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I have recently bought this phone 2nd hand @ about half year old, i have owned it about 6 months and its great!! Especially the mp3 player, not a patch on the nokia with fm radio! even with the 32 mb mmc card it can hold 7 songs, up to 30 on the 128mb one! It cost £120 second hand, which wasnt bad, its menus are easy to follow, the screen is great for WAP, as it is large. The control on the headphones is great: you listen to music on em, someone calls, u press the button an u can speak with them hands free, without having to get the phone out. You can also make voice commands to call someone, if you are out of the mp3, press the headphone button, say who you want to call and it will call them! The games on it are OK but the MP3 player makes up for that. The battery life is surprisingly good taking into the account of the power used by music, especially if you buy the bigger battery. The buttons specifically for MP3 and Dictaphone are great, especially when your phone is in your pocket - you know where they are. The Data transfer speed is poor via a com port when transfering files and MP3 over to the phone - Get a MMC card reader for about £20, this is USB a lot quicker! Only thing is you have to take the card out - easy anyway. The MMC is great for transfer files, especially that the fact that the card reader is so small (6 cm by 5 cm) With computers with Windows Me and Xp just plug it in and windows already has the drivers, intalls them automatcally in a matter of seconds! (just make sure you stop (eject(you will find an icon in the taskbar wich you can eject it with)) it before removing the card reader). Overall a Fab Fone *Dictaphone *MP3 player *Wireless AP *Easy menus *Great file transfer with MMC
nearly, but not quite - Advantages: MP3 Player, Sytylish in Silver, Small, Light weight, durable - Disadvantages: Battery life not very good, especially when using MP3 player, screen contrast has problems, difficult to navigate
I've had my SL45 for nearly 14 months now and I have to say the honeymoon period has now officially worn off. I'll begin with the plus points:- The phone itself looks fantastic and I like the large screen. The metalic casing is a classy touch and Siemens has done well to produce reasonably sized buttons on suc a small handset. The interface is easy to navigate and it has every feature you may need, including the excellent feature of being able to swap data from your phone to your PC and vice versa. All this I like. I feel less than pleased in a few key areas: firstly the multimedia card barely contains enough free space for more than a couple of MP3 tunes if you have plenty of addresses stored and you use the dictaphone as well. I feel like a twat listening to music on my phone anyway. The metal casing tends to scratch rather more easily than my old plastic phone and the damn thing is just the right size to get stck at the bottom of my jacket pocket. My main gripe though is that the multimedia card seems to loosen every other time I need to look for an address and I'm forced to take it out and put it back in again. Multimedia card errors and the phone freezing and crashing frequently make me tear my hair out. Having said all that I'm still fond of the thing. I liken this experience to when you realise your new love's human failings (bleaching facial hair, snoring etc). You still can't help love them though...
I bought this phone mainly as it is packed with features - and it looks great. Unfortunately though, reliability didn't match up to my expectations. As a phone, the handset performs brilliantly. Call quality is excellent, battery life very good, and the contacts software extensive. Further, the agenda 'outlook' type software is also very good, and does connect with a PC (though it will not fully integrate with MS Outlook - it only displays on a PC the information held on the mobile). The SMS T9 predictive text input is marvellous, though the handset can only hold 10 messages (unless you start to save to the multimedia card), what a contrast to the 500 names, numbers, addresses that the contacts program can deal with. There are loads of functions that I have not even used - dictaphone, stopwatch, answermachine... though it does seem that little logic went into organising the software - little things you notice - for example why are the calculator and currency converter on different menus when you are most likely to use both more or less at the same time? Other 'non standard' features are wicked; for example the 32Mb of capacity for MP3s is sufficient (and upgradable) and the quality excellent (though uploading them is very slow), better than any other MP3 player I've heard. However, the problems with the phone kind of outweigh the benefits. So many times the handset refuses to allow me to make calls, or the thing crashes, or turns off - these problems would appear to be more software issues. However, I have also had hardware problems - the battery fully discharging after one call, the display disappearing, the handset not recognising the SIM card. Fortunately, Siemens have been good at repairing/replacing the faulty units - less impressive is that 'replacing' means swapping it for a 95% reconditioned phone (plus the obvious annoyance of having to wait around for it me collected and then returned by a
courier on an 'all day' call). A lovely little handset, packed with features - me though? I'm off to buy a far less advanced and hopefully far more reliable phone tomorrow!
The SL45 is definetly not a tri-band phone. The only reason it worked in New York is that over there they have a GSM network of sorts. This is why it was probably compatible. All the other networks in the states operate on the third ITU freqency. It is a very good phone, but it useless saying that it's good points are things like "predictive text input", it's not like other phones don't have this. The SL45 has problems in handling caller ID's and displaying names from the address book. Even though you may have the phone number stored in the generous sized phonebook, it can sometimes fail to display the persons number and just give their number instead. This has been seen in some phones. The WAP browser is very good and out performs the an Nokia WAP phone. To access a hyperlink is very easy (rather than the usual Nokia style of opening the menu to acces the hyperlink). There are problems in accessing some sites, you will get errors such as "Digest to large for device", this is where the page is too big for the phone to handle. If your thinking of putting MP3 onto the multimedia card via the sync station, think again. It connects through your PC's serial port and it is inredibly slow. The solution is to buy a MultiMedia Card reader from any good electornics shop for about £20. This connects to the USB port and transfers files much faster. You cannot play the MP3 while browsing the internet. Some reviewers have said the phone has an excellent battery life. Trust me, it doesn't. If it' on standby, yes it can stay on for a long time. Try to use WAP or play MP3 for half an hour and half the battery levels get used up. Siemens technical support is very good and the are more reliable than other service centres. The phone overall is a very solid performer. Without a doubt, it outperforms every Nokia phone (except the new Java phones, which it is unfair to compare it with). This is the thi
nking persons phone. No offence intended, Nokia's are aimed squarely at the idiots.
It's absolutely stuffed with features! To start with the intergrated MP3 player is of very high quality and handles quite low-bitrate mp3's without loosing too much quality. most simalar specced mp3 players cost £100 pounds and up, so you're getting a bargain! On top of this are the phone functions themselves: -dicataphone: full digital vioce recorder offering many hours of recording on the memory card (depending on free space) plus voice dialling features -large 101x80 pixel LCD screen which is brilliant for WAP access, giving you about 7 lines of text or the option for about 4 lines of larger text size -Aluminium coated case: this seems to be near-bulletproof as i've had the phone over a month and despite me dropping it at least twice, it still doesn't have a scratch! -the SMS system has T9 predictive text, and most usefull of all, has the ability to store the messages on the memory card: using this feature i currently have about 70 messages on my phone! -fully customisable Logos/start-up animations/ringtones: use the supplied data cable and a pc to edit/create logos and animations, and also upload ringtones in the MIDI format. other features include: a calculator, a stopwatch/countdown timer, calendar, appointments, currency converter and six games the phone does have bad points, but they're really only minor niggles: -the supplied data cable connects to your pc's serial port and as a result is horrendously slow (hours to transfer enough MP3's to fill the MMC card). if you intend on using the MP3 player very much you should buy a USB MMC card reader (about £30) also apple MACs are not supported, again a USB reader is required to use the phone with a MAC -the phone's reciever is not brilliant, displays lower strengh network signal meter readings than other phones. -and finally the earphones don't use a standard 3.5mm jack, so you can't use your own earphones
(well, not without a soldering iron anyway!) that said, the phone has so many good features i'd give it 9.5 out of 10 :) the next phone that siemens produce should be excellent! the site http://www.club-siemens.com is a good site for reviews and free logos, animations and midi ringtones to work with this mobile! But the best part about the phone is if you can update it's firmware. you can do this by sending the phone to siemens for a small charge or if you're brave, downloading and updating it yourself. this updates the phone to support wireless java, which means you can add your own programs to the phone! the programs (or MIDlets) includes games such as Tetris, pacman, snake and pong. also there are full mini-email clients, a notepad-style program and even a spreadsheet program avaliable truely an excellent phone, and one that gives a hint to what most phones will be like in a few years!
I like the x35 series of phones, but not quite enough to tempt me away from Nokia. When the Sl45 came out though, it immediately got my attention and when my contract came up for renewal tehre was no way I could avoid such feature packed phone. The first feature that strikes when using the phone is the size, and then the weight, it really is very small and light. It isn't the smallest, nor the lightest phone on the market, but it does so much, it's incredible for the size. The screen is also very big, again a suprise for such a small phone. To be slightly different it's an orange screen, which has a rather unique fading backlight. It's certainly different, and it seems to suit the phone although I have to admit I like the route Ericsson have taken with blue backlit screens. The network stength is displayed at the top left, and the battery the top right of the screen. At the bottom, the phones diplays the two softkeys along with the date and time. The main part of the screen can be used as an operator logo, or simply display the network. The front of the phone is made of a very smooth metal, which make the phone look good and make the phone good to handle. Up the left hand side are four button, voice memo, mp3 and volume up and volume down. The volume buttons adjust the volume of a call or the volume of the mp3 player (surprise, surprise), and holding down the volume up button starts voice dialling. The voice memo starts recording if you hold it down, or plays back the first memo recording, which can be done when the phone is in standby or during a call. A handy feature carried over from the S35i is the ability to answer a call with this button with a predefined message. This is meant to be for answering a call whem you are in a meetind or busy, but I have found it very useful when receiving crank calls. Siemens have really decided go for it when it came to features with this phone, the main feature is of course the m
ultimedia card. For anyone who doesn't know what an MMC is, it's a small piece of plastic about the size of a postage stamp, that can store various amounts of data. The MMC that comes with the phones can hold 32mb of data, you can of course buy a bigger card if you want to hold more files. Most people simply assume that the MMC is for listening to mp3's, but it allows you to have far more storage space than a normal phone, plus it gives you the facility to customise the phone even more than other phones. The SL45 supports operator logos but simply stores them as bitmap files on the card, making it very easy to create your own logos. Unlike Nokia phones you can have a large selection of logos so that you can change the logo as much as you like. Custom ringtones are simply stored as midis, meaning you can store a lot of different ringtones at any one time. The startup animation, and the wait animation can also be changed, you simply put a sequence of bitmaps in a folder and create the animation from that. SMS's can also be backed on the mmc, plus you can load miscellaneous files if you want to transport them from your computer to another. To actually transfer the files onto your PC, the SL45 comes with a cradle that plugs into the serial port of your PC. It's handy for charging the phone, but I decided to invest in a USB mmc reader from Jessops. With this, you take the card out of phone, plug it into the reader, and then transfer the data to and from the mmc as if it were an extra drive. The cradle is very slow to transfer files, so for £30, the usb reader is well wroth buying. All the software you need does come in the box, you can write texts and convert them into sms and vice versa, plus you can convert any voice recordings you have made into wave files. As for the mp3 player, to be honest I'm not an mp3 person, I prefer minidisc but I have been impressed with this aspect of the SL45. To listen to the mp3s, the phone comes wit
h a stereo hands-free kit. The sound quality is surprisingly good, keeping the compression fairly high I can squeeze a whole album onto the phone, which is very handy when I forget to charge the battery for minisdisc player. Phew! As for the features, well, the SL45 has pretty much everything else you would expect. You can voice dial up to 20 numbers, either through the phone itself or using the hands-free kit by pressing a button beside the microphone. On other phones I tend not to use voice dialling as it doesn't always work very well for me, but the SL45 allows you to access menu functions as well as phone numbers simply by pressing a number. For example, you can activate the IR sensor by holding down 9. For this reason I persevere with the voice dialling. You can also use voice control, you can assign voice tags to start the mp3 player or the dictaphone, which I really like, as it means you can start the mp3 player using the hands-free kit, without taking the phone out of your pocket. The voice memo functions is made much more useful with the mmc card, you can store around 5 hours, which is much better than the 30 seconds I've had on previous phones. To be honest, I don't use it, but I'm sure there are people out there who will. The builtin IR modem works fine with both my laptop and Palm, although you can't exchange data this way, which I find strange and quite disappointing. It would great to be able to place the phone beside my laptop and upload new logos or whatever. As with most phones these days, the SL45 has predictive text input. The builtin phonebook can store 500 names, but you can assign 14 fields to each name, so you can have name, home number, office number, etc. similar to a PDA. Carrying on with the PDA theme, the phone has a calendar, allowing you to set appointments. The Sl45 has a selection of 7 games, although I find the mp3 player sufficient when I am bored. As you would expect with a phone like th
is, the SL45 has a calculator, stopwatch, countdown timer and currency converter. The calculator works ok, but it does take a little getting used to. Well that's about as much as I can think of for the moment for the features! I always found the x35 series of phones to be slightly clumsy with the use of four softkeys and no fixed up/down buttons, so I am pleased that Siemens have revised this. the SL45 only has two softkeys, and a four way 'compass' button, as well as the usual dial up and hangup buttons. To go into the menu, all you need to do is press 'right', to then select a menu item you press 'right' again or 'left' to go back a menu. This makes menu navigation a doodle, and very fast. I really liked the naviroller on the 7110, because you could move up and down and select items without lifting your thumb. The SL45 is even better, because you can go back menus as well. If you are having any problems, the SL45 has a complete help guide for all the functions. And no, I'm not meaning an annoying little popup that's virtually no help. The help system is entirely independent, you navigate it like a wap site. It's very handy if you see a function and would like to know what it does. Oh, hang on the Sl45 is a phone isn't it?! It's very easy to forget that... As a phone the SL45 excels, I was worried that this part may have been overlooked due to all the other features the phone has. Call quality is superb, people who I call say that it is crystal clear, even better than the 7110 which I didn't think was possible. The handsfree kit works very well, having the two headphones makes it that bit easier to listen to who you are talking to. As for battery life, well I expected this to be one of the downfalls of this phone, something I would have to accept. Surprisingly, batterylife is fine, even using the mp3 player. I have been using the mp3 player for most of the day t
oday and yesterday, and it is almost empty, which I think is incredible as the battery is very small. Without using the mp3 player, the phone lasts for several days with a few calls. As for charging up, all you need to do is pop it into its cradle. As is becoming pretty much standard these days, the SL45 has a wap browser which works well with the 'compass' button. It also seems to be faster than the 7110, although it doesn't seem to handle bookmarks as well as the 7110 did. So what are the downsides then? Well first off, the Sl45 does not support hscsd, nor GPRS. No hscsd isn't much of a problem, it is only available on Orange, who don't sell the phone. Even then, the withdrawal of free 0800 data, means that it unlikely to be of any consequence. The lack of GPRS is a disappointment though, I doubt I will want to use GPRS but it means that phones like the Nokia 8310 and Ericsson T39/T68 have a major advantage over the SL45. The phone is also quite slow at accessing text messages, both reading individual messages and opening folders which I can see being frustrating if you do a lot of texting. Unfortunately Siemens have not done anything about the caller group function, you can still only have normal and vip, assigning a ringtone to either. This really isn't very helpful, I still think the 3210 was the best for this, being able to assign individual ringtones to numbers meant I knew exactly who was calling. It seems a strange omission on a phone like this with such excellent ringtone support. Oh-oh, this is where I go on and on describing hundreds of flaws with the phone... Thankfully not, there are a few other niggly faults (I think the battery and signal indicator are too small) but overall the phone has fairly minor disadvantages that are easy to overlook. The price is going to be off putting for many but you have to look at what you're getting for the money; firstly a very good phone, secondly a cradle allowing y
ou to charge the phone and exchange data and a stereo hands-free headset. If you chose any other phone on the market, by the time you buy an offical desktop charger, data cable, hand-free set and software the SL45 doesn't look so expensive after all. The SL45 doesn't stop there, soon to be available is the SL45i, which will add Wireless java support allowing you to store programs on the phone, adding even more PDA functionality. This will also be available as upgrade for existing SL45s, which I am looking forward to. As for the competition, the main rivals are probably the T68, T39, V66 and 8310. If you are looking for GPRS then the SL45 is nothing against these phones. Certainly the 8310 will probably be more popular but it doesn't really offer much apart from gprs and fm radio. Personally, I think that the MMC adds an extra dimension to the SL45, that's not found in any of these phones. The SL45 is a truly outstanding phone, one which I am very pleased with and have never looked back, there isn't any other phone on the market I would rather have. To have so many features in such a small phone is incredible. Well done Siemens!
I was over the moon when Siemens SL45 was out. It had all the answers to my questions. Oh by the way I am a mobile phone fanatic. Usually I stick to Nokia brands but this time Siemens have managed to change my mind. This looks so attractive that anybody would want to buy it. It is a bit like love at first sight. Or you could also say Love is Blind. This mobile phone has amazing looks with a casing of brushed chrome. The size is very small at 105x42x17mm. To say the least, it is very lightweight at 88gms. The Package includes: - 1. Mobile Phone 2. Docking Cradle 3. Headset 4. Battery 5. Battery Charger 6. Manual 7. CD with software COOL FEATURES Big Amber Backlit Screen So you can see in the dark without any problems, this phone is provided with Amber Backlite screen. 101x80 pixel resolution Due to the high resolution, the screen shows sharper and clearer pictures. Although this sexy phone is small, the buttons are quiet big unlike the Nokia 8210 so it is easy to dial the numbers single-handed MP3 Player This phone has built in MP3 player with removable MultiMedia Card (32Mb) which can be upgraded to 128Mb. It comes with three Siemens tracks, which can be deleted and overwritten easily. The MultiMedia Card is also used to store your voice notes, ring tones, animations and operator bitmaps. WAP Browser This is where you can access Internet. Well not all the sites but those that have been specially written to access via a WAP phone. By the way WAP means Wireless Application Protocol. This phone uses Phone.com browser with five Profiles where you can save various WAP Provider Settings. Up to nine Bookmarks can be saved. Calendar The Calendar functions come with a month, week and day view. The weekends views are shown in bold. But for some reason, the month view is not. May be Siemens fo
rgotten about this. You can also set Alarm with voice memo and call options. What I like about this is that the first six characters of an appointment for the day you choose are shown. Phonebook You can store up to 500 entries. Unlike other phones, this clever phone can store Names, Addresses, Multiple Phone Numbers and Faxes and e-mail Addresses. It has infrared facility where you can transfer data to another device. Text Messaging T9 Text Messaging is so cool because when you start typing the text message, this clever thing predicts what we are trying to type. Which means saving a lot of time in spelling those words. I don’t know if you guys know but this phone displays upto four lines of text, each 16 characters long. This is definitely unique. Games After Siemens giving us 7 games, there is no way you can get bored. Games like Super Mind Move The Box, Wacko, Homerun, Reversi, Quattropoli and The Maze. Chronometer This comes with Stopwatch and Countdown. Currency Converter where you can convert currency whilst on holiday. The best thing about this phone is that no matter what you are doing, there is always help option if needed. Talktime Although the phone’s Talktime is said to be 2hrs, the use of MP3 does wear the battery down. Overall the phone is excellent. I can easily slot it into my purse or pocket. The ringtones are different to those usual Mobile Phones. The voice is much clearer when you are talking. Only down point I can see is the actual price. It could cost anything between £179.99 to £250.00. Having said that I got mine for £100.00. That too because my Network Provider offered it to me as I have been a loyal customer to them. My advice to you is that if you are going to spend some money on a Mobile phone, then you may as well buy something you like and does the job you want. Something that fulf
ils your requirements. It doesn’t have to be this Siemens SL45.
Is this simple mobile telephone? I think, that no. Actually we have: MP3 player, digital dictaphone, organizer, which is "friends" with Outlook, portable information carrier and plus to this also GSM 900/1800 telephone. And all this in compact, smooth aluminum body. However, let's be pass under the order. Complete set of delivery SL45 is delivered in a translucent plastic box. By opening it, it is possible to detect inside following things: - telephone with MultiMediaCard 32Mb, - standard Li-ion the battery 540mAh, - charge device, - instruction in various languages, - brief brochure with trial functions, - CD with software, - stereoheadphones with a microphone and button, - cradle, - cable for connection to COM port. The set is excellent, everything, that is necessary, is present. The instruction is written is explanatory, and the brief brochure is pleasant impatient, which do not love to read the long descriptions. The headphones can be used as hands-free for listening MP3 and even to use a voice set or voice commands for activation player or dictaphone. If at you plays MP3 and the entering bell arrives, music is muffled also headphones it is possible to use for talk. Cradle has two plugs: one for charging, second for connection with PC. The full battery charging lasts about two hours. On the CD it is possible to find software for connection to the computer, for synchronization with Outlook and electronic documentation. "Look and feel" Let's get the telephone from a box. The telephone looks stylishly; a forward board and keyboard are made from smooth, pleasant to the touch aluminum. The backboard, which simultaneously is a cover of the accumulator, is made of a plastic. The quality of assembly does not call complaints, nevertheless metal is metal. The antenna small and, actually, is a part of body. Accidentally to break out it is impossible, and
inconveniences it does not deliver. SIM map is fixed by ledges of body on the one hand and trip - with other. Simple and, nevertheless, reliable construction. The telephone conveniently lies in a hand, but to work with the keyboard, especially with the lower row, is inconvenient a little. With managing keys to work, on the contrary, it is very convenient. The scheme is most of all similar to higher models Nokia. To work with this telephone it is much more pleasant, than with muffled four rubber buttons in S35i. Sizes, weight, battery The telephone has a lot of various features, but, nevertheless, even with allowance of metal body its weight makes only 88 g. The sizes impress not less: 105x46x17 mm. To such telephone it is a place in a pocket of the jacket or trousers. Standard Li-ion battery has a capacity 540 mAh. The stated operating time in a waiting mode 60 - 170 hours, in a mode of talk 60-240 minutes. Really, for average density of talk the telephone works two days, for active use - one day. As the battery Li-ion, telephone is possible charge though all time. The time of full charging makes about two hours. MultiMediaCard Main feature SL45 is support МultiMediaCard. As a matter of fact, it is Flash card of compact size. Standard delivery includes 32 Mb card, and as upgrade the setting of 64 Mb card is possible. By the way, the same cards are used in PDA Palm m500 and m505. Most pleasant that the telephone is capable to work and without a card. In that case, naturally, will not be accessible a dictaphone and MP3 player. Connection to the computer For connection is used cradle, which enters into standard delivery of the telephone. For data exchange the standard serial port (COM) is used. Besides is infrared port for the same purpose. The driver is installing even under Windows 2000. After installation, in My Computer there is a new removable device Mobile. Click on it, we see contents MultiMed
iaCard. What barrel of honey does not manage the spoon of tar? By the spoon of tar in our case the slow data rate which spoils an impression. Record and reading of large files is occupation for patient. Screen The screen in this telephone large, it has high visibility and allows seeing up to 7 lines of the text. All built-in system of the helps is made as the hypertext and something reminds work with WAP. To use to it, and WAP too, will be rather was conveniently due to plenty of a mapped information. The illumination has amber color and for turn-off smoothly go out. Here to carp there is nothing. The quality of connection Quality of a sound is subjective rather decent. The loudness dynamics has enough, however small stock of loudness nevertheless would not hinder. Sensitivity of phone also rather quite good. At least, within the city any problems did not arise. There is a plug on an external antenna that allows using the telephone with a rigorous automobile package. Dictaphone and autoanswer In difference from several seconds of a voice, which in many telephones name as a dictaphone, Siemens SL45 offers really rigorous solution. The time, which can be told in a dictaphone, limits only in volume of vacant place on MultiMediaCard. The hour of record takes about 1200 kilobytes. It is possible to record a sound both during a bell, and in a waiting mode. As to a mode of the auto answer, it represents not that other, as a voice box only realized by forces of the telephone. MP3 player As was already marked, the telephone has a possibility to play music in a format MP3. On a map some compositions are delivered which it is possible at once to listen to. Quality of reproduction of music is as at traditional MP3 player. However on standard 32 Mb card there is small place nevertheless. On a map is stored many service files, and for purchasing on it free still has only 16 Mb. It is possible to c
lear card, by deleting all unnecessary, for example, demonstrating and sets of languages of the interface. The second unpleasant moment is low velocity transfer information in the telephone. The file with one minute of music in stereo 128 Kbit passed about 3.5 minutes! And if in this time you will ring up, it is necessary to begin all at first. Perhaps, it is only defect of this telephone. So that those who hope to use this telephone as "full" MP3 player, I want to disappoint. SMS - standard T9, games - whole 6, calculator, converter of currencies is as usual... and other features. Today it is one from the most advanced telephones in the market. It has very many features, but price too high.
I've been using the SL45 for a couple of months. I bought it mainly for the MP3 player. I had actually looked at the phone some weeks earlier and decided it was too small & fiddly to be of any use, however when the 2 weeks of English Summer Sun threatened to tempt me out on my mountain bike again, I decided that I was not going to strap on my two-phone and walkman 'utility belt' again. Any way, my Walkman batteries struggled to make 2 hours of play, and I always ended up missing important phone calls while I was out cycling. A combined MP3 player & phone seemed the ideal answer. After the usual mis-information from an assortment of retailers, I finally settled on the SL45. Once I focussed on its benefits, I was really happy with the spec. It is really small, pretty light & gives me a good 6-7 hours of MP3 play-back if I don't make any calls. Here are the 'real-life' issues I have found: 1 Infra-red port and supplied 9-Pin Serial interfaces are desparately slow! They are fine for transferring 20-30k files - maybe a small diary or Outlook data - but for MP3's of any size, say 40 min's of reasonable quality music = 20 Mb, expect a transfer time of some hours! 2 My phone has an odd tendancy to turn off or lock up if you are using the Infra-Red port to transfer a file that is too big to fit on the Multi-Media card. 3 Don't make any assumptions. The data exchange software supplied works fine using the serial port connector, but not the infra-red interface. Even if the IR port on your PC is set up as a virtual com-port, the data exchange software does not work unless it finds the SL45 on a real com-port. Siemens told me this was doe to the speed of the IR i/f, but in my experience data transfers just as fast over IR as the serial cable. 4 Don't expect too much from the support line (at least the one I called from the UK). Staff were polite but not very well informed abo
ut the deaper (darker?) side of the product. 5 I am a hard addict of audio-books. Once I got the phone, I suddenly realised that since I carry it at all times, I could feed my addiction. Compared with one of the many dedicated MP3 / audio players, the main drawback of the Siemens is that it is not supported by the transfer software used by many vendors of copyright audio material. This requires lengthy massaging of file formats to get them to standard MP3 capable of playback on the SL45. 6 If you expect to make or receive many phone calls, then also expect to get very familiar with the same sections of your MP3 selections! Phone calls do pause playback, but when you re-start playback you are put back to the start of the program again! Of course you can wind forward, but it is a big pain. Standard phone features are good. The key-pad is fiddly, but once you have developed the right hand position it's no worse than any other small phone. Menus are OK. Better than the Motorola L7089 Tri-band I have - but what isn't?! I can't find out a simple way of dialing a phone number received in a text message. Especially if there are 2 different numbers in the same text message. It looks as though it should be possible, but I can't see how. Text messages sent from a central service all arrive with the same originating number, so replies don't have the correct reply number. To get around the lengthy file transfer times, get the USB card reader/writer. It works like a removeable disk drive and speeds are comparable with a hard disk. Once you have that, it is reasonable to upgrade the supplied 32 Mb Multi-Media card with a 64 Mb one. With 64 Mb I have got 6 hours of good quality audio-book playback on the phone. Watch out for card types though. This is not SD, but they look similar. One very nice feature that I hadn't even thought of using before getting the SL45 was 'print to Infra-red'. If
you have a printer with I/R port (like the HP2100 or its recent successor) then just holding the phone in front of the printer, selecting a file, message or other item to print & 'print to I/R' prints out on the printer. The SL45 is now part of my life! Of all the phones I have had, this is the only one that I have had so many compliments on by those 'in the know'!
With so many functions this phone could easily have been a handful. But working with the excellent manual, any patient user can work out how to get the most from this device. Firstly you get a quick reference guide that is ideal for the impatient gadget freak. The bulkier user-guide seems a little thin until you realise that the CD-Rom enclosed with the phone also incorporates a detailed user-guide. As if that were not enough, the phone includes a fantastic help facility within it. This is no one-sentence-per function affair. Strangely branded Phone.com (the supplier of the browser) you have full-graphic representations of several functions, detailed descriptions of every menu item, all held together by active page links. You could literally take this phone out of the box, throw away the paperwork and learn how to use it on the train in a couple of hours. The four-way joystick works brilliantly to get you around the various phone functions: scroll up and down, enter a menu level by clicking right, go back a level by clicking left. In combination with the sophisticated soft-key system below the screen (which is user-customisable)and the short-cuts on the keyboard, even the most obscure functions are only a couple of keystrokes away. One of the criticisms of the C and S35 phones was the rather idiosyncratic menu structure. With this new phone, all that is gone, replaced with logical descriptions and sensible arrangements of sub-menus. Once Nokia held the crown for ease of use and no-one came near. The SL45 even gives the classically intuitive 7110 a run for its money here. Design/Style Just look at the pictures below. No, really, look at that phone. It almost seems heresy to have to describe how stunning this silver phone looks. That said, it is rather a matter of taste whether you like the strange round ear-piece detailing. But this is nit-picking since absolutely no-one we showed it to said they disliked the exterio
r design. The matt texture resists scratching from even the sharpest keys in the pocket and all the keys are well spaced. One criticism would be of the * and # keys that are tricky to press when you hold the phone with one hand. They are important to get to because they offer single-press access to the keylock and silent mode. The subtle animations on start-up (not always that easy to work out what they all are) and for the various menu options are beautifully understated. The keys offer a reassuring click and sturdy resistance and work best when pressed on their contoured ridges rather than the fingertip-accommodating dips. The screen is truly what sets this phone apart at first sight. One observer called it “Star Trek-like” and, frankly, it seems to offer more than the average communicator employed by the venerable Spock. The huge expanse of screen is well used and unsurprisingly never cramped. Oddly, in the address book, it seems almost over-spaced and you wonder why a smaller typeface was not used. One of the neatest touches is the way the orange illuminated screen fades out on standby. Soon you find the sudden switching on and off screen backlights on other handsets almost vulgar. Several of the games are fiendishly compulsive (check out the craply named Move the Box) and a joy to play on the large screen. The phone is featherlight, the weight kept down partly by a relatively small 540 mAh standard battery which still seems to deliver a respectable talk and standby time, even occasionally using energy-sapping WAP and MP3. Despite the lightness, the phone feels sturdy in the hand and is well contoured, as long as you ignore the flat grey plastic aerial. Everything is customisable from the ring tones through the startup animation, main screen image (just import the bitmap into any picture editing software on the PC and copy it back to the MMC card). Vital statistics
Screen size: - 101 x 80 pixels/ 7 lines x 16 characters - 30mm x 28mm (1.3" x 1.1" Dimensions - - 105 x 42 x 17mm (4.1" x 1.6" x 0.6) - 88g (3.1 oz) - 60-170 hours standby/1-4 hours talk time with standard 540mAh battery (1000mAh option available) - 900/1800 GSM bands - 32Mb standard memory on MMC card. Expandable to 128Mb - 9 bookmarks - 5 WAP access profiles - UP 4.1.19i Phone.com WAP browser - other features: modem (9.6kbs), vibrate alert, infra-red, 500 contacts (14 fields each), 7 games, currency converter, Dictaphone, combined charger/synchronisation station, T9, voice dial (20 numbers), MP3 player WAP browsing Siemens is clearly committed to WAP, although maybe it is getting ahead of itself when it says in the accompanying CD-Rom that “these days WAP is absolutely essential”. Maybe to a journalist writing about it but your average mobile owner would rather have today’s newspaper still. The large screen means that you have five lines of text to read in most WAP pages with status shown in the bottom line and page information in the top line. The bottom line neatly toggles between telling you how the connection or dialling is going and soft keys below. The four-way joystick works well to take you backwards and forwards through the successive pages by pressing left and right or scrolling smoothly and positively through the cards by pressing up and down. A press of the dial key brings up the well-structured menus for manipulating the bookmarks and browser. It is difficult to tell exactly how many pages the system is caching but we had no problem loading five news pages, disconnecting from the gateway and then reading them offline. This feature could potentially save a lot of money. In caching the
pages the phone remembers them for you when you revisit them (as long as you have not switched the phone off since your last visit). Entering the Internet option again brings up those pages and you have to remember to press the dial key and select the “reset” option to reload the page. WAP-related features The battery seemed to provide a remarkably large amount of power despite a lot of wapping. Five gateway settings is useful but it is unfathomable why there are only 9 slots for favourites, with such a huge memory in the MMC card. The phone was particularly good at letting you know the status or your connection, a feature common to the new generation of Siemens handsets. However, it did not let us know how long we had been on line for each session, a feature evident in several competitor handsets. Text messaging was an absolute breeze with the large screen. For many shorter SMS messages you could virtually read the whole thing on the screen, there are so many lines! The phone was occasionally rather slow loading messages, especially when there were quite a few in the memory. The T9 predictive text implementation is great, with a soft key to toggle between the options for word suggestions and press the # to switch it off or on. However, the * key doubles as the toggle between upper case, lower case and number as well as concealing a host of special characters. The only distinction is an easily confused short press and a longer press. A neat touch is that numbers can be selected in the standard rotation of options under each key as well as by switching the number setting on using *. The two greatest features of this phone must surely be its MP3 music player and associated dictation facility. Sure, Samsung’s recent phone had MP3 and even the ancient Motorola CD920 has a voice notes function. But the MultiMediaCard capacity of this phone pushes that into a new dimension. The capacity is
potentially huge: with an 128Mb card (admittedly costing almost as much again as the phone will be at around GBP200!) you could have 5 hours of dictation. Even the supplied 32Mb MMC card holds around 40 minutes of music. Add to this that the supplied software and cradle allow you to swap files easily between the phone and the PC and you truly have the first versatile multimedia phone. Just pick your favourite MP3 tracks from the Internet with your PC. Drag and drop them using Windows Explorer into the virtual drive that the software creates. A major disappointment here was that the cradle used the PC's serial port only and not the USB. My PC needs the sole serial port for the 56k modem, as would many other people's while I had spare USB ports. It is just not practical for most users to keep swapping the two devices over and USB would have provided power to the cradle. Admittedly it would not have been enough to charge the phone, but that is a separate problem. OK so it takes about 10 minutes to transfer a 4 minute track from your hard drive to the phone, but you cannot have everything. The software is not very stylish - Siemens could have provided a more user-friendly interface for moving files - but effective. You can do the same with sound recordings, be it a dictation on the phone that you want to e-mail to somebody or a recording from a loved one that you want to listen to on the phone. OVERALL By current standards it is genuinely difficult to fault this phone. Every technical aspect of it seems to extend our expectations of mobile phones, let alone WAP phones. The software was stable and well designed, the user interface intuitive, the received and transmitted speech quality stunning, the memory capacity for SMS, addresses and other media laughs in the face of any other mobile phone and even the memory is easily changed. With the combination of features on this phone, it soon became indi
spensable. When you start playing with your favourite MP3 tracks, synchronising with Outlook everyday and regularly using WAP sites as we did, it became like an old friend. It begins to impinge on almost every aspect of your life from killing time on tube trains listening to music, looking up cinema times using the browser, checking people’s addresses or being reminded of appointments that you set up on your home PC.
This is the niftiest little phone Siemens has produced to date. In fact it’s the cooler phone any mobile company has produced. The SL45 is super-sleek and incredibly stylish. It is ultra slim and incredibly light, weighing in at a tiny 88 grams, which is absolutely nothing. There is even a MP3 player built in, which is arguably the best phone on the market. With the tiny MultiMediaCard you can download music from the Internet or from your own personal collection. The headset doubles as the remote control making life that little bit easier. The MP3 sound is perfect but the tune will not continue where you left off if you are interrupted by a call and choose to answer, though it is supposed to. There are variations in downloading times, for the avid audio fiend it may be worth investing in an external MultiMediaCard as downloads are up to three times faster. As you’d expect the SL45 is enabled with the obligatory WAP browser, easy to surf around without having to scroll through list after list of superfluous options. On a more serious and grown-up note, synchronising the SL45 with your PC will allow you to download Microsoft Outlook, addresses and appointments. It has a digital voice recorder that will tape up to 5 hours of speech, which can be transferred to PC files and then e-mailed to friends and colleagues in a wav.format. If this isn’t enough, the blurb attached promises the data exchange software (installed within the handset) will allow users to transfer saved files in various applications (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) from the MultiMediaCard to a PC or laptop. Admittedly the serial transfer is slow, but this is the nature of serial protocol generally. Be aware, Siemens seem to have forgotten to put a backup on the CD and, according to the laws of life, systems do crash, limiting your chances of retrieving the systems files. All this is well and good, but unless you are blessed with an abundance of patie
nce, photographic memory and/or any technical skill you may find frustration gets the better of you and you don’t progress from the basic phone functions. There lies the rub, the phone is so advanced it deserves more than phone status but doesn’t quite live up to anything else. It has a high-resolution LCD screen with amber illuminated display, pleasantly different from the run-of-the-mill grey/green mobile phone users are normally subjected to. The menu command is incredibly interactive and can be customised, though it does take a bit of work. It has funky animated start-up graphics that you are able to pick and choose from. Even the operator logo can be drawn from scratch using the standard Microsoft Windows painting programs. This phone plays a happy medium between the swanky poser and the business smart but is certainly far from ordinary. The bottom line? Think carefully about what it is you want from your phone, it’s a lot of money if you are not going to take full advantage, if you decide its for you it’ll be worth every penny.
features: MP3 player, WAP facilities, 32Mb MultiMediaCard, Microsoft Outlook compatible address book, dictaphone, voice dialling/command, seven games, currency converter, four hours talk time; 170 hours standby . Better late than never, Siemens joins the MP3 mobile phone market with its SL45. The call went out to Ashley Norris to tune A few years back I saw and heard my first MP3 player and was instantly smitten. It might've looked like something the kindergarten crew had rustled up out of Lego and only stored about ten minutes of music, but it was still fantastic to hear tracks taken from my PC. A couple of years on and I'm getting slightly less excited about the format. Sure there are some wonderful players out there, but what I object to is the way that every manufacturer insists on sticking a half-assed MP3 player into every device - making them virtually useless. So, I'm a little sore at Siemens for spoiling what is a perfectly good mobile phone by adding an MP3 player, and then charging silly sums of money for it. It's not that I don't want to use my phone to listen to music. It's just that if you're going to integrate an MP3 player into a phone you need to do it properly. When it comes to phone styling the designers seem to have cracked it. The SL45 is small enough to be pocketable, and looks great with its brushed silver finish. Siemens has also got the specification of its phone right too. This phone's top-end status is underlined by a huge selection of both fun and easy to use features, and the only facility that's missing is triple-band compatibility so you won't be able to use it in the USA. Its key feature is the addition of a pre-loaded 32Mb MultiMediaCard. Although it's ostensibly for storing MP3 music files, the card enables the user to undertake a couple of other fancy tricks. First off you can use the card to store a huge amount of address book style data. Using technology called
Quick Sync you can transfer Microsoft Outlook addresses and appointments from your PC to the card. Another bonus of the card is that it turns the phone into a seriously useful dictaphone. You can store up to 320 minutes of babble on the card - although when the voice files are transferred to a PC they are converted into space-hungry WAV files. Siemens has also done a splendid job on the phone's entertainment section. The menu's Surf/Fun section has access not only to the MP3 player, but also to no fewer than seven cheesy games, a currency converter and a stopwatch. This part of the menu is also home to the phone's WAP facilities, which just like Siemens' previous mobile, the S35 are very simple to work your way round. Text messagers are also offered T9 Predictive Text input, and show-offs should note that you can use voice-activated dialling on 20 of your favourite numbers. If this phone were to offer all this bar the MP3 facilities and retail for around £125 I'd have no hesitation in garlanding it with five stars. The tragedy is that it costs £230. However, the MP3 player sounds pretty good - there's more than a hint of bass and there's none of the clipped hissy quality that dogs some cheaper players. It also has a reasonably good pair of earphones thrown in (though they have a dedicated link to the phone so if you lose them you'll have to get a new pair from Siemens). The PC software is okay too, and the phone comes with a Sync station that makes connection to a computer very easy. Best of all, unlike the Virgin Samsung handset which has just 32Mb of memory embedded into the phone, the SL45's MultiMediaCard is removable. So if you're feeling flush you can spend an extra £100 or so and invest in a 64Mb card and tap your feet along to over an hour's worth of tunes. Sadly though, and this is the phone's biggest weakness, were you to get all the way through 64Mb you would completely wipe out your phone's
battery. So after an hour there would be no juice left for phone or WAP calls let alone any more music. Another heinous crime is that the phone comes with a parallel connector rather than a USB one. Not only does this slow the transfer of MP3 files, but also means that the phone is completely useless to owners of iMacs and many new PCs, which only have USB inputs. To be honest, the MP3 player's a pretty superfluous addition to what is otherwise a great mobile phone. So, that considered, the music playing option is a bonus to an already attractive phone proposition. Shame it's not got more memory, USB and longer battery life as standard though. Verdict: A great mobile that's compromised by a disappointing MP3 player. You can upgrade the player's memory and battery, but this sadly adds £400 to the cost
I've had this a couple of weeks now, so might not be giving it a fair trial, but have already got so annoyed with it I tried to take it back to the shop for a refund (no such luck unfortunately!). I've upgraded from a Nokia 7110, which broke all the time and was a bit clunky, so I've been spoiled with an elegant user interface, and am hugely frustrated with the Siemens version. Moans first: There are too many keys, and they're all too small! Rather than the nice one button operation roller I was used to, I have to use a rather stiff 4 way rocker and 4 action buttons, which don't always obey the same conventions like on the Nokia. It's tricky enough to hold the little phone high enough in your hand to work the keys for texting (though I guess this is the price to pay for a very compact phone!), but when choosing an option, you often have to press a key on the left, then one on the right, then back left again, for doing something the Nokia would do with 3 clicks of the same button - no problem for kids or jugglers, but fiddly for people with big hands. Menu navigation, or rather lack of it... The menu is structured in a 4 level hierarchy, so lots of clicking. As the phone has to keep a lot of the data on the memory card, this means a second or more delay between menus. There are just too many clicks to make (3 useless checking screens before sending an sms for example) This does sound a bit picky, but I'm already getting annoyed watching the little coffee cup and hourglass waiting symbols so often. Some of the menus don't make much sense (half the audio menu features are duplicated in the tones menu), and some of the useful functions (like infra red) are hidden way below useless ones (like cost monitoring). Non-standard memory card This looks like a SmartMedia but isn't. Making the phone a bit bigger would have been a small price for a proper card, which I could read with the
same reader as my camera. If I want a larger card, I can't just use one I have already. Sony's 'coming soon' memory stick phone sounds a bit more useful. Games & extras Besides looking quite nasty in terms of graphic design, the games are a mixed bunch. Othello plays a slightly better game than the Nokia, but looks worse. Move the box is a fun block puzzle, but with only 8 levels, which won't take long. Connect 4 is also there, but the main fun is Wacko, where you have to knock fuzzy creatures on the head as they pop out of 9 holes, using 1-9 keys. This would be great were it not for the fact you can't turn the game tones off fully, so will infuriate everyone near you on a train. The other games are Maze and Homerun, which are so bad I won't go into them. The ring tones are quite nasty - nearly all tunes rather than rings, and altough you can program new ones, I wasn't able to download one to it. MP3 player This works nicely, despite grindingly slow data transfer (10 mins a song), and the fact that although the phone is advertised with 32MB storage, half of this is taken up by operating files that you need to wipe first (language support, spare startup animations etc..), giving you around 29MB if you're ruthless. My phone currently holds 7 songs, much less than the 2 hours of music advertised (if you buy a 128MB card...). Other moans about this are that you can only playback, not equalise, and there is no jack (as the headphones double as a handfree). This means you're stuck with the Siemens headphones, and can't use your own or speakers. The supplied MP3 tracks are hilarious and well worth a listen - soft rock and europop with ludicrous choruses about the improvements Siemens products can bring to your life (everyone will delete these very quickly). I also couldn't get the supplied Real Jukebox software to work with it (may just be me being thick) but was able to download a replacement free
ware MP3 writer instead. Batteries don't last long in this, but complaining about it's a bit unfair, as you don't really expect a phone to have a top-spec MP3 player in it after all, and it is enough to do the job and keep me entertained on trains. Having moaned about all of that, it does have a lot going for it though (no really..): Good screen Although it glares a lot in the sun, having a 7 line screen with good res is new, and great for texting and WAP. Size This is the main one. It's so small and light I'm able to carry it much easier & less obviously than my Nokia. On the rare occasions I wear a suit, it doesn't look as daft in the inside pocket, which is a bonus. At first I thought it looked pretty ugly, but it has actually grown on me, and only visually offends other people now (I've not heard a nice comment yet about its looks!). It works Goodish reception and good speech quality - though some friends say I'm harder to hear than I was a couple of weeks ago, so don't know if it's worse than the last one (also the microphone is in a strange place under the phone rather than on the front). There's a strange few tones while it dials, but can live with this. It looks like it's built solidly enough to last as well (unlike my Nokia 7110). Dictaphone and organiser I have a pda with voice memo, and wouldn't want to t9 every appointment into it, so won't be using these features (especially as voice notes will take valuable MP3 space). I accept that if someone did want this, they would probably up the rating a bit! So, it just about fits my bill of a small, good WAP phone with Infra red and MP3, but I'm still not convinced - maybe I'll grown to like it more. My advice at the moment is to first try and find one to play with to see if its style annoys you as much as it does me - otherwise you could end up paying quite a bit
for not a lot. ps - If you've used one, please do let me know if I'm just trying to work it the wrong way and have overlooked something - I'd love to be able to change my mind!