There comes a time in one's life when it is necessary to invest in a spare phone. Unfortunately, I have been unlucky when it comes to mobile phones, and thus I over the last few months I have found it necessary to think about keeping a spare in addition to my two normal phones, especially since I have had trouble with both. The first spare I had was an old Siemens S25, which was very reliable, but lacked one or two features which I now find that I need in a modern phone. The second idea I had saw me go back to my roots, and buy an old Trium Mars, simply because I knew what it could do and it was the Mars which had brought me round to the realisation that Mitsubishi did not just make cheap phones, they made good, cheap phones. However, some of the trouble that I have had with previous Marses came back to haunt me, so yet again I was on the lookout for something which was a cross between the two phones I currently owned, and would be reliable. The phone would have to have a reasonably good specification. I was not looking for something with a camera, but an internal aerial was good, predictive text was a must, if I ever had to lend the phone out to someone, which is a factor in a spare, and the menu system had to be fairly simple. Bonuses would be GPRS, polyphonic ringtones and some decent games, although I could certainly live without them. In terms of size, anything smaller than a Nokia 3310 was in, which was fine, since not many phones with internal aerials which are bigger than the 3310 have ever been made. I thus arrived at the Ericsson T65. One of the last models launched by the Swedish company before the merger between Sony and Ericsson, the T65, and its smaller brother, the T66, represented a break from the traditional Ericsson models. However, both were very much in the shadow of the new T68, which with its colour screen, Bluetooth and optional camera, very much stole the limelight, leaving the two lesser models to plug a very small mark
et sector between the new R600 and the more complicated T39m, the last Ericsson to have a flip before the merger. Since in this country, they were available on a very small number of contracts and tariffs, they are really rather rare. This is something of a shame, because it keeps the prices high. I was going to buy a T66 for a friend, since it fitted the criteria for her ideal phone exactly, but the Ebay prices (the only place one can obtain such models these days) spiralled far beyond my reach. There is a small minority out there who, like me, is aware that these phones are stylish, reasonably specified and good value for money, and this is keeping the prices of those that do appear high. The T66 was the world's smallest phone when it came out, since only beaten by Sony Ericsson's own T600, which is so small that it has to be carried on a wrist band, and the 'purple passion' model, in a rather feminine shade of pink and yellow, would certainly have been the ideal accessory for any handbag from Milan to Montreal, especially as it was a triband phone. The T65 is actually the T66's poor relation: although it lacks the triband functionality of the T66, it gains a lot more features. It also does not suffer the T66's inherent weakness in that the keys can give in after a few weeks of usage! I obtained the T65 from Ebay for £40 without a manual. My example is in fair condition, with a lot of scratching around the screen, and obvious signs of the back having been taking off, but nothing in order to suggest that it will not continue to work fully. As a spare phone, I am less concerned about external condition than internal functionality, and on this the T65 certainly scores. The menu system is exactly the same as the older R320s, which is my grandfather's phone, and having read my review of that, it is easy to see why I would rate it highly. Although the buttons on the T65 are not the biggest I have ever come across, it did not take me
two days to get used to the menu navigation, as has been an issue with my Siemens C45. Yes and No, the Ericsson perennial favourites, still remain, and the four-way keypad reminds one very much of the Trium menu system, although this is slightly different. The C button is only there to clear text, and to act as a shortcut to put the phone on silent and to lock the keypad in standby mode, and this certainly works for that. Although not being up to the standards of Siemens, with the one-button lock and unlock system, the T65 is no worse than the average Nokia in this respect. It is a good thing that the menu system is customisable, since the text messaging takes a lot longer to get to than other handsets I have used if the normal 'Messages' menu is used. It was good to have forward thinking on the Ericsson, so that the messages menu also includes options for chat and e-mail, but the average user will not nearly use these as often as text messaging, but this is not really a problem if the menu is customised. Other than this, there is the issue of the one-touch Internet access button. This is good for those with many WAP minutes (such as the current three-month free WAP browsing promotion from Orange I am currently using), but the majority of people do not need the little blue button, and such rapid access from the standby menu, even with the GPRS. Given that the Internet has its own menu tree anyway, it is easy to see why the T68 and R600 do without the blue button, whilst retaining many excellent features of the same menu system, although the brand new Sony Ericsson T200's menu is exactly the same! The text messaging itself is something of an issue, unfortunately. With an average of 160 messages sent on just one of my phones per month, it is important to me that this function is dealt with quickly and efficiently on any handset I use. However, although the T65 has predictive text, and also support for EMS, there is one major problem wi
th sending messages on this phone: the speed. Both my housemate and I have had problems with this, and he normally uses a colour screen phone, so one would expect that his phone would have a couple of times where the software would not keep up with his rapid two-hand texting, but compared with that, the T65 was like running Microsoft Windows XP on a 386 computer. As long as no mistakes are made when typing the words, and not too much use is made of the directional keypad in order to go through the message, then the phone is reasonable, and will eventually catch up when a pause comes along, but not all of us are perfect at text messaging, and I include myself in that number. I have only had the phone for a couple of days, so no doubt it will get easier with time, but this would be a major concern for me to recommend this phone to any of my friends. The exterior of the phone is one of the best I have ever seen. I can see now why the Sony Ericsson merger was considered, since the T65 is one of the best looking small phones ever. With no removable battery, the whole back cover is of a piece, and thus it can be sculpted into a beautifully shaped indentation, with the Ericsson logo in the middle. No other standard (i.e. non-flip) phone has ever looked this good from the back. The standard colour, a blue bright enough to lift it up from the norm as well as being conservative enough for business users, is also excellent, with the white 'piping' being used to good effect. However, the non-removable battery does cause me concern were anything to go wrong with it, since I have had that problem with a phone before. However, this does mean that one of the T65's party pieces can be shown to its best effect. This is a SIM card holder which slides out of the top of the phone, and makes it very easy to change it for different countries should one need to use it abroad. The blue screen on the phone is also soothing, and also makes up for the lack of colour. It is
easy to see why the new T200 has had a very similar one fitted. The four different shades of grey is also a good Ericsson feature, particularly when browsing the menus. The phone has another useful feature, which is a standby time counter. Pressing the volume control on standby mode means instant access to a screen which will how much, under ideal conditions, standby time and talk time is remaining. For someone who will take this phone on a camping trip, this may be more important than it would first appear. Fortunately, the T65 has very good battery life, and even after a year it appears to be better than the one on my Trium Eclipse. The ringtones may be limited in number, but I would not mind so much if they had included some polyphonic ones in the mix. This is a surprising omission in all the pre-merger Ericsson branded phones, including the revolutionary T68, and it was Sony who finally introduced them to the world of more than one sound, I seem to remember. The standard ones are rather good, and certainly individual, but I cannot help thinking that I have heard them somewhere before, and with only 14 preloaded, it may be that the ringtone composer, good though it is, will be used a lot more than normal. Fortunately, more ringtones can be downloaded in the Nokia fashion. With the old Ericsson favourite Tetris and a clone of Pac-Man called E-Maze, there is enough to keep one amused on Virgin Trains for a while at least, but I do not think that more can be downloaded. Having used many Nokias, I can firmly say that after a year's use, the T65 still feels very tight and well-built, even up to the Siemens standards. The keys have a good, positive action, and it is certainly something which should do me well during the time that I go abroad next year and may need to use this as a spare on the Continent as well. I have also found that it is possible to hook the T65 up to a PC and synchronise appointments and contacts with Microsoft Outlook. The p
hone is not just a pretty face, and the Calendar function, although a little over-complex, is almost as good as the one on my Trium Eclipse. I am exceptionally pleased with this phone, and would like to say that it is probably the most underrated phone I have come across. My advice would be to get hold of one before everyone starts wanting them.
The T65 is a great looking phone, even if it will always play second fiddle to the T68i, it's bigger better equiped (more expensive...) brother. They were released at around about the same time, and whilst I would never tell someone who could afford the T68i to go for the T65, that is not because the T65 is a bad phone. I changed to a T65 from a Siemens M35i, because I dropped that phone in a puddle which turned out to be rather fatal. The T65 was within my budget, and remarkably well equiped. It has four games which kept my interest relatively well... the best perhaps being the classic tetris. It is possible to submit your best scores via WAP to the Ericsson website, and to see how you compare to the rest of the world which is a funky if unnecessary feature. It has GPRS which if your contract supports, is a great feature for those of you who use WAP. The screen is large and clear, and allows easy surfing of WAP sites and navigation around the phones menus. It has a built email software, so you can connect to the net, download your emails, and read and reply to them in your own time. This works for anyone with a POP3 compatable mail server... basically if you can check your email with Outlook Express or equivilant, you can check it on the phone. Voice dialing is availble if you want to use it. It isn't the best phone for writing text messages. Whilst it is possible to string endless messages together, reaching lengths far above 160 characters, the delay between pressing a button and the character appearing is noticable right from the start. This is frustrating, and you can have finished pressing the relevent keys but the characters are still slowly appearing on screen. It is not a major problem, more an annoyance and one I believe the latest software versions correct. You can insert pictures and sounds into your messages, and change the font if sending to a compatable phone. The biggest concern is about the build quality.
The phone is made of two plastic covers around a middle piece. About a month after I brought the phone I began to notice that if you applied some pressure to the front and back of the phone, it was obvious there was some movement between the 2 covers. Apart from that, it has survived being dropped from heights up to 5ft (by accident) onto surfaces varying from concrete to carpet. And it is all still working.
Although the quality of Ericsson phone has never been in question the features, functions and looks has in the past put some people off. This has all changed with their latest range. The T65 offers many features only previously found on Nokia's and a whole lot more. You can add and send pictures and tune messages with the new EMS messaging. There's animation and itegration with the web and your home PC It's easy to connect to WAP services and is GPRS compatible. As well as all of these features the battery life is excellent. I use my phone for work and it is left on 24 hours a day. I have never had to charge the battery more than twice in a week. If your looking for a top quality phone that's easy to use and has everything that you want to keep your life organised then look no further.
A feature packed, stylish, sturdy phone. Large screen, excellent battery life, and good value! - Advantages: Good looking, Small footprint, but with big screen, Feature packed - Disadvantages: No infra-red, Don't think about spare batteries
I was given this mobile phone while I was in San Diego over the past couple of weeks for business. The Ericsson T65 is something special that becomes obvious from the first instant I laid my eyes at it. The manufacturer seems to drastically abandon the tenacities of the past 9including the numerous mistakes), plotting a new course. Modern, practical and extremely functional, this new phone from Ericsson is equipped with features, which surprised me and allowed for my communication with all of my business contacts when I needed it. Unquestionably, this device makes up one of the best alternatives I could find in its class. Among its advantages, what was indeed the main one was the GPRS support, the large display of five lines of text, the EMS support, the Mobile chat, its unique ease of use and a lot more that will be presented as this opinion continues. Forget what you thought of Ericsson, I surely did so! The T65 does not share many characteristics the older phones of this Swedish manufacturer had. The antenna is no longer protruding from the device, losing precious space and making its transfer difficult, as it has now been implemented to the interior. The little protective door has vanished, something that finds me completely in favour of as I always questioned its existence and functionality. The display takes up a third of the front area, while it can display 5 lines of text in 4 different shades of grey. The side sliding button is replaced by two separate buttons, which are not less practical or useful. In the specialist buttons of this device, I found except for the default YES, NO and C buttons, a new central multi-functional button of four directions. On top of that, there is another button that allows access to certain features. The smart aesthetic intervention, the intense colours and the modern design, just reminded me that this device was not one from the mid-range of the market, but one of the h-end that probably targeted those us
ers who are demanding of their phone and of young age. Another great detail is the incorporation of the battery in the phone, on the back of a screwing, protective cover, on its back side. The SIM card is inserted in a separate, sliding receptor, which is found on top of the device. By opening this receptor, the phone turns off automatically and will turn on again, while displaying a prompt for the user to insert the SIM. What follows, is the classic start-up show with the successive presentation of certain images and the Ericsson’s logo, followed by the characteristic melody of the company. However, the unique capabilities of the phone’s display are best shown in standby mode, when the selected “background” will be presented with 4 shades of grey, occupying a big part of the screen. Sufficient space, though, will remain for the different meters of network signal/GPRS and battery, the icons and the name of the network with which the user did connect to. The lines of text, which can be shown at the same time, depend on the selected font size, which can be large, normal or small. By choosing the small font size, 5 lines of text were shown simultaneously, where an extra line was kept for displaying info for the selection function. It must be noted that the T65 also offers the screen protection feature, which brings the display in standby mode after a period of inactivity. What is very thoughtful is that the status line remains visible allowing the user to see the time for example. This way, I actually noticed an increase to the autonomy of the phone. The lighting, as in most of Ericsson’s devices, is in EL backlit with the characteristic diffused green. The central multi-function button of four directions made my life a lot easier as it allowed me to quickly and easily find the menu I was after. This kind of joypad is surrounded by the classic YES and NO (accept and end calls, commands of positive and
negative character), the C and a light blue button, which promises instant access to the Internet after it’s pressed. What is also obvious is that the area of each of the 12 alphanumerical buttons has been decreased significantly. Personally, I didn’t find that too difficult to get used to while texting or indeed anything I had to do. The structure of the menu is not so different when compared to the rest of Ericsson’s phones. The desired function is selected with the horizontal movement arrows buttons. The menus of T65 have been structured in 7 main categories: phone directory, messages, information, settings, tools, wap and shortcuts. Entering n e of the categories can be done either by pressing the YES button or the down button of the joypad. The whole process was a bit unclear at first to me. As I did not have the manual for my phone, I was glad to see that after a few seconds a help menu appeared at the centre of the screen. To faster select any option from the menu, the user can also use the numbers to get to the targeted menu as long as the exact sequence is remembered. I remember well, the direct background selection was reached after pressing 4, 5, 3 and 2. The new users, including me, will find the seventh menu category “shortcuts” most useful. Here I could save up to 10 different features that are likely to be used often. For me, the text editor, the phonebook and the voicemail access were all I needed and these three shortcuts made my day. It is most likely you won’t need more that 10 shortcuts ever. For that matter, not a lot of us use their mobile phone for more that calling or texting someone. The phonebook can accept, except for the SIM entries, an extra 300 entries that are stored in the memory. Every contact can be composed by name, first name, phone numbers (work, home, mobile) and e-mail. What was very funny was that the user can attach an image to each contact as well as a mel
ody. Just imagine the possibilities in that! The only limitation is that the only pictures available are the ones used for EMS. The T65 also surprised me by its management of voice functions. Every such function is found at the menu 4, 9! Very useful don’t you think? In order for your voice to be recognised, you should either keep the YES pressed while on standby or say the “key word”, which will activate the voice activated functions. In order to set a voice etiquette you only have to add the “key word” after the characteristic tone. The recorded sound will then be heard and you will only be needed to verify its storage. As it’s already mentioned, the T65 is above all a GPRS device. Thus, uninterrupted and fast access to the Internet is possible in combination with the implemented WAP 1.2.1 browser. What is also interesting about this mobile is that it has a lot of applications that allow me, you, everybody(!), to keep in contact with our appointments with the opposite sex. The diary of the T65 will allow for its user to review the daily, weekly and monthly schedule, allowing for input of your appointments. There are also 4 fun games (biorhythms, game, e-maze, Tetris) just to help you keep awake while on the tube Monday morning. This device is the first (and only) one that fully supports the advantages of the EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service). By this, the user can, among else, attach to his text messages one or more pictures or melodies. On top of that, the T65 will allow for text formatting (well not exactly as Word), but the user can make a part of text bold, underlined or even justified to the left, right or centre! This phone’s database holds tens of images, suitable for every occasion. In the unlikely case u can’t find something to your liking, there’s always the Picture Editor. Hold on to your hats!… Here you can draw whatever you like. Yes, itR
17;s Draw in a mobile phone. “What is next”, I hear you say… Not a lot as my opinion reaches its end. A final characteristic that will make the millions of texts we send every year even faster is the T9 predictive text support. I needed a bit of getting used to it, but eventually I couldn’t do without it. To sum things up, my impression of the T65 is more than a positive one. It is surely one of the most complete presently in the market. However, there would always be something missing from the perfect phone. In this case, the memory can only store one personal background and there is no infrared port, which would greatly help us computer users synchronise our data with our computer at home. I would suggest this mobile to you, according to your needs. However, as I pointed out in my previous op, this will not be the one for me as I have already made my mind for the Siemens S45.