last one year I have had just two scratches due to my accidental rubbing of the sharper end of my keys on the screen but still hardly visible.
phonebook:- phonebook stores everything from email,bday,address,phone,mobile,fax, another phone etc. Its possible to store contacts both in phone and on sim card. You can also call aany contact with a fast dialing number. for e.g. just dial 624 and the name stored on #624 will be called. nice touch of features.
build quality:- Siemens phones used to sell just because of their build quality. Same goes for the s65 too. The phone must have dropped from my hand 4-5 times in the whole year but there are absolutely and I mean absolutely no scratches on the phones. battery cover for the s65 series phoes creak. But the phone still looks new. This is the main stregth of s65.
Drawbacks:- lack of mp3 support in such a high end model is not appreciated in todays times. Even playing wave files is not easy. only few wave files with specific bitrate are supported.
lacks voice dialing .Again targeted at the business proffesionals This is a big drawback
Bluetooth transfer speeds are really slow. Even with v.1.2 for wider connectivity speed is really slow. Even data transfer through cable takes ages.
Camera could perform better with night mode that none of the siemens phones have. Though siemens argues that the optional flash improves picture quality I doubt how many would buy a separate flash.
Now that newer models are out in the market siemens s65 may be discontinued any moment. its also outperformed by the newer products in the same price range. but siemens s75 which is a successor of s65 will take care of the newer phones with its ati graphics.
I definitely may buy a third siemens phone if they have something superb to offer. Benq-siemens holds a good chance in the market with the kind of products they are offering. Its a wait n watch policy as of now.
The writeup is done by me. the pictures of the phone are taken from club-siemens.net, mobile-review.com and other respective websites.the camera pictures are from my own siemens s65.