Siemens SK65 - killer form factor plus mobile office functionality
By Mike Hanlon
February 20, 2005
February 21, 2005 Look at the pictures of the Siemens SK65 and you may not "get it." After all, there are so many permutations and combinations of flip, twist, slide et al mobile phone designs these days, (few of which offer any functional advantage), you could easily dismiss the unique x2type (cross-to-type) design as another passing fad. Not so - from the moment we twisted the SK65 body and settled our thumbs on the full-size QWERTY keyboard, we knew this was a significant development in the form factor of the device formerly known as the mobile phone. Apart from the killer design, the SK65 offers BlackBerry technology, which means you get your email messages pushed to your phone - getting them at exactly the same time you would if you were behind your home or office desktop computer.
It's not that often we get excited about a mobile phone these days but the SK65 does have exceptional capability thanks to what it calls its x2type (cross-to-type) keyboard. Most importantly, if you are a competent typist, you can type very quickly using your thumbs and the SK65's QWERTY keyboard - standing up, in a busy street or in an airport - and we think that's killer functionality. Opened with a turned action, the full-sized 37-key keyboard enables quick and easy e-mail composition, yet folds away as a normal-sized mobile phone when not in use.
The on-desk and in-hand presence of the SK65 is also significant. It looks the part in an elegant black and silver that is reminiscent of the upmarket Vertu designs and with its unique design offering fast palmtop data entry for the over-35s, the SK65 could become one of the design icons of this era. Yes - it is that significant! The SK65 features 64MB memory for managing large amounts of data, with up to 30MB free, for storing personal information such as e-mails, ring tones and java applications. Additional features include: a large 132 x 176 pixel TFT screen with 64k colors, a fully featured address book with room of up to 2000 entries and new Siemens Mobile Phone Manager PC software.
So the design and the QWERTY keyboard are fantastic, but the added functionality offered by the BlackBerry system is what really makes the SK65 a complete mobile office solution - the SK65 is the first mobile phone to offer complete e-mail, calendar and corporate data access capabilities allowing business to be conducted on the move.
The tri-band handset allows seamless wireless communication with e-mail clients such as MS Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes and even POP3/IMAP4 accounts, ensuring immediate wireless e-mail push to the SK65 and maximizing business hours spent travelling or between meetings.
And as the Blackberry system is now starting to move into the mobile phone domain, having previously been seen as a high-end corporate-only solution, configuring a home office system to use the SK65 is simple and painless. Different variants of the SK65 will be available, including a standard model. For SOHO users and smaller companies without a corporate e-mail infrastructure, the SK65 will be available with BlackBerry Internet Service. This allows the automatic transfer of POP3 or IMAP4 e-mails straight to the SK65.
Larger enterprises will be able to purchase the SK65 with BlackBerry Enterprise Server support, which allows e-mails and information from Microsoft Exchange/ IBM Lotus Domino systems to be accessed behind corporate firewalls. This variant will be available with fully secure Triple DES encrypted wireless e-mail access and calendar synchronisation over the air whilst using the SK65 on the move.
Additionally, the Siemens SK65 supports the Mobile Data Service feature of BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which provides employees remote access to corporate data such as intranet web pages, specific programmes and databases. Siemens is also working closely with SAP to bring SAP Solutions for Mobile Business applications on SK65 to further increase business efficiency for joint customers.
The existence of a GPRS based data communication infrastructure provides flexibility for business professionals to access the most advanced data services anytime, anywhere, from their wireless devices.
Additional Bluetooth accessories for added connectivity will also be available to further complement the SK65. These include several convenient in-car solutions like the Siemens Bluetooth Car Kit, fixed installed Car Kit Comfort and the flexible Car Kit Portable will be available. Other accessories include a range of Bluetooth headsets including the Purestyle headset and the standard Headset with activation key, various chargers, a SyncStation and data cables, a spare battery and a practical leather holster.
Weighing 144g, the SK65 offers up to six hours talk time and up to 250 hours standby time.
Also unique to the standard variant of the SK65 is the new Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) feature, which will be introduced in the fourth quarter of 2004 to the standard variant. PoC enables users to send a voice message to a number of recipients at the touch of a button, providing a convenient alternative to text-based messaging. It combines the flexibility of mobile messaging with the ease of use of voice, allowing users to set up meetings or make announcements to groups of contacts. The existence of a GPRS based data communication infrastructure provides flexibility for business professionals to access the most advanced data services anytime, anywhere, from their wireless devices. The Push-to-Talk functionality of the SK65 handset allows walkie-talkie like communication or hands-free access between network phones - users can hear the caller's voice from a loudspeaker on the handset, just as if it were a walkie-talkie. The SK65 is now available in all major world markets.
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