Siemens S65 review: Just business

Marek Lutonský, 14 September 2004. Read the original review at
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Tags: Siemens

What is the purpose of the memory card?

Siemens S65 is using a memory card of Reduced Size MMC special format as well as Nokia 7610 does. It's an usual MMC card, just reduced on a half size. It goes hard in the slot and it's even harder to get it out - it's placed quite deep inside, and moreover, you have to press it to get over the catch. Owing to the hundred percent compatibility and slot placement it's possible to use also normal MMC cards. Half of the card will stick out from the phone, but it will work. That's the advantage over Nokia 7610, where the card is hidden behind the battery thus ordinary MMC format can't get in there.

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Memory card placement

You can switch cards in Siemens S65 on the go - but what for? I know that we criticized phones, and especially the older Siemens S55, for a low memory, and now I'm going to reprove the unlimited memory of the newest model. What is the purpose of a memory card in such a phone? Siemens S65 is not equipped with a player of MP3 files, which to be saved on a card. It's used only for pictures. Sure, with a megapixel camera the size of every picture is 100-150 kilobytes, but I think the internal memory of more than 10 MB should be quite enough?

Camera: more colors please

The megapixel camera in the mobile phone is still a very important new feature. Siemens S65 is one of the first phones equiped with such camera. Siemens features also a bigger resolution than Nokia 7610: 1280 x 960 pixels versus 1152 x 864 pixels.

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Pictures from the integrated camera

In our previous article where we compared two megapixel photomobiles, Siemens S65 and Nokia 7610, we were more critical to Siemens S65. But then we got a new phone and the latest firmware and things have changed. The point is that Siemens S65 has two types of optics: one is making pictures in a quality that we criticized in the article and the other one makes photos of a better quality. Firmware is also quite important for the picture quality. With the final product - in the phones that are being sold - you can be always sure that you have the right optics type and the actual firmware (unfortunately we weren't lucky with our test phones).

So once again: comparison of megapixel photos made by Siemens S65 and Nokia 7610. Both phones are final market samples with the actual firmware. We took the same scenes in same conditions and now you can compare with us:
Comparison of the photographic abilities of Siemens S65 and Nokia 7610.

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Megapixel pictures once again

Camera settings possibilities aren't poor at all. You can choose from five types of resolutions, use the exposure compensation and also max. 5x zoom, which works on the basis of crops from a bigger format. The camera features a self timer, three possible settings for the color balance, monochrome and sepia effects. Pictures can be stored in the interanl phone memory or on the memory card.

Space for pictures is available in the phone • and on the memory card • pictures are under control thanks to simple files manager

Siemens S65 can also record a video with max resolution of 176 x 144 pixels. The video can't be stored on the memory card and it can't be longer than 15 seconds.

Video finder is the same as for a photo mode • you use color balance also in video mode

Environment and controls

Older Siemens 65 series phones have had very unusual graphical environment. Main menu icons look like drawn by a child and probably no one could imagine that also the serious S65 model would use the same graphics. Don't worry, it doesn't. Main menu icons are "normal", they really represent what do you think they would. In standard they are black and white, by selection they get colored orange and start lightly pulse.

Main display with different wallpapers

The low display resolution makes no good for the icons. Oblique lines are noticeably jagged. Now I don't really mind but at first contact with the phone, and after the experiences with better displays, it was quite a bad surprise. There is plenty of space for wallpapers on the main display. Besides a wallpaper you can find the usual information there, it shows date and time as a standard.

Main menu in inverse mode • icons crabbedness becomes apparent especially on a light background

Environment of the phone can be changed by use of the graphical themes. I find the standard theme the nicest, an inverse image with white text on a dark border. Other themes are too mottled. Inverse image is better than a black font on a light background.

Screensaver starts after a preset time. You can choose among "switch off", analog or digital clock showing actual time or a picture, e. g. an animated gif. The phone offers also the possibility to lock the keys by activating the saver, and to ask eventually for a code to return back.

Various graphical themes

During switching off and on the phone, you can hear an ugly sound, ear-splitting beep. You don't have to worry, it's possible to turn off all sounds of this type. Siemens S65 is a very fast phone. In comparison to Nokia 6230, which is probably the fastest phone of the class, it's a bit slower, reactions have a small delay, but overall the phone is fast.

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