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BenQ-Siemens CL71

 BenQ-Siemens CL71 Available now (in some markets)
8th March 2006

The BenQ-Siemens CL71 is a sliding phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera, 176x220 pixel display, expandable memory and Bluetooth, due for market release during Q1 2006.

Although BenQ-Siemens have announced some very good looking handsets recently, the CL71 fails to impress in so many ways.

Let's start with the CL71's looks. It's hard to believe, but this ugly slab of a phone actually won a design award from iF. To be fair, BenQ-Siemens seem to be pitching the CL71 as a phone that FEELS good to use, with a combination of high-quality components, but it's hard to tell how good it really is until we get our hands on one.

Then there's the specification. The 176x220 pixel display and 1.3 megapixel camera are pretty run-of-the-mill and nothing special. Sure, there's a microSD slot capable of taking up to 512Mb of memory, an MP3 player, WAP browser (but no email client) etcetera etcetera, but there's nothing really outstanding here.

Given it's limited specification, the CL71 is a fairly heavy phone weighing 110 grams. The battery life can only be described as pathetic - just 144 minutes talktime (not much over 2 hours) and 7 days standby. This would be forgivable is the CL71 was a 3G phone, but it isn't.

BenQ-Siemens are playing on the "iF Award 2006" aspect to talk up the phone - but unfortunately, this award-winning phone shares something in common with those "award winning" buildings that you sometimes see that aren't actually any good to work or live in. We feel that BenQ-Siemens have missed the mark completely with the CL71 and that it will simply crash and burn when it comes up against the competition.

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BenQ-Siemens CL71 at a glance

Available:

Q1 2006

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

176x220 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Large slider
97x47x18mm / 110 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

2 hours talk / 7 days standby

 

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