Product Type: Alcatel mobile phones
Newest Review: ... slightly tacky, but I liked it. However I did go for the silver edged case, which looked good. The green edged case looked absolutely ho... more
So it's not an iphone!
Member Name: KennyG5000
Advantages: Nice big screen with tasteful graphics, good looking phone
Disadvantages: Texting a real pain with touch screen, Java apps not compatible
Okay, so my phone packed in (they always do!) and I was in the market for a cheap and cheerful handset that did what it said on the tin without costing a fortune. I looked in a few phone shops at the cheapest range (I'm talking 10 to 20 quid here!), the tenner models looked 'really' basic so I upped my game to £20 and came across this not too bad looking phoneset. The Alcatel OT-708 doesn't look bad really, the screen on it is nice and large and can sport nice big images behind the graphic menus and all in all can look pretty exceptable for the price. So far so good. It is also touch screen to try and emulate the more up market smart phones (notably the iphone range) and I'd had a bit of bother with keys dying on me on my last phone, so thought that a touch screen would alleviate this problem. Of course with a twenty pound phone I was not expecting the earth, the fact that this could handily connect to the PC via USB to download apps (I'll come to that in a minute) and music etc was welcome, and the software setup was a breeze to connect.
So all in all, you could get a bit of music on here, listen to radio, assign music for your ringtone (so no cringing when the thing goes off on a crowded bus...depending on what music you put on of course!), and it could handle Java games which was cool as there are a million free ones floating around cyberspace. I thought I might quite fancy a bit of old school Tetris, snake or a nice chess game on my phone to alleviate the boredom of long public transport journeys, but here lay the first minor snag of the phone: without keys these apps are pretty much redundant. There is an awkward way to emulate left and right by sliding your finger across the little blue LED arrow at the bottom of the phone, but it is far from perfect for games. I was a bit put out by this, especially when I downloaded a good looking Championship Manager Java game and you couldn't even pick the team! So this may not bother you at all, but just pointing it out if you expect much from this feature.
The phone itself does calls and texts fine (although tapping in the letters on text with the little pen that comes with the phone is a bit cumbersome at times), and the battery life is actually really impressive; one overnight charge goes about five or six days easily, so the phone won't keep dying on you when you need it. However, if you are on an automated call and it asks you to tap in some numbers, this can be awkward as there's a few screens to navigate through before you see the virtual keypad on the screen. Also, because answering calls is a case of pushing a section of the touch screen, it's easy to knock a call off in your pocket or inadvertently when picking up the phone to answer. I guess due to the cheap build of the phone the on/off button to the side seems unnecessarily stiff to press and getting the back cover off to change sim even had the guys at the phone shop where I bought it struggling so not that user friendly. Also, photo wise don't even go there, it features a paltry 1.3 mega pixel camera, but more annoyingly you have to hold it dead still for about three seconds when taking a picture to avoid a blurry mess.
Unfortunately my OT-708 has now gone to mobile heaven, there became an increasing problem with the battery not charging and complaining of 'low battery temperature' whenever I plugged the thing in. Now I'm not going to bash Alcatel about this necessarily as I will concede that my playful toddler did get hold of the phone a fair number of times and took great pleasure in hurling it across the room, I can't help but think this contributed to its early demise (a mere 6 months of use I'm afraid!). So this is not a tank of a phone that can resist many shocks to the system.
Would I recommend an Alcatel OT-708? Well, it's not a bad phone; lookwise it actually holds up well, for calls, music (provided you drop a mini SD in there) and general use it's okay, but I would look for something with a keypad myself next time as texting was a pain. Against the other phones at the Alcatel's price it probably has a lot more features, just be aware of a few niggling shortcomings.
Summary: It's a budget phone, probably fine for a phone of this price
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