Since the SL45, the M50 (or 3118 - its designation for some Asian markets) is probably one of the better Siemens models that I’ve come to review considering the overall phone (looks, functionality, usability, etc). One must also consider the fact that the M50 is a near-market entry level phone that does come with a relatively rich set of features.
For those who just want something simple to use and has good looks, the M50 is definitely a viable choice and should not be overlooked.
Probably the first thing that caught my eye was the matching backlight colours in conjunction with the actual CLIPit cover that came in the box. The one we got for this review was the “chromium blue” colour, which - of course - came with the blue backlighting.
Other great features that came with the M50 package include WAP over GPRS, Java MIDlet compatibility, animated and static screen savers, and those unique Siemens functions - including the “babysitter” mode and “aircraft” profile mode.
The M50 felt very solid in the hand. Although it had a weight of around 97 grams, it was a phone that I was immediately happy with in regards to both handling the phone and using its keypad. On close inspection of the paintwork, the M50 uses a metallic base for both front and back covers (the white is metallic as well) - which also feels alright when held in the hand for prolonged periods.
The curvatures and texture of the buttons provided the sort of comfort required for my fingers, where I could fully concentrate on what I am doing with the phone - instead of trying to perfect my hand/finger positioning.
Trying to change the CLIPit covers may require some effort in the beginning. But once you know how to get them on and off, it’s not a major drama at all! :)
User Interface (UI)
If you’re a previous Siemens user, the M50 won’t be much different in terms of menu layouts and general phone usage. Probably the only think you may have to get use to is the position of the answer and reject buttons, which are positioned respectively in the middle and right hand side (above the “2” and “3” keys). When compared to the C45, the up/down and two soft keys provide a more effortless experience.
Making and receiving calls
Dealing with calls on the M50 is as simple as any other mobile phone. A in-call menu can also be brought up by pressing on the right soft key during calls, which has functions including conference mode, call transfer, mute and volume control. Conveniently, the answer button is now located in the middle and not on the left-hand side.
Typing up longer-than-usual SMS messages is easy with the M50, thanks to T9 input and a splendidly-designed keypad. Up to 760 characters (approximately 4 standard SMS messages) can be used for a single long message. The capability of sending and receiving EMS messages is available on the M50 as well. Sounds, pictures and animations can be included into outgoing SMS messages.
An increased battery capacity has been given to the M50. The 650 mAh, lithium-ion battery was able to give me approximately 3-4 days of standby, and around 3-4 hours worth of talk time. Charging time was approximately two hours with the supplied travel charger.