Given its impressive line of attractive, strong-performing handsets, it's hard to believe that Siemens isn't a huge name in mobile phones. That said, the Siemens S65 is true to form and easily maintains the company's reputation. In many ways, this offering exceeds its predecessors in terms of the range and implementation of its features. Although the cramped keypad will keep some people from taking full advantage of what this mobile has to offer, the S65 is a multimedia powerhouse.
As with just about every other phone in its line, Siemens's S65 is quite attractive. Its black-and-silver casing will look equally stylish in a boardroom or a nightclub. At 48 by 109 by 18mm and 98g, this candy bar-style handset isn't as small as some other models from the company, but it won't be a burden for mobile professionals, either.
The 51mm (2-inch) screen is large and vibrant, although the 65,536-colour display is a bit chintzy for a phone of this calibre. The screen occupies most of the mobile's real estate, so there's a slight trade-off in terms of the controls. Though the five-way toggle and navigation keys are well sized, little room is left for the dial-pad keys. The buttons are small even for the daintiest of fingers, though they are sufficiently raised from the unit to simplify touch dialling.
Conversely, the five-way joystick, the two soft keys, the Talk and End buttons, and the dedicated camera key that sit just below the display are quite easy to use. Navigating through the animated menus is a breeze, and shortcuts are allowed to user-defined functions. Or, to back out of a submenu, simply press the joystick to the left. The menus themselves are logical, so you shouldn't spend a lot of time figuring out where everything is. Even AOL IM gets its own menu option, rather than being buried under Connectivity.
Other exterior controls are few. The infrared port is on the left side, while a multifunction control for changing the volume, scrolling thorough menus, activating the sound recorder, and using the camera is on the right side. The back of the handset holds the camera lens -- there's no mirror or flash -- and you'll find a MultiMediaCard slot in the bottom of the device. Take care not to accidentally remove the card without using the Eject Card function from the MyMedia options menu, or else you will probably wipe out all of your stored data. The only other serious complaint is that it's difficult to remove the SIM card. Instead of a sliding lock to hold the card in place, the card simply snaps into the slot. When it comes time to remove it, it helps to have fairly long fingernails to get underneath the card and slide it out with your opposite thumb.
Not only is the Siemens S65's feature list extensive, but everything is well implemented. The phone book can hold 1,000 entries, each of which includes room for street addresses, birthdays, and pictures. Contacts can be organised into caller groups or be paired with a picture or any of the 12 polyphonic (40-chord) ringtones. Additionally, whereas some phones require you to save the basic information first, then add details later, with the Siemens, you can instead enter all of this information at once.
Other features include a vibrate mode, a calendar, text and multimedia messaging, a voice recorder, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, an alarm clock, a calculator, a currency converter, a task list, and a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Business users will appreciate the S65's Bluetooth, speakerphone, infrared port, e-mail support (POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP), and USB connectivity. Also, you can use the handset as a modem, and with a free download of the Mobile Phone Manager from Siemens's Web site, you get the ability to sync with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.