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A Periodic (P)review Of Leaping Forward

By: Johan

Friday, April 22

Siemens SK65 Std vs. Blackberry Built-in

Previewing the SK65 Siemens Blackberry Phone.

In May it's been 12 months since signing up with O2 so I'm due a phone upgrade and payment plan review. I now own a Siemens SX1.

Last month I:
  • made 18 UK phone calls totalling 22 minutes (out of 200 minutes pre paid included monthly)
  • made 7 International calls totalling 25 minutes (@ 3 pound 73 surcharge)
  • sent 35 text messages (30 intl @ 10p each - only 5 out of the 50 inclusive)
Conclusion: Paying 40 pounds a month wasn't a good idea. Turns out I'm only using 10% of that... Skype has made a big difference by the way.

I love Siemens phones so I'd like to stay with the Germans. My eye is on the Siemens SK65. The swivel full qwerty keyboard is very cool indeed and allows simple e-mailing (and blogging etc.) on the go. It doesn't have a camera, apparently to avoid intellectual property and data security issues. The phone is aimed at the business market, providing an easy way of photocopying sensitive data isn't what Siemens had in mind for this audience. I'm not too fussed, the novelty of my SX1 camera wore off pretty quickly. Murphy's law might strike and I might bump into a million dollar Sun story potential, not being able to capture the moment but I can live with that.

The only thing I came accross I don't like is the fact that it doesn't play MP3's. I've come to like my current phone as my music device of choice (am old-fashioned, don't own an iPod yet) so I'll miss that. There must be some Java apps available though that can make up for the lack of media playback.

The Siemens SK65 is one of the few phones available with Blackberry built in it. I wasn't too familiar with what Blackberry or Blackberry built-in exactly is to be honest. Turns out that Research In Motion (RIM) is the company behind Blackberry and they offer state of the art PIM Synchronization solutions and wireless communication technology. They offer enterprise server solutions to give roaming employees mobile access over-the-air to their e-mail and other time-sensitive data like their calendar, scheduling and contacts.

What Blackberry does in short is 'push' an e-mail to your wireless communication device (Siemens SK65 Blackberry Mobile Phone) the moment it comes in. There's no need to log on to the net and download them first manually. Siemens calls it 'seamless push-through of e-mails'. It can also synchronize your replies and deleted e-mails real-time with the base server. It's basically a fully automatic version of what SyncML has to offer.

For a single individual like myself who's not out and about all the time all of this isn't entirely necessary. Add to that the fact that an SK65 with Blackberry Built-In on Vodafone for example starts at 45 pounds per month line-rental. Not what I was looking for!

Luckily you don't have to opt in for Blackberry with this phone. Siemens notes:
Various variants of the phone are available to perfectly suit your mobile office needs. You can choose from a basic version, where you have to download emails manually, a version that incorporates BlackBerry Built-In™ for seamless push-through of emails, and a corporate version that lets you connect fully secured right to the server architecture of your enterprise and access corporate data and applications beyond email (e.g., intranet sites or the company adressbook).
So we're back to plain old GPRS 53.6 kbps WAP 2.0 data transfer in combination with SyncML for PIM synchronization between the Siemens Blackberry Phone and the PC. Still nice to have the full keyboard though. Instead of Blackberry I can keep my own e-mail accounts and download them via POP3. Another nice feature is the walky-talky like functionality 'push to talk'.

I wish WIFI+GSM enabled phones were available yet...

PS It's not a Black Berry Phone though it's a very common misspelling.
PPS You can read about Blackberry Security and issues here.


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