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BenQ-Siemens A58

 BenQ-Siemens A58 Cancelled
30th May 2006

The BenQ-Siemens A58 is a business-orientated phone that aims to put all the features a business would need into a handset priced as inexpensively as possible. It's not a wholly new phone - the A58 is based on the Siemens A31 announced late last year, but with added Bluetooth.

A rundown of the features indicates a phone that might have been designed by an accountant. BenQ-Siemens have put just enough in the A58 to appeal to businesses, and no more. There's not really anything on the BenQ-Siemens A58 which could be considered wasteful or extravagant!

 BenQ-Siemens A58 Silver The A58 has a 128x128 pixel CSTN display in 65,000 colours, Bluetooth, tri-band GSM plus GPRS, a web browser, email client, vibrating alert, MP3 ringtones, PC synchronisation, hands-free calling and Java. There's no camera, multimedia player or expandable memory to worry about here, making the BenQ-Siemens A58 an attractive choice for businesses.

It's a lightweight phone, weighing just 85 grams. Despite the weight, the A58 manages six hours talktime and 12 days standby time (although of course using Bluetooth will drain the battery faster). There's an RF connector on the back, so the A58 can be mounted into a car kit. It looks quite nice too, with a typically smart Siemens-designed housing and two understated colour schemes of "Mercury Silver" and "Carbon Black".

There are a couple of drawbacks - the main one is that PC connectivity is via a serial cable or Bluetooth only, so there's no USB support. And CSTN displays tend to have a much poorer quality than more common (and more expensive) TFT panels.

There are surprisingly few players in the cameraless business phone market segment. The most notable rival to the BenQ-Siemens A58 is the Nokia 6021 which has a slightly better screen but much shorter battery life and no RF connector. If this was a Nokia it would sell like hot cakes, but BenQ-Siemens is not a name that most businesses are familiar with, so the going might be difficult.

BenQ-Siemens say that the A58 should be available in Europe from August 2006.

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BenQ-Siemens A58 at a glance

Available:

Q3 2006

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128x128 pixels, 65k colours

Camera:

No

Size:

Lightweight candy bar
102x46x18mm / 85 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

No

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

6 hours talk / 12 days standby

 

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