With extreme sports taking off in this country it seems only right that mobile phones should become tougher, harder and overall more robust. In steps the Siemens M65 its attempt at withstanding the elements, but does it have what it takes to live up to its claims? We give it a good battering and find out.
The first main thing you’ll notice on this phone compared to your average business phone is that it’s been highly toughened as if for Army use. The casing is made from a tougher scratch-resistant plastic while the aerial has been put internally and there is rubber on all the edges. To protect the camera lens on the back you get an array of covers or casings all made from either the same tough plastic or in fact rubber. We opted for the plastic surround casing for our usage about town as we could instantly see that you’d lose the rubber cover within minutes at the bottom of your pocket along with all the lint that forms there.
Tough plastic casing and a bit of rubber - that’s rubbish I hear you cry, well the metal exoskeleton that encases the whole thing isn’t and it pretty much ensures that knocks and bruises to the case will be avoided. Of course nothing is perfect and while we appreciate the large crisp colour screen the phone offers there is little to no protection to stop it getting scratched. Yes the exoskeleton rises above the screen so you can’t just scratch it putting it on the table, but keys or change in your pocket or bag are rarely flat.
Extending the ruggedness even further is the ability to turn this phone into a bike computer. By opting to invest in the addition attachment, the phone offers speed, distance and all the other relevant details you normally find on a bike computer. This is an interesting, however fairly logical approach if you are a cyclist and the phone even came to us with the Bike-O-meter software loaded as a shortcut on the default screen.
Get past the ruggedness however and you’re left with a fairly large phone whose interface is similar to other models in the range. For the multimedia fan there is plenty here including three games - one of which is the classic Amiga game Turrican2004 from THQ. While other applications include PhotoEditor so you can do rudimentary changes or add filters to the images you’ve captured with the VGA camera.
At times the software interface did seem to falter slightly especially when we were switching between applications so be wary if you’re after a speedy machine - because this certainly isn’t one.
Overall this is a fun phone for those who like to see themselves as living on the edge in that extreme sphere and the metal exoskeleton is a nice hardening touch. Unfortunately it doesn’t have Bluetooth support, but then this isn’t a phone pitching itself at the business market. This is for the surfer dude or more specifically the person who likes cycling downhill very fast. Do they need Bluetooth? - probably not. Do they need Turrican2004 and a large screen with which to play it on? - almost definitely.