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Tough, but not extremely tough

Written on: 13/01/2002 by Tobias. (1 review written)

Good Points
Light, tough, good features, OK reception, splashproof, great standby time.

Bad Points
Screen not perfect, I had quality problems, not EXTREMELY tough, no voice dial, low battery life when actively used. Get black model, yellow and blue will get dirty.

General Comments
Tough, but not extremely tough

Well, this phone is something special. It is some kind of a hybrid between a professional phone that may suit business users, with a wide range of features such as a calendar, WAP, 14.4 modem and more. It has features which will satisfy teenagers and younger users as well; games, predictive text input, et cetera.
The phone's biggest feature is its extra toughness, however. It should be able to withstand daily wear and tear without problems: rain, dropping it, dust, mud. However, it
will not withstand immersion in water. But who wants to take a swim with a phone?

When I first bought the phone, it felt like the best quality phone ever. However, I have had quality problems with this phone. The first M35 I had lasted just for one day before its internal antenna probably jumped loose from its socket, since it was losing all reception. I got it replaced immediately in the store with no struggle at all. The second M35 I had lasted for half a year. Then the earpiece started to sound muffled and coarse. This time it was sent out for repair and I was without a phone for 4 weeks. After this time, I got it replaced. However, I am giving Siemens another chance here. Factory faults can occur in all brands of phones. I guess that I was just unlucky.

A moderate amount of power is required to press the keys, which may appear irritating to some people. But still, they work well, so I should not be complaining. In fact, it feels nice to press them, they are made of rubber! The high-res 4 row display works well too. But the backlight could have been stronger, and the top line is occasionally in shadow. Sound quality from the earpiece range from fair to good depending on what voice the person you are talking to has. I have never had a problem listening to what the other person is saying, but it seems the sound is missing the mid-high frequency band, or something. Outgoing quality is world class. The phone seems to keep a lock on the GSM signal pretty well. Now for something weird. If you only let the phone lie idle in your pocket, it can last for well over a week - which is very good. However, as soon as you start "playing" with the phone, i.e playing games, setting calendar, writing SMS, talking, etc. standby life dramatically disminishes. Which I'd call not good. I've had a moderately used phone only last as long as 2-3 days. You can talk in it for 3-4 hours constantly before the standard NiMH battery is flat. Included charger works well. There is even a battery discharge feature in the phone enabling you to pump out the battery before charging it so that its life dramatically extends. The phone weighs 130g which must be considered light for an outdoor phone.

The M35 has a great deal of features. Calendar, T9 SMS, modem, clock, timer, WAP (which you can read HTML with too!), profiles, games, ring tone composer and a whole lot of other stuff. I guess you won't get disappointed. But some things are not designed very well, i.e setting an alarm takes longer than it could have taken. I would actually like to have seen a voice dial feature. After all, this is an outdoor phone. Tapping in a number on a keypad can be hard with thick gloves. Alarm clock does its job, as well the as timer/stopwatch. Calendar is fine, allowing you to set appointments weekly, daily, monthly, yearly or once. Great for keeping i.e a class schedule or anything similiar.

Final words:
A tough phone which will satisfy most users. It's not perfect - but very good, and a great deal considering its low cost - $140 today.

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