The Siemens M65 could be called the answer to Nokia's 5100 and 5140 devices, which have improved resistance to the elements. With more and more people becoming involved with an active lifestyle, especially in Australia & the outback, mobile phones with increased resistance are needed. The Siemens M65 is rubberized and has increased shock, dust, and splash resistance to keep up with your busy and rugged lifestyle.
The Nokia 5140 and 5100 have problems with their buttons being hard to press because of the Xpress-On shells. The Siemens M65 doesn't have this problem as it doesn't have any major removable parts except for the back cover.
The Siemens M65 is a good alternative for a rugged lifestyle companion, which works just as well if not better than Nokia's 5100/5140 handsets.
The M65 and CX65 are practically the same handset with a new physical side. Both handsets have a VGA still and video camera, Infrared connectivity, 65,536 colour display, speakerphone, Java gaming and application support, and 11mB internal memory. There are also other features, but what differentiates the two the most is the extra shock, dust, and splash resistance on the M65.
The rubberized coating on the M65 gives it the ability to protect the internals of the handset further than "normal" mobile phone handsets. The rubber caps in the sales package also keep unwanted materials out of the important openings of the M65; like the camera lens. With a rugged lifestyle come confrontations with the elements; so one needs a mobile phone which can take everything life can throw at it, like the Siemens M65.
The M65 has a 65,536 colour TFT LCD at the same size as the CX65's display, 132 x 176 pixels. The display acts as the viewfinder for the VGA camera and is very high quality and I had no problems using it inside or outside. The camera on the M65, as mentioned already, operates the same as the CX65's camera it can record video and images to the 11mB user memory.
Being bored just isn't possible when you have a phone at your side like the M65, which supports Java games. The handset has pre installed games and games of any genre can be downloaded onto the handset with ease. All games on the M65 look beautiful on the 65k colour display. Both Java games and applications are supported, and can be transferred from a PC to the phone via Infrared or Data-cable connection.
Once again the Siemens CX65 and M65 are almost the same in this aspect. The M65 however is rubberized for dust, shock, and splash protection, and has rubber inserts for all openings to keep any unwanted matter out. A metal casing is also in the sales package which clicks over the top to reinforce the handset.
To remove the battery cover a small lock is unlocked by rotating the small orange key. This is then pulled up and the back cover comes with it. You will notice around the back battery cover there is a rubber seal, evidence of the increased protection from external matter. This rubber seal has holes which attach to the back cover to ensure that it's in the correct spot when put back on. The battery covers the SIM card insert, which are both removed easily.
The front cover cannot be removed on the M65, but there are several bits and pieces you can attach to the M65 to make it even more protective. In the sales package you will find a metal frame, which slides over the M65 and fits in perfectly with the rest of the handset. There is a hole at the bottom where the key fits through for the back cover. In the sales package there is also a small pack of orange rubber inserts, for a number of different purposes. There are two camera lens covers, two interface connectors for the bottom of the phone and two of the back cover keys. Only one of each can be used at a time and the other is just a spare. They fit in snugly and won't come off unexpectedly.
All around the M65 is a rubber seal, which is bright orange and clearly visible. At the top of the handset this seal gets large, and this is because the dynamic light LED's are behind this section. The CX65 also has dynamic lights. On the left hand side of the handset the rubber seal breaks apart around the Infrared window. The rest of the M65 is a glittery grey colour and the back cover has ridges for extra friction.
The buttons on the M65 are also mostly rubberized, except for the directional stick which is hard plastic with sharp edges too (more on this in the Problems/Issues section). Above the 65,536 colour LCD display is the earphone behind a mesh a very nice look! :)
User Interface & display
The Siemens M65 is very similar in this section to the CX65. The user interface is practically the same, and the display is the exact same size and type as seen in the CX65. If you've used a CX65 handset before the M65 is just like that but in a new casing. The main menu is a 9-icon page, and underneath these there are text lists. Back again in the CX65 is the "My Menu" list which has all your favourite features for easy access. These can be changed and modified at any time.
The user-interface is navigated around with several buttons mainly the 5-way directional stick. There are also two soft keys either side which have their functions labelled at the bottom of the display. Speaking of the display, it is a 65,536 colour TFT LCD @ 132 x 176 pixels, just like the CX65. This is extremely suitable for the M65's needs and anything else would probably be overkill. These 132 x 176 pixel displays are larger than any other Siemens handset and is a step in the right direction from the manufacturer. The display is perfect for viewing images and the friendly user interface, and not to forget the camera viewfinder application. :)
When the M65 is idle you can use the directional stick to jump to four different functions, and the soft keys which can be changed as you like. To access the menu the directional stick is pushed in, this is also like an "okay" or "yes" function in other menus.
The M65 also has the ability to have themes applied to the user interface, which basically change the look of the entire phone internally. These themes are pre-installed on the phone and others can also be downloaded via WAP or a connection to a PC. Wallpapers and screensavers can be made from your favourite images on the M65 which also give the user interface a little bit of spice and individuality.
As I've said, the M65's user interface is like the CX65's, and vice versa. Unfortunately the only problem I had with the CX65's user interface is back in the M65, and there is some lag when browsing around the menus. This was the only problem I had with the M65, the user interface is bright and friendly and totally uncomplicated.
Making and receiving calls
Straight from the sales package, the M65 offers two ways for it's users to make and receive calls. These two options are as follows: using the inbuilt loudspeaker, or the regular way of holding the phone up to your ear. Bluetooth isn't supported, but wired headsets can be used if purchased separately which offer great quality audio.
Users of the M65 can choice from either 40-chord polyphonic ring tones or audio files recorded with the handsets sound recorder feature. Whichever you choose the tones are audible and in conjunction with the dynamic lights on the M65 you'll never miss a call.
The dynamic lights are located at the top of the M65 on either side, where the orange seal gets larger than around the rest of the handset. Different effects can be selected for the lights, and a demo of all effects is accessible in the settings menu.
The M65 doesn't have any external buttons so for volume adjustments the directional stick is used. Volume was fine on the M65 at around 75%, I found no need to bring it up to the full 100%. Like with the CX65 I had no issues with the calling process on the CX65.
Keep updated and informed with several different messaging types on the Siemens M65. Whichever messaging type you select to use, SMS/EMS, MMS, or e-mail, the M65 is with you all the way. The VGA digital still and video camera brings your messages to life and there is the added benefit of predictive text to make message composing quick and speedy.
The way in which the M65's buttons are designed make it easy for anyone to use the buttons for messaging (which is usually quick) trouble free. The buttons are large and soft and very responsive perfect for T9 predictive text where words are compiled quickly. The keypad is ideal for messaging, but the only problem: the extreme lag. This is discussed more in the Problems/Issues section of the article though.
There are EMS templates built into the M65's internal memory which can be edited to your own needs and sent to any compatible phone. When you are composing SMS/EMS messages you can press the options button and access other EMS features like formatting. Aside from SMS and MMS messaging (video MMS is supported), there is the ability to connect to internet mail severs and send/receive e-mail messages. The M65 can "communicate" with SMTP, IMAP4, and POP3 e-mail severs, and you can send e-mail messages as if you were sitting at your computer.
The messaging interface of the M65, once again, is the same as that found in the CX65. Selecting "Compose Message" brings up a menu listing message formats you can compose. Selecting one then brings up a screen which just loves having text inputted into it! The only problem with Siemens phones and the predictive text is having to press the right soft key to change from one word combination to another. Use of the navigational stick is much more functional but Siemens obviously don't think so
A big bummer with the M65 is the lack of Bluetooth in the handset. Being based mainly for outdoor use Bluetooth capabilities would allow the users to connect to corded headsets which could dangle around and get in the way.
The M65 does however have Infrared and USB capabilities. The infrared port is located on the left hand side of the handset behind a dark window, and the USB port is at the bottom of the handset. To connect to a PC using the USB port you will need to purchase a USB data-cable separately. The sales pack of the M65 doesn't include one.
You can send files via infrared directly from the handset to another device or PC in just a few button presses. The handset tries to connect to a device in range and then sends the file. You can't select multiple files and then send them all in a bunch though, but the CX65 and many other infrared capable phones don't have this function.
Wireless connections are established using the GPRS protocol on the M65, allowing you to browse WAP sites with the inbuilt WAP 2.0 browser or send/receive MMS and e-mail messages. If you need to use the M65 as a modem for your laptop or PC you can once it is connected via CSD or GPRS, the latter which is mostly used.
The M65 performed well in this section. Throwing it around a bit like I did with the Nokia 5140 had no effect on the handset and it operated as normal. Splashing it with some water also had no effect on the handset, I wasn't given any nasty shocks after giving the M65 a little torture test.
The rubber seal around the battery cover and rest of the phone (you can't miss it, its bright orange) seals off the inside from any foreign matter, like sand/dust. There are also rubber seals in the sales pack for the camera lens and bottom connector.
The M65 weighs 106 grams and measures 109 x 49 x 19 mm so it is hardly bulky or a burden to carry around in your pocket. All in all, there were no problems with the M65 and its build quality and it lives up to the expectations placed on it.
Like the Siemens CX65 the M65 uses a 750mAh lithium ion battery. This battery is enough to keep the M65 charged for around 300 minutes talk time and 300 hours standby time. The battery is perfect for the handset and like the CX65 I had no troubles with it.
Battery management seems to be pretty down-pat with Siemens phones these days.