Product Type: Siemens mobile phones
Newest Review: ... stolen, and since I didnt have insurance I needed another phone quick. The C45 was the cheapest one in my club book last december so I ... more
Is German engineering worth it?
Member Name: tomshanks
Date: 25/04/03, updated on 25/04/03 (504 review reads)
Advantages: Size, Durability, Battery life
Disadvantages: Reliability (again), Limited ringtones, Average reception
In July 2002 I was searching for an Orange contract phone. After trawling every mobile phone shop in the town I was left with only two choices: the Sony J70e and the Siemens C45e. I currently had a Trium Mars, which I was to retain, and thus had no qualms about following the legions of Nokia fans and going for the predictable 3330e, which was also offered to me in the same shop as the Siemens. I had one main criterion: the phone had to be free. This ruled out a vast number of other phones from other worthy manufacturers, and the Sony was eventually laid by the wayside due to the complicated-looking menu system. I have since found out that this is not a problem with it, and lots of other people manage perfectly well with them, but the solid Teutonic appeal of the Siemens won me over.
I had friends who had owned both Siemens C35s and C45s, and could not fault them. I also had the satisfaction that I was buying into a reliable, well-known brand, but at the same time I was being rather individual, and could even take that individuality further should I want to, since the C45 has changeable covers, which come in excellent shades. For the price I was paying, which was nothing at all, since it came on a contract, I was confident, and I still am, that the phone I was getting would pulverise the Nokia 3330 when it came to size, features and price. I stand by that opinion to this day.
There were two things that I noticed about the Siemens when I got it home. The first was the menu system, which actually took me time in the manual to get to know. I have never had that problem with any other phone I have ever owned. However, once given the chance to get to know it, the system actually works better than most of the others I have used, and in some cases is actually easier than the industry-standard Nokia system, particularly when adding contacts to the address book. The second surprise was the battery life. Knowing that it still has a Nickel Metal-Hydride (Ni-MH
) battery as opposed to the more modern lithium-ion one, I thought the battery life would be comparable to the Trium Mars I had bought that February. I was wrong. The battery life is comparable to the Mars' big brother the Eclipse, which at that time was about £100 more expensive than the C45, and the Eclipse has a lithium battery. In what some would call a 'low end' phone, as opposed to the more expensive Siemens models the S45, SL45 and ME45, this is amazing. This, if anything, shows why I was disappointed with the 3310 I was given as a loan phone whilst my C45 was being repaired. It is to this that I must now turn.
I had no reliability problems with the C45 for the first nine months of ownership. It did not cut out, turn itself off when it felt like it or fail to send text messages, all problems I had experienced in phones before. However, just as I had felt the phone receive a text message from my mother, I pulled into Sainsbury's car park, since I had been driving at the time and I was on the way to the supermarket, and found that the screen had gone blank. I only found out who the message was from since I had forgotten my shopping list, and went home to get it, only to find my mother asking me if I had got her request for eggs. I could not find out, since the phone would turn on, but nothing would show in the display. So, I went back to Sainsbury's with my shopping list and request for eggs, and my mother went back to the shop where I had bought the phone, and managed to sort out a free repair and a loan Nokia 3310 for me. Although I was disappointed at the phone I had been given (hence the review of the 3310 I have done), I was pleased to have one. When the thing came back, in addition to fixing the screen all my options were still there, and they had even replaced the front cover for me, so it now looks new. Good service, if I may say so. This begs the question of the phone itself, however.
I am pleased to say that it is
quite the most practical phone I have ever owned. Everything that one needs in a mobile phone is present, it fits neatly into the pocket of one's jeans, and there is no external aerial to break off at an awkward moment as on the Triums I have owned. The only thing that the C45 really lacks is the speakerphone of its bigger brother, the S45, which Trium have always had, and can be very useful. The inbox is not quite as well managed as the Trium Mars, which has quite the best system for organising this of any phone I have encountered, but sending replies and messages in general is far less of a guessing game: if the message is not sent the first time, it will not be lost! Predictive text is also there for those who like it, but yet again, not being someone who likes it I do not personally use it. Its ability for conversation is next under consideration.
With a large round green button in the centre of the phone for answering calls, it is easy to see that Siemens have really thought about what most people need to use a phone for! Unlike a Trium, there is no need to practise answering with the bottom bit of a small rocker switch, which admittedly does come with practice, but if you ever leave your phone unattended and it rings at home, at least you have the satisfaction that another member of your family will be able to answer it for you should you not be present in the room for some reason. Even Nokia owners like my mother and sister seem to be able to cope with this, so Siemens must be doing something right! Finding missed calls is also easy, as well as the last numbers dialled. The ringing itself, however, is something that needs to be taken into consideration.
The ringtones are light years away from being polyphonic, and owning a Trium Eclipse in tandem with the Siemens has really put this into perspective. Even the Sagem MC 920 I used to own, which was an awful phone in most respects, had a much better selection than this. The advert for the
C45, shown over the summer of 2002, seemed to imply that it had masses of ringtones and it was easy to download and compose more. The composer is still there, but even in comparison with the Sagem, it is hard to find ringtones for it. As I normally do, I have stuck with the ringtone which sounds most like a phone ringing, but whereas the ones in other phones I have had sound bright and urgent, the Siemens ones sound slightly old-fashioned, even in comparison with Nokia, and make it hard to find even three that I would feel all right with. For some people, however, this will not be an issue.
The games on the C45 also deserve a mention. Although two of the games, Balloon Shooter and Stack Attack, can be written off for being too dull or too difficult respectively, the third, Battle Mail, is certainly something of which Siemens should be proud. It is the first truly multiplayer game which does not require an infra-red port and an identical phone, as Snake II did with the Nokia 6210 and 7110. You can play Battle Mail by yourself, with another C45 owner via text messages, versus someone on the Internet, or have an entirely Internet-based game. Although the game itself entails nothing more complicated than choosing attack and defensive moves before entering into combat with another character and seeing the outcome, it is strangely addictive, and I would love to be given the chance to play multiplayer more often.
Two final aspects of this phone remain for consideration. The first is its functionality as a diary, and the second is its durability and build quality. Functionality as a 'business tool' for the younger people who mainly buy this sort of phone is surprisingly good: it has birthday reminders, a scratchpad and an appointment calendar. This is not as comprehensive as the Trium Eclipse by any means, but it is still very useful, and has saved my life in terms of birthdays on many occasions! The build quality of the C45 is also very good. It
actually seems a little more solid than the average 3310, and the standard covers wear extremely well. The keys have a nice feeling to them, and the lettering is in no danger of coming off, despite furious text messaging on my part. The whole thing has a far more expensive air about it than a Trium or a Sagem, that is certain.
The reception of this phone might be only average, but the unit itself is certainly not. It is a shame that I am not the only one who has suffered faults with their handset, since this has prevented me awarding the C45 a five star rating, it really is that good. As ever, it is still cheaper than anything comparable in the Nokia range, so those who are thinking of buying one should have no second thoughts. This is probably the most sensible phone I have ever owned.