Alcatel OT-710 in-depth review -

Look and feel

Pleasantly light and with an interesting design that somewhat betrays the typical look of an entry-level phone

Ease of use

Low sensitivity screen means using Alcatel OT-710 is a chore despite having a fairly manageable user interface

Features

Even at this price level, the OT-720 appears excessively bare, lacking even support for 3G networks. It does have a decent music player though

Performance

Alcatel OT-710 will carry out most tasks at a steady pace but the delay is still painfully obvious

Battery life

Depending on the use of internet and multimedia features, the phone will work for up to 3-4 days

 Alcatel OT-710 Review -
2

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 4:01:28 PM

2

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

2

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Attractive and compact budget phone, decent battery life, sufficient amount of built-in apps.

Cons:

Low sensitivity touchscreen is a deal breaker, and lacks even the most basic connectivity features like 3G.

Alcatel is well known for its affordable and simple to use phones. The company’s venture into the touch-screen phone arena, however, has been met with mixed results.

Look and feel

On the surface at least, the Alcatel OT-710 is a very compact and interesting looking phone. It may be a bit on the thick side, but given the overall size, that’s hardly an issue. Due to its all-plastic build, the Alcatel OT-710 is also pleasantly light, and the glossy area of the screen apart, does a solid job at preventing user fingerprints. The decorated interchangeable battery covers that are boxed with the phone look particularly appealing as they engulf the back and sides of the handset.

Ease of use

A monoblock touch-screen phone relies heavily on the screen for user interaction, and as such, the usability of the handset depends on the quality of the touch-screen.

Sadly, the the OT-710’s 2.83-inch resistive touch-screen is the source of all kinds of frustration. First and foremost, it’s incredibly unresponsive, which means the user has to apply excessive pressure to the screen for it to work. It goes without saying that typing long messages or emails on the OT-710 is a tiresome process. Things start to improve when using a stylus (not supplied), only to get derailed moments later by the crawling pace of the phone.

Another major issue with the screen is that it completely fades out in direct sunlight, which even for a budget offering like the OT-710 is an oversight that is hard to accept.  

Features

The OT-710 is also lacking modern connectivity options. There’s only EDGE data speed for web browsing, while microUSB and Bluetooth are present for local data transfers.

The display resolution of 240x320 pixels is outdated but quite common in entry-level phones, and thankfully the icons and fonts are large enough to be easily read. There’s just one home screen available but the user can populate it with a number of widgets for the music player, weather, calendar appointments and RSS news feeds. A very handy feature is the ability to choose which items are displayed in the main menu so you can avoid that painful scrolling for a little longer.

If you aren’t specifically looking for a smartphone, the selection of built-in apps will be sufficient in most cases. The email app supports multiple accounts, and setting up popular services like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! can be done in a few basic steps. The music player in particular made an impression with its clean and no-nonsense interface, and there’s even a useful option to broadcast tracks over to a nearby FM radio receiver.

At this price point, you shouldn’t expect much from the built-in fixed focus camera: it has an unintuitive UI, no flash, and the two-megapixel shots suffer from exaggerated colours.

Conclusion

The basic premise of the Alcatel OT-710 is where it fails. Being attractive and affordable is only one side of the deal. The other, equally crucial part is usability, and the flawed execution of the touch-screen steals any enjoyment of handling this phone. Even with a very appealing contract, there are better affordable touch-screen phones available.

Sergejs Cuhrajs