Siemens cell phones, sometime misspelled as Simens cell phones, are not nearly as popular as the highly fashionable Samsung slider phones or the music-centric Walkman phones from Sony Ericsson, but they do have several handsets that are definitely distinct and different from the rest of the crowd.
Siemens AG originally operated as an independent company producing cell phones under their own name, but the mobile phone division was largely purchased by BenQ of Taiwan in 2005. Siemens didn't completely fall out of the picture, however, buying about a 2.5% stake in BenQ for 50 million Euros. Subsequently, they started releasing a family of mobile phones under the BenQ-Siemens banner.
Siemens Cell Phones
While there are several handsets in the Siemens family that well worth your attention because of their unique form factors, innovative features, and other fun additions that only cell phones may not have, there have been many concerns about the build quality and usability of Siemens (Simens) cell phones. In my own personal experience, the user interface (on the Siemens M55) can be quite slow, especially when switching applications or accessing advanced features. I'm not sure if this issue has been corrected with future versions, but it turned me off from the brand.
For North American users, buying a BenQ-Siemens cell phone may not be in your best interest, because they are typically tri-band phones with 900, 1800, and 1900MHz frequencies. In many areas of Canada and the United States, you may require the 850MHz band which very few of these phones have.
Examples of BenQ-Siemens Cell Phones
Just as Nokia and Motorola have attacked just about every type of cell phone out there, including MP3 cell phones, slider phones, and camera phones, BenQ-Siemens has some great looking handsets. Here are a few of the more popular phones that you can still find on eBay and other stores.
- EF61: This tri-band GSM was made available in July 2006. The flip phone bears some resemblance to the Motorola V635 with its external CSTN display, internal color screen, 1.3 megapixel camera, integrated music player, and microSD expansion slot. One of the best features of this phone is that the front faceplate can be easily customized and replaced.
- A58: This candybar phone has polyphonic and MP3 ringtones, 6.5MB of internal memory, no expansion card slot, JAVA MIDP 2.0, and a basic organizer. The A58 is very much an entry-level phone, and as such, its features are pretty bare bones.
- P51: One of the very few phones in the BenQ-Siemens lineup that has quad-band (850/900/1800/1900) radios, the P51 is a smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard, competing directly against the MOTO Q, Samsung Blackjack, and BlackBerry. It's also got Office applications, integrated GPS receiver, and handwriting recognition.
Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX
Siemens cell phones not only fall under the BenQ banner. There is a single line of handsets that carry the Fujitsu-Siemens badging: the Pocket LOOX. Officially, these Siemens cell phones are not marketed as "cell phones", but rather as PDAs. That said, they do have the full functionality of a regular mobile phone and then some. In fact, you will often find the Fujitsu-Siemens line of handsets marketed as either Pocket PC Phones or even multimedia computer phones. All this functionality -- they run on Windows Mobile and boast all sorts of applications -- does not come cheap. Several Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket LOOX phones cost in excess of $1,000. For example, the current price on the LOOX T830 Pocket PC Phone with GPS is around $1,130.