Small talk


1 April 2005

In the grand scheme of things, 13cm isn’t going to make a huge impact on your life. However, Siemens has other plans. You can’t have failed to spot the ads on TV lately promising you a full multimedia experience in 13 square centimetres. The culprit is the
Siemens CX65.

So with so many camera phones out on the market, what sets the CX65 apart? The VGA camera is impressive, for a start. Although some phones are now coming out with 1Megapixel cameras built in, the VGA camera in the CX65 gives you more than passable images that can be reviewed on the large colour display, which supports over 65,000 colours. You can also record short videos — 11 seconds in length, but enough to capture anything important. There’s 11Mbyte of RAM built into the phone, so you can snap away
to your heart’s content.

The CX65 has a small joystick that can be used to select different functions and is wired as the phone’s hotkeys for quick access to the day’s text messages, the camera function, profiles and the address book. One feature that was missed from this phone was the ability to assign images to entries in your address book — a minor quibble, but a feature that has become almost the norm in other manufacturers’ phones.

There are one or two small things about this phone that didn’t prove popular. Instead of Bluetooth, the CX65 has an Infrared data port for transferring data, such as midi files and jpegs to customise your phone, which is fine if your PC has such a port. However, you miss out on swapping images with friends who have Bluetooth enabled phones, which is a regular occurrence in the Live! office. It’s also no use for handsfree kits, so it’s a good idea that Siemens has included a decent handsfree loudspeaker in the phone. We’re not too sure where the law stands on this one, though.

Another feature that took some getting used to was the menu system. Having been weaned on Nokia and Motorola phones, the Siemens menu system feels a little alien at first (and there were more than a few unread text messages deleted until the system
became familiar). However, the icon-based interface is easy enough to use and before you know it, you’ll be able to access the menu you want without a second thought. 

In all the excitement, the main functions of a phone can get overlooked. Talk time is an important factor to consider, particularly when your battery life gets sacrificed for other more glamorous purposes. The CX65 has an impressive 330 minutes of talk time with a standard battery, and up to 300 hours of standby time. It’s also compatible with MMs and has a WAP browser.

Siemens CX65 — EUR*275 (Sim free)
Features: VGA camera with 5x digital zoom; video capture capability; 65k colour display; MMS compatible; WAP browser; handsfree talking; Infrared data port
Dimensions: 108 x 46 x 18mm
Weight: 90g
Contact: The Carphone Warehouse 1850 424 800

Live! Verdict
Rating: four stars
This pint-sized phone packs a punch, and although the video capture may not last as long as we would have liked, it will still come in useful.





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