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Siemens CL75 Poppy review: Siemens CL75 Poppy

Siemens seems to think that women will buy anything if it's pink and determinedly 'feminine'. So here's a really basic handset -- no memory expansion or Bluetooth, and a VGA camera -- and there's a poppy on it. And lots of pink. And a dangly pendant thing. Good grief

Sandra Vogel
3 min read

There's an important clue about the CL75 Poppy in its name. It's got a picture of a poppy on its front, and, while poppies themselves come in a wide range of colours, Siemens has decided on a pink and silver (and some more pink) colour theme for this handset.


Siemens CL75 Poppy

The Good

Different looks; solid if limited range of features; effective front display.

The Bad

Limited memory; poor use of colour on numberpad; camera is VGA only.

The Bottom Line

For those people who think pinkiness is next to godliness the CL75 Poppy will be the handset of their dreams, for it is pink, pink, pink (oh, and sliver). If you don't care what your phone looks like and want one with a decent range of features at a fairly low price, the CL75 Poppy would be worth a second glance

It's a special edition, created by an all-woman team, and it's being pushed as an elegant handset with clean lines and woman-appeal. Ahem.

We found the CL75 for around £120 SIM-free online, and from free on various tariffs from O2 and Vodafone with the former offering its cheapest line rental at £12.50 and the latter at £8.00.

The clamshell styling makes this a relatively comfortable handset to carry around. It is fairly light too -- we're talking just 90g in weight and a pocket requirement of 44 by 87 by 23mm.

For all its small size, the general feature set is pretty good. The handset is tri-band, and the internal display provides 262k colours on a 128x160-pixel screen. The outer display, which is a mere 65k colours, brightens up to tell you who is calling and shows information like the battery power, current time and date when the clamshell is closed.

There's some potentially useful software provided such as diary, task manager, countdown timer, stopwatch and calculator, and on the front of the clamshell, a lens for the built-in camera. The camera is pretty average. You can shoot VGA stills, capture video, and there is a 4x digital zoom. A nice touch is that you can use the front screen as a viewfinder for taking self portraits when the clamshell is closed.

It is entirely true, as the advertising claims, that if you use the dedicated button on the handset, you can turn the main screen off and use it as a mirror. For your makeup, see?

The CL75 Poppy has no Bluetooth built in and no cabled PC connection provided. So while in theory you can exchange information with a PC, in practice it's going to cost you more money unless you can use the built-in infrared.

Don't expect to use the CL75 Poppy as an MP3 player, as there is no music player built in. There is 11MB of memory for you to store pics shot with the camera or anything else you download and want to keep on the handset, but you can't expand on this using memory cards.

Some people will find the pinkness of the handset overpowering. They should, perhaps, content themselves with looking at the outside of the CL75 and not venture inside the clamshell, for here they will find two tones of the colour plus shiny and dull silver to contend with.

A major design failing is that it is difficult to see the numbers on the keypad due to their colouring. Someone should have told the design team that grey characters on a pink background aren't particularly clear. The blue backlight at least means things are better if you are dialling in the dark.

The handset runs slow at times -- it took 30 seconds to apply a new theme for example (yes, they are all variations on pink).

We don't know what to make of Siemens' decision to include a silver charm with the handset -- ours was a heart with a little pink gemstone in its centre. If you are so inclined, you can use the tiny lanyard attached to it to clip the thing onto the bottom edge of the CL75 where it, er, dangles.

This is a basic handset, which is fine if basic is what you want. It makes calls, sends texts, takes snapshots and bulks out with a fair range of other software features.

Probably the worst fault of the CL75, notwithstanding the shameless marketing wheeze that women are going to fall for something pink with a dangly charm attached, is the poor colouring on the numberpad. We're all for getting out on the edge in design terms, but not at the expense of usability.

Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide

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