What Cellphone



Bosch M-COM 714 TEST






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 pack.



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

Phone Facts


Ease of use                               ****

Features                                   *****

Transmission quality   ****

Reception quality               ****

Value                                        ***


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.





Ó R. Maybury 1995 1610




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