Phones

BenQ-Siemens S88, do you know the K750i?

The BenQ-Siemens S88 is a decent offering from a fresh company that's taking Siemens phones to a better place -- a place not a million miles from Sony Ericsson, but it works for us

You probably noticed that last year Siemens had a makeover and changed from plain old Siemens to BenQ-Siemens. We honestly didn't know what to expect from the Taiwan-German co-operative but judging from what they've done so far, this doesn't seem like a Jessica Simpson-Nick Lachey affair.

The BenQ-Siemens S88 launched earlier this year and is a 2-megapixel camera phone that has almost identical specs to the Sony Ericsson K750i. It's funny to think of all these corporate couples coveting and copying each others' products like jealous neighbours, but it couldn't be closer to the truth.

The S88 features auto-focus, flash, expandable microSD slot, navigation joystick, MP3 player and Bluetooth, which you will also find on the K750i. The other noticeable similarity is its size and shape, but it's fair to say that BenQ-Siemens have gone for a glossier look -- well, they had to change something. One difference that we really like about this phone is the video-photo switch that lets you easily change from shooting pictures to video without needing to access a menu option.

However, before you think that this is an exact copy of the K750i with a few aesthetic changes and extra buttons, know that the 256k-colour OLED display isn't as bright or as sharp as the K750i's screen, so taking photos with this camera isn't the same experience. Also, the camera lens doesn't have a cover so if you put this in a pocket with some keys you risk damaging it. Expect a full review soon. -AL