East meets West equals success

In a Ronseal stylee, the launch of the BenQ Siemens brand was labelled as ‘East meets West’. Consequently we were treated to Oriental drummers at a ve

In a Ronseal stylee, the launch of the BenQ Siemens brand was labelled as ‘East meets West’. Consequently we were treated to Oriental drummers at a venue under the Berlin wall. Yep, exactly what it said on the tin – but it was well worth the trip.

Siemens handsets over the last two years have been, to say the least, disappointing – nice aesthetics scuppered by a plasticky feel, rubbish screens and less features than Pete Burns’s stretched visage. The first three models presented under the new brand – the EF81, S88 and S68 – appear to be right up there with the best.

The EF81 is the phone that Motorola’s RAZR V3x should have been – a natural 3G successor to the V3, with a similarly solid feel thanks to a case made from magnesium, aluminium and stainless steel, plus a super-sharp screen with a wide viewing angle. Even the menu seems friendlier than previous Siemens efforts. Get the lowdown on the other phones here.

BenQ’s Taiwanese influence apparently extends beyond key areas such as screen technology in to the emphasis on taking chances - hitting hard and fast, rather than cautiously holding back. That’s why CEO Clemens Joos (pictured) is predicting the launch of 25-30 new mobiles this year – and if the first three models are anything to go by, BenQ Siemens will be right up there with Moto, Nokia and Sony Ericsson by the summer.

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