Sliders used to be synonymous with the Samsung family, but lately everyone has realized the importance of offering phones in forms other than the basic candy bars and clamshells. While older clamshells have been bulky (like the Nokia 7650) and failed to catch the buyer's fancy, the new crop of phones is slimmer, sexier and a whole lot more functional. The recently united BenQ-Siemens' CL71 is one such new entrant.
The phone is a tri-band GSM phone running on 900/1800/1900 MHz bands. It does GPRS and WAP, but no EDGE or 3G. The display is a large, 176x220 pixel, 262k color TFT, which looks pretty good in all lighting conditions. The phone is actually quite a decent fit in the hand and at 115gm not too heavy either. The phone can be easily slid up or down with just one hand.
The phone is not a Smartphone, although the general appearance may lead you to think so. It runs a proprietary UI that's extremely slow. You'll end up clicking more than once, just to see it all happen in rapid succession after the lag. Having said that, it's not difficult to understand or use. The confusion can come because of the design of the navigation pad: the left and right direction buttons are a part of the same piece, while the up and down buttons are separate. Having all buttons at the same level usually makes it more intuitive.
Other features of the phone are the usual 1.3 megapixel digital camera with video capture, MP3/AAC/WMA playback and ring tone support, an FM radio tuner, 24 MB internal memory and a microSD/TransFlash memory card expansion slot.
The battery life of this phone is quite short, running out after just around two days of a full charge, even when the phone was used moderately with very little use of the camera.
At Rs 11,000 this phone should be skipped. A little more money can get you the Samsung SGH-D820 with a much higher resolution and quality screen and camera, TV out functionality and excellent battery life. Even at the same price, the RAZR V3i still rocks the CL71's socks off.
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