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BenQ-Siemens A38

 BenQ-Siemens A38 Cancelled
30th May 2006

The BenQ-Siemens A38 is an ultra-basic phone that sits at the bottom of the range of BenQ-Siemens "A series" of budget mobile phones.

Before we start to talk about the A38, we'd just like to point out that Mobile Gazette is a big fan of simple-to-use and inexpensive phones. For example, the Sony Ericsson J220i and J230i are two stylish phones that are easy to use, inexpensive and look good.

Secondly, we'd also like to point out that we quite like what BenQ-Siemens has been doing lately. Take the recently announced EF71 - a fabulous looking phone that thing deserves to be successful.

So.. the BenQ-Siemens A38. Well, basically it's a hideous old relic with absolutely nothing interesting about it at all. Except possibly that it will be very cheap, but BenQ-Siemens haven't said exactly how cheap the A38 is going to be. In fact, the A38 is just a horrible 3 year old handset (the BenQ M775C) with a slightly modified keypad. It's an even nastier phone than the ghastly AP75 and at least that had Bluetooth.

 BenQ-Siemens A38 The specification list on the A38 isn't very long: it's a tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 phone with a tiny 1.4" 96x64 pixel CSTN display in 65,000 colours. It has polyphonic ringtones. Some games. And an alarm clock. Errrr.. that's really about it.  The BenQ-Siemens A38 doesn't have GPRS, a camera, Bluetooth, MMS messaging, a web browser, email client or Java support.

Usually, simple phones like this redeem themselves when it comes to the basic characteristics of size, weight and battery life. Except, the A38 weighs 89.5 grams which is quite heavy for a simple phone. The A38's four hour talktime is short too, considering how little there is to power in the phone. Nor is the BenQ-Siemens A38 a compact phone, measuring 104x46x19mm.

On top of all this, the A38 is deeply ugly. We've even included a picture of the back of the handset so you can get an idea of the true awfulness of it all.

The question is.. why have BenQ-Siemens bothered to come out with a handset this bad? Well, we presume that the A38 is going to be really, really cheap. And really cheap phones do tend so sell in large volumes (the bestselling phone in the world today is the ancient Nokia 1100). Larger volumes equals increased market share, and for a fledgling company such as BenQ-Siemens, market share is very important.

So perhaps, the A38 isn't as daft as it looks. And remember, it makes phone calls and has a handy address book for up to 300 numbers, plus the standby time is a reasonable 12 days. If all you really want to do is make phone calls, and assuming that BenQ-Siemens price the A38 cheaply enough then it might just be worth buying.

BenQ-Siemens say that the A38 will be available in Europe in July 2006, followed by Asia in August and Latin America in September in two exciting colour combinations of "Bold Charcoal" (grey) and "X-treme Gray" (err.. grey again).

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BenQ-Siemens A38 at a glance


Q3 2004


GSM 900/18001900




96x64 pixels, 65k colours




Lightweight candby bar
104x46x19mm / 90 grams



Memory card:








Battery life:

4 hours talk / 12 days standby


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