Siemens M55 review: Form Factor
The M55 is a beauty to both behold and hold. You may love the picture, but wait to see it. I define it as one of the few handsets that are original in design. I personally love to have it lying there on the desk!
4, 096 colours. 101 x 80 pixels. Up to 5 lines of text. At first, I thought I’d not be able to live with the 101 x 80 pixels, but to tell the truth, in use if you were not told that it is 101 x 80, you’d probably never have a bother.
It is clear and very readable. Also, Siemens has made it possible for you to adjust the screen brightness. There are tons of wallpaper and screensaver images to choose from to spice up your display. I have played with plenty of phones, and the only phone I remember that comes with this wide a range of images and polyphonic ringtones is the Sagem MyX5.
The keypad does the job. The alphanumeric keys are a joy to use, as are the navigation keys. The only complaints I have are with the call ‘Answer’ and ‘Hang up’ keys. They are a little pointy, and under intense use your thumbs begin to ache some. That aside, it is a successful keypad.
The battery life of this phone is good. After making and receiving calls, downloading and playing Java games, playing downloaded MIDI files, sending and receiving multiple MMS slides and …. yeah, yeah, …the battery dies out after about 2 days. Believe me, any phone battery that lasts up to 2 days in my hands is certainly commendable.
USB/Serial connection slot. I miss the infrared port, but I got a serial cable and that has sufficed. I also downloaded and installed the Siemens PC Data Suite on my PC. With the Data Suite, you can manage SMS, address book and indeed all files on the phone from your PC. There are even bitmap and ringtone editors available in the Suite. I cropped my wife’s picture and loaded it into the phone. Now when she calls, I see her pretty smiling face.
So far so good: transferring ringtones and sounds, Java midlets, wallpaper and screensavers from PC to the M55 has been fun. There were times PC-to-phone connection was broken for no apparent reason, but there have been no major hitches.
At the moment I have exactly 52 MIDI/WAV sound files, 64 colour and 46 grayscale JPG/GIF/BMP pictures, 8 functional java midlets, 28 SMSes, and 24 MMS messages, as well as Voice recordings, calendar notes and appointments, on the phone. With all that, there’s still 142.8 kb of file space available for further use.
The M55 has done well in this regard. Signal strength on my network around my office is not exceptional. Many other phones have failed the test there, but the M55 is yet to lose the signal once when I am in the office.
Beautiful and works well, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Of what use is a phone with lots of space (1.87mB in all), good ringtones, and lots of wallpaper if it lacks an excellent MMS client? Fortunately, the M55 does not skimp on multimedia messaging. The built-in MMS client lets you insert multiple slides containing formatted text (bold, italics, paragraphs), sounds and images (including animations) in your outgoing MMS. You can also set the playback duration for the slides. When its time to send (or receive), it does it well. Compared to the 6610, I prefer the M55’s MMS client.
My M55 came with a pre-installed suite of Java games. In one, you do bike stunts. In another, it is a type of skateboarding game, while the last is skydiving. All the games are fun (I spend some considerable time daily on them). They come with polyphonic background sound effects. Its almost like you are on a PlayStation.
I have also downloaded (via PC connection) compatible games and applications, and they work well. As I write, I have SuperMario, Snake, GalaxyHero, a FirstAid manual, and much more on the phone.
Polyphonic Ringtones. The 16-tone sounds are – thankfully – loud enough. There’s also a wide range to choose from. Some groovy, some simply classical. All fun.
GPRS. Class 8 (1 up, 4 down links). Works fine. No problems here.
Calendar. I love the calendar on this phone. Monthly, weekly and daily views are available. You can write memos, tasks and notes. You can even password-protect your confidential notes.
Calculator + Currency Converter. Works beautifully well. Simple and easy to use.
Voice Dialling. Haven’t tried out this feature yet.
Voice Memo. This works well, too. For example, if you are a musician, You can put down that song before the inspiration dies out. There’s plenty of room.
Voice Commands. You can configure the phone so that when you say ‘New SMS’, it opens up the SMS compose interface so you can just type out and send. Neat, isn’t it?
Handsfree Speakerphone. Works well. Not as loud as, say that of the 6610, but useable and clear.
WAP. The WAP browser comes in version 1.2.1. WAP is a little slow to load, but works fine once connected. For some unexplainable reason, I was not able to download any java midlets using the WAP browser, and it wasn’t a network issue, because I did download with other handsets. Downloading wallpaper and ringtones was without hitch, however.
Email. Configure up to 4 POP3/IMAP accounts, so you can send and receive your mail on the move. In addition, it includes viewers for a limited range of attachments.
Siemens M55 review: Conclusion
You must have guessed by now that I am really impressed with this phone. It scores on the GoSmartMobile Pick! chart. The M55 is rich in features and does not cost the world. How about that? Thank you, Siemens.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.