Recently, we've taken a look at the Siemens C65, which is a great phone at a great price, as well as the sturdily designed M65, which is suited for those who love the outdoors. However, we believe the S65 will attract business users requiring a touch more sophistication and elegance from a mobile phone.
The Siemens S65 is housed in a black case completed with a silver finish. The keypad is well placed and the entire handset feels very solid. The directional joystick under the screen is simple to use and very responsive to touch.
While the S65's screen isn't the best we've seen it is still very good. The large TFT is capable of displaying 65,000 colours and is very clear. In bright light it can be difficult to read the screen, as it doesn't seem to be lit as well as others.
The right hand side of the phone is home to the volume controls and the left hand side carries the infrared port. Texting is a cinch on the S65's keypad as the buttons are bevelled. At 98 grams, it's a very light phone, especially to other 1.3-megapixel camera phones, such as the Nokia 7610.
The interface is identical to both the C65 and M65 with the main menu containing nine icons arranged in a grid that you select using the joystick. Messages is the first option on-screen and placed conveniently considering it's probably the most used function on mobile phones these days. You can map shortcuts to the soft keys but the easy-to-use direction pad means that you won't really have to.
The phone is tri-band giving you the ability to roam in more countries with GSM networks around the world. For connectivity, it has both infrared and Bluetooth -- although we experienced some problems linking the handset to a laptop using the latter. It comes with a software CD and USB cable allowing you to link up with a PC, however, we had problems with the application as it couldn't seem to recognise the handset. Furthermore, voice-dialling is not supported which means that it can take some usefulness away from using a Bluetooth headset.
The S65 comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera which makes it one of the higest-resolution models currently available on the market, but the quality of the pictures doesn't stand up to the camera on the Sony Ericsson S700i. However, as far as picture quality goes it stands head and shoulders above most others. The handset also comes with a 32MB MultiMedia Card allowing you to store many photos that you can later transfer to a PC. The camera comes with a digital zoom but we recommend against using it as the pictures tend to be very grainy. It has difficulty focussing on objects at a distance, but takes very clear pictures up close without the zoom function enabled.
Three Java games are bundled with the phone including the excellent Turrican-- which for any old-school Amiga gamers will seem like it's been sent solely to make you relive your youth.
Like most of the Siemens phones it comes with set themes that you can select to change the background, colour and sounds.
The sound quality on the phone is of a high standard and we had no problems with reception or hearing anyone when using it. The screen is of a good quality and the battery life is very good.
Overall, the phone is of high quality for its price point. It is simple to use, and you will find yourself using the calendar, diary, camera, and most other functions a lot of the time.
Siemens state the S65 has a talk time of around 300 minutes and a standby of over a week so if you are using it regularly you won't need to charge too often. The camera doesn't seem to drain the batteries nearly as quick as other phones on the market.
One problem we did find with the phone was that it has a tendency to freeze occasionally (especially when using the camera). However, as we had an early demonstration model for this review, Siemens might have updated the S65's firmware to rectify the problem.