Alcatel Mandarina Duck in-depth review -

Look and feel

It’s available in three colours – lilac, cherry red and the brightest of lime green shades. Each has a glossy inside surface while the casing has a half glossy, half rubbery-matt finish and is a darker shade. The cute duck emblem is on the top half of the back of the phone, and splendid it looks, too.

Features

There’s a camera in the lid of the phone, but it’s only VGA. There is also a music player. There are two Java games on board, HeliMinator, where you shoot down helicopters and Rocket Adventure, which is a platform game as baffling as it is thankfully brief.

Ease of use

The smooth, flat keys almost blend into one another and the direction and OK keys at its centre are particularly hard to separate so working your way through the menu isn’t always easy. Alcatel’s operating system has never been the most intuitive, and things don’t get any easier as you drill down into the animated icons, let alone the slim and uninformative instruction manual.

Performance

Music playback seems too likely to go off in your pocket, menus are slow and complex, and performance isn’t remarkable in any direction.

Battery life

The battery life is as unremarkable as the rest of the phone.

 

 Alcatel Mandarina Duck Review -
2

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:43 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

4

out of 5

Look and feel

4

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The stylish looks will please some, as will the great handbag-clip

Cons:

The handset has underwhelming specifications, a poor camera and dodgy outside keys

Fashion is a peculiar thing. One man’s pinnacle of good taste is another’s baffling out-there statement. So the phone produced by the collaboration of French phone maker Alcatel and fashion company Mandarina Duck won’t be to everyone’s taste.It’s available in three colours – lilac, cherry red and the brightest of lime green shades, displaying the cute duck emblem on the back of the phone. Each has a glossy inside surface while the casing has a half glossy, half rubbery-matt finish, and is a darker shade. There are two discreet side flaps covering the USB/power socket on one side and the memory card slot on the other.

 

This phone is clearly aimed at women, not because fashion isn’t for men, but because it comes with a little rubber ball (colour-coded to the phone, naturally) on a string to attach to the handset. Then there’s a matching handbag clip which means you can connect the ball to the clip safe in the knowledge that the phone will always be easily to hand at the top of the bag.

 

This is a good idea and works well, as it means no more frantic searching for your phone. There’s a one-line blue screen down the centre of the lid, which tells you the time, battery, and signal strength when you press one of the buttons.


Troublesome buttons


Things only begin to unravel when you start to use the handset. Firstly, the glossy inside has smooth, flat keys, which almost blend into one another, and the direction and OK keys in the centre are particularly hard to separate, so working your way through the menu isn’t always easy.

 

The animated menu icons are charming enough, many including versions of the little duck. And there are themes to choose from according to whether you want your screen colour to complement or clash with your handset’s hue.
 

These themes include noises for closing and opening the handset with the option to turn them off. And the convention of using a downward press on the direction button to find your contacts is adhered to, even if it is contrarily called Directory.

 

Once you’ve put some music on to your phone, those outside buttons work to change tracks or volume, and to play or pause. However, there’s no easy way of turning these buttons off, and we fear an inadvertent nudge in your pocket or at the top of that handbag could set off playback when you least want it (at church, in the cinema and so on).


Features


There’s a camera in the lid of the phone, but it’s only VGA, so don’t expect great things. Of course, it was hardly likely that a budget-priced fashion phone would have a high pixel count, but this is still a little disappointing.

 

Alcatel’s operating system has never been the most intuitive, and things don’t get any easier as you drill down into the animated icons, let alone the slim and uninformative instruction manual.

 

There are two Java games on board, HeliMinator, where you shoot down helicopters, and Rocket Adventure, which is a platform game as baffling  as it is brief.

 

Mandarina Duck’s phones are something of a disappointment. They look striking, so if you like the style you’re away, and they feel good too. But nearly everything else is less successful. Music playback will more than likely start to play in your pocket, menus are slow and complex, and performance isn’t remarkable in any direction.

 

It seems the best thing about the phone is its neat way of ensuring it never falls to the bottom of a handbag which may, on balance, not be enough to persuade you to buy it.