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Siemens SK65

 Siemens SK65 Discontinued
2nd August 2004

There's a little of Frankenstein's monster in the SK65. We're not sure if it was actually dark and stormy night when Siemens's designers brought the SK65 to life, but it does seem to be several phones stitched together to create something quite astounding.

The Siemens SK65 rotates, like the Motorola V70 and V80, is has a QWERTY keyboard arranged either side of the screen like the Nokia 6820. In common with many other Siemens phones, it has a large 132x176 pixel display and Bluetooth, plus the usual array of features found in most phones these days.

However, there are another two interesting features in the SK65's design - firstly it support full Blackberry messaging, and secondly there is no digital camera in it. These two unusual features reveal the SK65's true purpose - this is a handset for businesses and professionals, rather than consumers.

 Siemens SK65 closed Blackberry messaging means easy and convenient integration with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes email servers using Research In Motion's (RIM) push email technology. This technology isn't really designed for individuals, as it requires a back-end RIM server to act as the interface between the corporate email server and the GPRS network that the SK65 runs on. The SK65 also supports standard POP3/IMAP4/SMTP mail protocols, but Blackberry technology is a significant improvement in terms of usability and cost.

The missing camera is a significant - many business simply do not want the headache of digital cameras proliferating everywhere. We covered this topic very recently when we looked at the Japanese Mitsubishi V301D.

Really, the Siemens SK65 is pitched directly against the popular Nokia 6820 (with a camera) and the uncommon Nokia 6810 (with an FM radio instead of the camera). Both the 6810 and 6820 are lighter and more compact than the SK65, and both Nokias feature EDGE high speed data, where the SK65 doesn't. However, the SK65 has a much better display than the awful one supplied on the Nokias, more memory and Siemens claim that this has the best Blackberry implementation outside of RIM's own hardware range.

As we said, this is a fairly large phone, measuring 120x47x22 mm and coming in at a hefty 144 grams. It has tri-band GSM, GPRS (but no EDGE). The SK65 supports CSD but not HSCSD data which is a shame because many businesses still use HSCSD extensively. The SK65 will also synchronise directly with a PC via Bluetooth, USB cable or infra-red, and it comes with an impressive array of PIM functions, a web browser, Java support for games and other applications and some impressive media playback capabilities. Push-To-Talk should be available when the phone is launched too. Talk time is a business-friendly 5 hours with up to 10 days standby time.

We think that the missing EDGE support is a shame, and this is where the Nokias score highly. But it's clear that Siemens have a good product here, and one pitched directly at the usually conservative corporate market. Blackberry-capable phones are likely to be big business in late 2004-2005, and Siemens have made a convincing case for a slice of this market with the SK65.

Images: Siemens AG

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Siemens SK65 at a glance


Q4 2004


Tri-band GSM




176x132 pixels, 65,000 colours




Large rotating format
120x47x22 mm / 144 grams









Battery life:

5 hours talk / 10 days standby


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