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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review Alcatel 525

Some companies prolong a life cycle of their models making them as simple as possible and respectively very cheap. Other companies choose another way and integrate new features in old models, for example, add a new color screen, which considerably changes a model. Alcatel chose the second way and introduced Alcatel 525. Naturally, don’t think that this phone has a color screen. It differs from Alcatel 511/512 in other features.

Alcatel 525 is a phone of the middle level; it is the next model after Alcatel 512. Design of the phone and its construction are similar to the old handset. The only difference is available front interchangeable covers. This technology was firstly used in Alcatel 311/310 and now we can see it in a new phone. Alcatel refused to use aluminum to make interchangeable covers, what allows to reduce prime cost of the phone and as a result add three covers to a standard delivery kit. One of them is very bright as a rule, two remained ones have pastel shades. These two covers were almost of the same color in our sample, we think that it’s a little shortcoming of this phone.

Two connectors (charger connector and portable hands-free connector) are placed on the left-hand side of the phone. The construction of the handset really resembles Alcatel 512. The dimensions of the model could prove our assumption. Alcatel 525 measures 98х42х21mm and weighs 75 grams.

Let’s open a rear cover of the phone which covers a battery. We can find out that the phone is equipped with lithium-ion battery of 600 mAh capacity. There were no surprises; the phone autonomy was similar to Alcatel 511/512. On the other hand, GPRS could’ve been a reason of increased energy consumption but it wasn’t. The phone could operate about 3 days in case of 15-20 minutes of talking and minimal using of other applications.

Menu

Different indicators are displayed on the screen of the phone in the standby mode: time, date, network operator, signal’s strength level, battery status indicator (3 points) and graphical screen saver if it is activated. To access a menu press a navigation key, if you reject it up you will call such menu as “Messages” and if you reject it down, you will enter a phonebook. Alcatel 525 has the same blue backlighting of the screen as Alcatel 512. There is no shortcut number navigation in this model, all movings through the menu are manual.

Phonebook. Up to 250 contacts can be stored in the phonebook. Up to 3 phone numbers (office, mobile and home) can be added to each name. To make a call from the phonebook, it’s necessary to press a send key and select a suitable phone number type. Besides, up to 50 phone numbers can be voice dialed. All notes can be grouped in three categories: business, personal and others. It’s also possible not to include a phone number in a category. However, remmeber that you can assign a special ringing tone only to first three phone number groups not to a single note.

Messages. Picture set as well as standard emoticons were renewed here. By the way, these images can be used as screen savers in this model. The phone has Russian T9 and Russian text input, there are two rows of symbols on the keypad. Also there are several templates for SMS messages. The phone supports EMS standard and a possibility to send a group SMS messages.

WAP. The main difference of this software from the previous one, which was used in 512 - GPRS 3+1. You can use GPRS to view wap-resources as there is no data adapter suitable for this phone. By the way, both phones (512 and 525) have wap-browser in version 1.2.1 (not 1.1). But it doesn’t play any role for most of users.

Ringers. The phone has 32 ringing tones, also there is a possibility to compose up to 2 own melodies. You can also record them from a microphone. Though melodies are polyphonic, they don’t sound not very good. But the volume is loud, it is sufficient to hear a ring in a noisy place. There is a possibility to choose several types of incoming alert: ring, vibrating alert, mixed mode (firstly vibrating alert, then a melody).

Organiser. Up to 2 minutes (totally 20 records) of voice memo records can be stored in the phone memory. You can play, remove and rename single records.

There is also an alarm clock in the phone, which rings when the phone is turned off, as well as other reminders. This alarm clock is very simple, it can alert only in special time. Any ringing tone could be used for alarm clock, birthday reminder (up to 5 dates) or appointment (up to 5 totally). Appointment could be once or recurrent (daily or in special days of the week) in organizer.

The phone has a calculator, currency converter and 3 games. All games are full of graphic, they resemble first PC games. For example, Killer Exp is a classic arcade, you fly in a spaceship and kill all living being. Eyes&Star is a remake of ouths and crosses. In Run Run you should run along labyrinth and collect different things.

Impressions

Here we can repeat all conclusions, which concerned Alcatel 511, because both phones have the same platform. Connection quality is standard; the phone doesn’t have any advantages, about which all owners of the phones like to say. This character of the phone is typical to all phones of middle class.

Autonomy of the phone is only 3 days. Today cheaper models sometimes offer 4-5-day operating time. Available handsfree mode is a virtue of Alcatel 525. Vibrating alert is average. The phone has rather hard joystick. Sometimes it is a little bit irritating because you have to repeat your actions several times before access a right menu item.

Shortcomings of 525 are the same as 511 has. It’s not recommended to drop the phone; otherwise, in most cases you’ll require to repair it and sometimes there are problems with Alcatel service centers.

Alcatel 511, 512 and 525 are similar in design. The new model costs 140-150 USD, it is only 5-10 USD more than the price of Alcatel 512. It makes this purchase reasonable. If you hesitate between 511, 512 and 525, it’s better to choose two latter models. But if you try to choose a phone of the middle class, this phone is not the best choice. Look, a market is flooded with the phones of this class; in our opinion, Alcatel 525 is just an old-fashioned handset.

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