Bosch M-COM 714 TEST
FLIP WITHOUT THE FLAP
The name is familiar but not on mobile
phones, so how does the neat Bosch M-COM 714 fare in the increasingly competitive
GSM market? Rick Maybury has been finding out
Mention Bosch and most people think of car
radios or spark plugs even washing machines, but cellphones? In fact Bosch have
fingers in many pies, including now the UK mobile communications market, with
the arrival of the M-COM 714. It’s a tidy little GSM phone, loosely based on
the Motorola 8200, however Bosch have clearly made it their own, with custom cosmetics
and operating software. All Bosch will say about the price is that it’s up to dealers
and airtime agreements, and it will be competitive. Should you actually want to
buy one from them direct the list price is £515, excluding the VAT...
At just 225 grams the 714 is small and light
enough to slip into a shirt-pocket. It uses a full-size SIM card, which slides
into a slot in the base. The layout is very straightforward, with volume up
down button on the right side, mute and SIM card release on the left side. The illuminated
keyboard is small but the keys are well defined and require quite a firm touch.
The LCD panel shows two lines of text, along with a permanent 5-bar signal strength
meter, various GSM and phone status
indicators that includes an annoying battery symbol, that does nothing, apart
from flash a few minutes before the battery expires.
The headline features include a 255 number
memory (100 in the phone, 155 on the SIM), full SMS (short message service)
compatibility, call metering, call diversion, multi-level security, call
barring and restriction and multiple ring tones (there’s twelve of them), plus
call hold and call waiting.
At switch-on it can be programmed to display a
greeting, then it immediately seeks out a network and logs on, ready to go.
There’s a good assortment of user options, accessible from the multi-layer
menus. They’re divided into two specific areas, pressing the left side of the
menu button steps through the various set-up modes and user-settable features,
the right side deals with call preferences and specific GSM functions. They
cover a lot of ground, so it pays to keep the instruction book to hand if you
want to do anything complicated, like change networks or PIN codes, and don’t
go anywhere without the credit-card sized ‘short instructions’... The phone
comes with two slimline nickel metal-hydride battery packs, and a desktop
charger, with slots for the charging the battery on the phone, and the spare
Fresh out of the box the supplied batteries
gave around 18 hours standby time, falling to just under 8 hours after four
five-minute calls. Apart from slight stridency
sound quality is generally very good. Most users -- at both ends of the
connection -- would probably be unaware that they were not on a normal
land-line. Throughout the tests the phone performed impeccably, no dropped
calls, and only one brief spate of digital voice mangling in a low signal area.
What the 714 lacks in personality and glitz it
more than makes up for with better than average performance and facilities. Not
a phone to get excited about, but it does the job, and does it well.
Box Copy 1
Ease of use ****
Transmission quality ****
Reception quality ****
Emission category GSM Class 4
Features: 255 number memory (100 on-board,
155 on SIM), call divert, multi tone ringer, signal meter, call hold, call
wait, DTMF signalling, call metering, call bar/restrictions, auto redial, speed
dial, multiple security facilities.
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 88%
Ó R. Maybury 1995 1610