A Close Call

Cell phone offers good mix of price and performance

Siemens’ new CF62T is a light, cute clamshell phone that is good at the basics. While it doesn’t pack all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from our cell phones (and let’s face it, sometimes those “extras” can be more of an annoyance than a help), the CF62T offers a good combination of price and performance. Weighing just over three ounces and measuring 3.7×1.8x.9 inches, the phone provides up to 220 hours of standby time and 300 minutes of talk time using a lithium-ion battery.

The CF62T features a curvy, loop antenna, which enhances the device’s thin, lightweight design. Both the external black-and-white display screen and the internal color one are bright and clear, which is a plus if you plan to surf the Web or send text messages. The CF62T also comes with a Dynamic Light feature, which lets you set different flash patterns for specific types of calls or alerts you when your battery is low. We chose Speed for calls from work and Trance Sync for those more relaxing calls from friends and family. You can also adjust the Dynamic Light’s brightness for different environments. Voice quality on the CF62T was slightly better than average. (We tested the phone with T-Mobile service in Central Virginia for two weeks and experienced clear sound with only one dropped call.)

So, what’s the catch? While we loved the phone’s external design and were happy with the screen and sound quality, the keypad was a bit disappointing. We found that the flat keys made it difficult to make calls; this reviewer’s little fingers often slipped across the slick keypad. Furthermore, the three metallic bars under each set of numbers was a hindrance when one simply wanted to make a quick phone call. And although we can appreciate the phone’s sleek design, the lack of external controls (such as volume and voice recognition) presented a problem for us as well. (Adding the optional Headset Plus, however, solves this problem.) The navigation keypad, which is slightly raised, was a bit easier to use, but you won’t find us playing too many games on it.

Although the CF62T is a solid combination of great design and functionality for those who want simple cell phone features, we have to admit that we could have used some of those previously mentioned extras. All in all, however, the CF62T gets the job done in style. (www.siemens.com; $149.99)

AT A GLANCE
GOOD
Dynamic Light feature
Better than average voice quality

BAD
Lacks bells and whistles
Keypad is hard to handle

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