Sexy headliner, followed by two able deputies.
When BenQ (maker of a series of dodgy mobiles) bought Siemens Mobile (a maker of even dodgier mobiles) the signs weren’t good but against all odds the combined BenQ Siemens brand is beginning to forge a respectable name for itself. This trio won’t do it any harm either…
Head and shoulders the best of the bunch is the EF91 a shadowy slider which boasts a high quality 3.2MP camera with autofocus, touch sensitive controls and a 2in QVGA display. It is a 3Ger with integrated media player, 64MB of onboard memory, a microSD slot, Bluetooth connectivity with headset support and an RDS equipped FM radio.
On the practical side it boasts a remarkable five hours talk time or up to eight days on standby. At just 89 x 47 x 23 mm and weighing 109g the EF91 is portable too and though it doesn’t debut until October and we don’t have a price it looks the fashion phone to beat at the moment.
Appearing one month earlier are the more midrange but nevertheless stylish E81 (left) and E71. The E81 is a 3Ger measuring only 100 x 47 x 17mm, it weighs a tidily 96g and packs a 1.8in 176 x 200 res screen. A 1.3MP camera is fairly run of the mill but a media player does make it onboard and the usual Bluetooth connectivity and microSD slot are featured too. The E71 drops the 3G for EDGE but its gimmick is a hard outer casing that is claims is both durable and fingerprint resistant (time will tell). Otherwise all major specs are virtually identical to the E81 and it will come with a choice ‘Dark Silver’ or ‘Onyx Black’ finishes.
Ultimately, I find this new range extremely disconcerting. Last year I’d set my heart on hating and lambasting the BenQ Siemens brand. Making witty references to its dubious acronym and generally venting my spleen. Now I find I rather like them and I think I want the EF91. Confusing days my friends, confusing days.