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Benq siemens phone. BenQ-Siemens EF61 Mia Review

BenQ-Siemens EF61 Mia Review

The BenQ-Siemens EF61 Special Edition is a top fashion phone with a uniquely feminine charm. Several details have been customized to the requirements of female mobile users. The internal display, for example, turns into a practical mirror at the touch of a button.

Key Specifications

BenQ-Siemens’ last sojourn into girly-phone territory, the CL75 Poppy, launched late last year, was a pastel pink clamshell with a poppy tattooed on its front.

That handset apparently did so well that it has been updated and the EF61 Mia is its replacement. You can buy it SIM free for £129.99 plus £4.50 delivery (inc VAT) from BenQ-Siemens’ online store.

Siemens pushes the EF61 as a handset with a screen that doubles as a mirror. It also suggests that you can use the phone to decide what shoes will go with your new outfit by sending your best friend an MMS. While this isn’t going to float every woman’s boat BenQ-Siemens clearly thinks there are enough fluffy-heads out there to warrant a Poppy update. The EF91 is a smallish clamshell tri-Band handset (88 x 46 x 23mm) that’s very light at only at 99g. Its physical design is somewhat reminiscent of Motorola’s PEBL in its rounded, bar-of-soap like looks. It feels rather nice in the hand, and has obviously been designed with smaller mitts in mind.

Flicking the clamshell open is no problem thanks to its hand-friendly size, though there is no groove to help you get a finger hold between upper and lower sections, and those who like an expensive, spring loaded feel to their flip mechanism will be disappointed.

With the clam opened you get to what is one of the key marketing features of the EF61 Mia – that mirror like main screen. Whatever you may think of the idea, it actually works rather well. You switch the screen on and off using a dedicated button sitting beneath the navigation key, and when it is off, you really can use the screen as a mirror.

Navigation key, shortcut and number keys are all nice and large, and are well spaced. The navigation key’s central select button is particularly big. The screen, on the other hand, is rather small at 1.8 diagonal inches. Its 128 x 160 pixels feel somewhat old hat, though its 262,000 colours are welcome. The inside of the clam is silver and lavender-blue. The keys are backlit blue, though not evenly throughout with the 2, 5 and 8 keys getting the brightest of the lighting. There is enough illumination to see all the keys when working in the dark, but the lack of an even spread of light is irritating.

With the clam closed, the front and back are mostly pale blue – BenQ-Siemens calls the colour ‘whisper’. The handset is edged in silver, and, as with the Poppy, a flower is emblazoned on the front (and the back, and the wallpaper).

The front has a secondary screen which is fairly small at 96 x 64 pixels (20mm wide, 13mm tall). Its 4,096 colours are way below what you’d expect from a front screen these days, but it actually looks OK, probably because it’s so small. The handset front also houses the lens for the built in 1.3 megapixel camera.

Beneath this button is a rocker which, when pushed up, displays a monthly calendar. You can cycle through the months backwards and forwards using the rocker and any days with appointments are highlighted. But to see the appointments you have to open the handset and go to the calendar application. The rocker can’t be used to cycle through music tracks.

On the bottom of the clam is the mains power port, a mini USB type and a covered slot for a microSD card. You can use cards to augment the built in 1.5MB of storage, and clearly if you are going to make any kind of use of the phone as a camera or music player you are going to need a card.

Bluetooth is built in, but there is no infra red.

So, to the camera. On the plus side, there isn’t a huge shutter lag. You get a self timer, three white balance settings, a fair few pre-set scene modes such as landscape, sunny, sunset, snow and even text, effects such as sketch, negative, sepia and embossed and a nine shot multi shot mode. When viewing a picture you can record voice clips, which are then associated with them. These features lift the camera from the realms of the truly mediocre into something you might want to use. However, the camera lacks a flash and so it’s not what it could be when it comes to indoor shots. Also, I found it difficult to avoid camera shake and the lens doesn’t produce the clearest or sharpest of images or the brightest colours. The sample shots, taken indoors at the highest resolution and quality available with the camera on auto settings, shows the kind of thing you might get from shooting typical indoor ‘snaps’.

The music player supports MP3, AAC and WMA files. Played through the handset quality is reasonable but the maximum setting isn’t loud enough.

The white in-ear headphones supplied delivered fairly good quality and volume. The headset connects through the same mini USB port as is used for mains power, so if you want to change it you could be in trouble. The connector was quite tight on my review unit, but I did not have a final boxed version of the handset and your experience may differ. I also didn’t get the BenQSyncer software which apparently lets you exchange data with a PC. The software complement is reasonable but definitely on the basic side. SMS and MMS are supported but there is no email client on board. There is a WAP browser and Java, a voice recorder, clock, five alarms, to do list manager, notes taker, calculator, currency converter, stopwatch and countdown timer.

Battery life for continuous MP3 playback from a microSD card clocked in at just over six hours.

Despite my misgivings, clearly enough people bought the Poppy for BenQ-Siemens to consider a follow-up. There are many small, light, brightly coloured handsets brimming with features, but I feel that the EF61’s screen-mirror trick will help it stands out from the crowd.

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How we test phones

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

BenQ-Siemens EL71 review

Perhaps it’s the brushed magnesium and aluminium alloy casing that gives it away, perhaps it’s that sleek sliding action, but there’s no doubt that the EL71 is first and foremost a style phone that’s designed to turn heads.

It’s certainly a sleek looking device, especially in the shiny version that we got to try, although it’s also available in ‘opal black’. The squarish design gives off an air of seriousness, but that’s all to the good. it may look pretty but the EL71 isn’t just a catwalk cutie, and it’s got a decent spread of midrange specs packed into its stylish casing.

It’s lightweight too, considering it’s a metal-bodied phone, at 94g, and slim, at a shade under 17mm; it’s no RAZR, but you shouldn’t have any trouble concealing it in a

The slider, as you might expect from Siemens’ consistent excellence in this regard, is smooth and efficient and in the hand it feels just right. It sounds pretty good too, thanks to a range of changeable swooshy sound effects.


The keypad automatically locks when the phone slides closed, although you can unlock it with a couple of key presses if you want to search the menus or activate the media player without opening the phone.

There are two dedicated music keys on the front, which can be operated when the phone is open or closed. One gets you straight into the media player, the other can either play or pause and you can shift between music, pics and video using the direction keys.

Volume controls are on the left side and there’s a mirror image of these controls on the right. down for quick access to the camera, and up for a selected quick dial number.

When you do get around to opening the phone though, you’ll find that the keys are covered in a sort of rubberised plastic film, which feels quite pleasant to the touch, and certainly more tactile than the metallic style which might have been a more obvious fit with the metal casing. The blue backlight looks cool too.

The bright 262,000-colour screen isn’t huge at 41x36mm but it’s big enough to display up to eight lines of text and it shows off pictures taken with the onboard 1.3-megapixel camera very well, with an impressive level of clarity. The graphic layout is easy to find your way around and looks as good as anything else out there.

The 1.3-megapixel camera is the least you need on a midrange phone these days and this one doesn’t disappoint. The lens has no cover but is embedded in a fairly deep recess that should protect it from most knocks and bumps.

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There’s a mirror next to the lens as well as a flash, which can either be used as intended, flicking on only when you take a snap, or set as a torch for constant illumination.


There’s no multi-shot option, but there is a self-timer which can be set between five and 30 seconds, there are five resolution settings between low and premium as well as various lighting adjustments, but there are no onboard editing facilities. although you can transfer your pics to your PC using the supplied USB data cable or Bluetooth.

The pictures look decent enough, although the usual flash issues apply. if your subject is more than a metre or so away, the flash might as well not be there. Video however was a little more problematic, with playback proving rather choppy, the picture sticking briefly at intervals.

The video camera will allow you to record for as long as you have memory onboard (up to 16MB), or on the microSD card (up to 1GB are currently available).

You’ll need to remove the battery cover to get to it, but fortunately not the battery itself, so you can change cards while keeping the phone switched on. Incidentally, it hasn’t yet been announced what size of microSD card, if any, will be supplied with the EL71. this will depend on which networks take it up, or on special offers from retailers.

The media player will play back MP3, AAC and AAC music files and MPEG4 video files which you can load using Bluetooth or the supplied USB data cable. The loudspeaker is fairly tinny, as you’d expect, but surprisingly loud.

Further inspection revealed that the large speaker sits directly behind the metallic battery cover, and seems to use its reverberations to help project the sound. It cracks up at the highest volume, but it’s a neat solution to the inherent problem of loudspeaker volume or lack thereof.

Usefully, there’s a music cable available, which allows you to plug directly into the analogue inputs of a stereo, so you can play back your music for all to hear, without having to rely on the tinny loudspeaker. You’ll probably have to pay extra for it, though this hasn’t yet been confirmed.

No mini-jack

The supplied headphones, as ever, could use an upgrade, but unfortunately there’s no standard mini jack plug.

There are two fairly decent games on board, with more Java titles available to download. NY Nights is an addictive little number that puts you in a Sims-style set-up as you arrive in New York as a fresh-faced yokel and do your best to make friends and influence people. Brick Challenge is a barricade breaking game with online multiplayer option.

There’s plenty of room for contact info, including four phone numbers, two fax numbers, two email addresses, two websites, full address, dedicated ringtone and even video ringtone if you like.

Scrolling through the menus proved to be a bit slow and there seemed to be the odd lapse in logic regarding navigation. For instance, while you should be able to get around 100 hours of voice messaging on the internal memory, there’s no fast key access to help you get those flashes of inspiration down quickly, and while in theory you should be able to programme one of the soft keys for this, we couldn’t get it to work.

The quick key button on the right which allows you to quick dial just one number is useful, but seems unnecessarily limited. wouldn’t quick access to a list of favourite numbers have been more practical?

Battery life seemed short of the claimed 300 hours standby and we found ourselves having to charge it almost every day we used it. The battery itself is a diminutive little fellow that takes up about a quarter of the phone’s length, which may explain this.

This is an attractive looking phone with some good midrange specs and some clear thinking has been employed in the design. If you like the look, it should serve you well. Dave Oliver

Style: The high quality magnesium and aluminium alloy casing employed here certainly looks swish

Slide: As smooth as you like. BenQ-Siemens design team have made a slick sliding mechanism

Media player: The media player allows you to listen to music and view pics or video without opening the phone

Camera: The 1.3-megapixel camera on the back of the phone comes with a flash that doubles as a torch

BenQ-Siemens M81

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Mobile terms glossary

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication and is the most popular 2G mobile phone standard in the world. GSM is used by about 80% of all mobile phones. approximately 2 billion people across more than 212 countries. The widespread use of the GSM standard has made it easy for most mobile phone users to use their phones overseas thanks to roaming agreements between operators using the same GSM standard. GSM. then labelled Groupe Spécial Mobile was originally conceived back in 1982 as a European standard for mobile phones. The first GSM network went live in 1992 in Finland. GSM introduced the concept of the SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card). a detachable Smart card that lets users swap their phone number and contacts between handset.

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Enhanced messaging service (EMS) uses some features defined in the Short Message Service (SMS) specification to enhance the user experience when sending messages. A thin client is added to the mobile phone and by using standard SMS parameter fields, such as the user data header, binary-encoded and concatenated messages can be sent that display enriched content, such as italicized, emboldened or underlined text, predefined sounds, monophonic tunes and static or animated images.

MMS is an extension of the SMS (Short Message Service) protocol, allowing the exchange of text messages exceeding 160 characters. Unlike SMS, which is text-only, MMS can deliver a variety of media. This media may include up to forty seconds of video, audio, one image, or a slideshow of multiple images. MMS requires a third generation (3G) network to send large MMS messages (though smaller MMS messages may be transmitted over second generation networks using GPRS).

Bluetooth is an industry standard for contactless data transmission and communication between two devices. The range is usually 1 to 10 m and rarely more than 100 m. In some cases, distances of up to 200 m are possible.

GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service and was the first popular data standard for mobile phones. GPRS was used for WAP and MMS messages and offered modest connection speeds. typically 30-40 Kbit/s, although the theoretical maximum is 115 Kbit/s. GPRS is known as a 2.5G technology. One of the early advantages of GPRS is that it s always on so no connection handshake is needed. It is still very popular, especially in the developing world.

The name of EDGE in full is Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. This is a 2.75G technology further developed from the 2G and 2.5G technologies. Its data transmission speed is higher than that of GPRS and is closer to 3G technology.

Universal Serial Bus (USB): A standard port that enables you to connect external devices (such as digital cameras, scanners, keyboards, and mice) to computers. The USB standard supports data transfer at three rates: low speed (1.5MBps), full speed (12Mbps) and high speed (480 MBps). Mbps=million bits per second.

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Questions. FAQ

How long does the battery of the BenQ-Siemens M81 last?

The BenQ-Siemens M81 battery has a capacity of Li-Ion 820 mAh.

In which colours is the BenQ-Siemens M81 available?

The BenQ-Siemens M81 is available in colours: Graphite Black, Steel Blue.

I forgot my BenQ-Siemens M81 PIN code What I can do?

If you have forgotten the PIN code of your BenQ-Siemens M81 SIM card, do not enter the wrong code more than twice or you will block the SIM card. A hard reset will not take effect in this case, the only solution is to look for the PUK code that you must have on the plastic card where your SIM card came from, in case you cannot find it, contact your telephone company to provide you with the PUK code, With this code you can create a new PIN code. Do not enter a wrong PUK code or the SIM card will be unusable and you will have to request a new one from your telephone company.

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Should I charge my phone battery to 100%?

No, or at least not every time you charge it. Some people recommend that you do a full zero to 100% battery recharge (a ‘charge cycle’) once a month. as this re-calibrates the battery, which is a bit like restarting your computer. But others disregard this as a myth for current lithium-ion batteries in phones. To keep your long-term battery life in good health, frequent, small charges are better than full recharging.

Mobile Master is a mobile and Smart phone management and synchronization software for the Benq Siemens S68.

Mobile Master is a mobile phone management program for the Benq Siemens S68 and synchronizes contact and Organizer data between Mobile Phone and PC with just a few mouse clicks.

Do you prefer to use Lotus Notes, Thunderbird or Tobit David or. (see below) for your addresses and Organizer? No problem! Mobile Master copies and synchronizes this information easily onto your Benq Siemens S68.

New phone: Mobile Master copies your phone/address book from your old mobile phone to the Benq Siemens S68 even if your old phone is from another manufacturer.

Mobile Master not only synchronizes the Benq Siemens S68 with Lotus Notes or Outlook, it also compares the data of your Benq Siemens S68 with Tobit David, Mozilla Thunderbird, Palm Desktop, Novell Groupwise, Mozilla Seamonkey, Windows contacts/address book (Outlook Express) or a txt, vcf, csv, ics, cvs file.

New phone number or appointment: type it fast on the PC and send it to the Benq Siemens S68.

Supported Features for the Benq Siemens S68 :

Supported clients for the Benq Siemens S68:



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