Alcatel OT-808 in-depth review -

 

Look and feel

The Alcatel OT-808 is a clamshell that is designed to look like a compact mirror, and houses a QWERTY keyboard within.

Ease of use

The keyboard is good to type on and the vibrant screen aids the internet experience. Opera Mini also improves browsing capabilities, but EDGE data speeds are quite sluggish.

Features

Due to its low-end price point the feature set is quite limited, with a token two-megapixel camera and tinny music player.

Performance

The Alcatel OT-808 is a nice little phone that performs well – albeit a little slowly. The keyboard is nice to type on and it has good links to popular social networking sites.

Battery life

Battery life is reasonable, though running too many programs at one time runs it down quite quickly.

 Alcatel OT-808  Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:49 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The QWERTY keyboard will appeal to heavy texters and the social networking crowd.

Cons:

The two-megapixel camera is poor while the music player doesn?t fare much better.

Alcatel marketed the OT-808 as being exclusive to women who love to gossip, presumably on account of the phone being pink and big on social networking. Well to test this theory, the powers that be chose me, a boy, to conduct the review.

Look and feel

The Alcatel OT-808 is a clamshell, a form factor that many feel has seen its day. However, kudos to Alcatel, this is not your bog standard flip design. Akin to a compact mirror you’d find in a makeup bag (or so says one of our female colleagues); the OT-808 is square-shaped. It’s an unusual design that poses both pros and cons. The pros being that due to its wide waistline, Alcatel has managed to house a compact, yet full QWERTY keyboard, apparent once you flip the phone open, as well as a decent sized internal display. The cons, – also due to its wide waistline – are that it feels a little awkward in your hand when making and receiving calls.

The keys are nicely spaced, ensuring a speedy typing process. Due to its compactness, there are no designated numeric keys; instead, pressing the shift key turns the left-hand side of the keyboard into keys 0-9, but this is only a minor irritation. We also like the fact that a press of the ‘ctrl’ key and specific letters will open up certain features (e.g. ‘ctrl’ + ‘m’ will fire up the music player).

With the shell closed, you’ll be alerted to any missed calls or text messages via a thin OLED external display. Open the phone up however, and you’re met by a colourful 2.4-inch TFT screen. The vibrancy and the size of the screen improved the Alcatel OT-808’s internet experience, in terms of clarity and the amount of content screened at one time. While you’ll be surfing the internet waves at a sluggish EDGE pace, Alcatel deserve props for pre-embedding the phone with the excellent Opera Mini. This mobile optimised browser will automatically compress web pages, so the Alcatel OT-808 will not only display more content, it will also fire up webpages far quicker than most other mobile browsers.

Social networking

As touched upon, the Alcatel OT-808 is big on social networking with access to Facebook, Twitter and Palringo all included on the phone’s menu. Now before you get too excited, don’t expect live Facebook updates and tweets. They merely act as shortcuts to the sites. However, you can leave them running in the background so that you’ll simply need to press on the icon for you to be bang slap in the middle of social networking bliss. Yet a word of caution, though we didn’t notice any detrimental effect in terms of slowing down the phone, we did find that the more applications we opened, the faster the battery drained, and with no on-board Wi-Fi, beware of those costly data charges. Palringo, a useful tool that integrates the most popular instant messaging services into one platform, can also remain running in the background.

Sadly both the camera and music player are mere bit-part players, which seems to be the norm with Alcatel phones. While we appreciate that for a low-end price point certain flaws need to be forgiven, we still feel 80MB of internal storage (to be fair this can be increased with an 8GB memory card), the lack of a 3.5mm headset port (Alcatel’s boxed in headphones can be described as tinny at best) and no quick route to the two-megapixel camera is quite mean.

Conclusion

OK, so experiment over and we can’t help but feel Alcatel has pigeon holed the OT-808 unnecessarily. As a male of the species we found the phone to be another welcome addition to the low end of the mobile market – if pink’s not your colour there is also a dark version available. Its unusual design, QWERTY keyboard and vibrant internal display just about outweigh the poor camera, irksome music player and miserly memory.

Danny Brogan