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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review GSM phone Alcatel OT 153

Standard kit:

  • Handset
  • Charger
  • Manual
  • Headset

Alcatel has been delivering its low-end products for long and thus increases its market share. These devices should be renewed from time to time and that's why Alcatel 320 turned into Alcatel OT 153. The design has been changed and is more aided on the target group. Speaking about software, input in Russian appeared and a predictive one also. In all the rest that is the same model, plain and acceptable.

The dimensions are 107x46x20 and the weight is 89 grams. The device may be carried as you like. Its graphical display has a green backlighting and may show up to 3 text and one service line (the resolution of 112x64 pixels). The font-size is quite large and you won't need to peer at the screen. On the one hand it is comfortable, but on the other hand when reading an SMS you have to either rely on an automatic scroll or scroll it manually. The only one preset screen saver may be set for the standby mode.

The keypad is average in comfort, the keys are disposed far from each other and no any great problems appear during work. The backlighting is green.

An interface connector is placed on the bottom of the phone, a portable handsfree included into the package is connected to the same slot. There is also a strip-hole on the top of the handset, it's not included into the standard kit. The phone is equipped with a 700 mAh Li-Ion battery. According to the manufacturer the device is capable of working for up to 7 hours in the talk mode and up to 120 hours in the standby one. In Moscow the phone worked for 3 days in case of 20 minutes of talks and minimum using of other functions (about 15 minutes and an alarm clock).

Menu

Press a vertical scroll key and you will see animated icons of the main menu. Each menu is consists of the list of functions, which you can choose. Shortcut number navigation is available; it makes the menu navigation much easier even taking into account that the menu of the phone is not long. You can assign each alphanumerical key to a phone number (to dial it quickly) or a command. The choice is up to you. One of the shortcomings is that number of menu items sometimes exceeds 9, so, it is not possible to use this fast navigation. For example, one can select a type of the ringing tone of the phone, more than 10 of them are available. Hence, one can quickly set one of 10, to set others you should list all previous items. Probably manufacturers intended to implement full shortcut number navigation, because there are numbers near all ringing tones. You can’t call any template of SMS with a help of this navigation; you can do it only manually.

Phonebook. Phone numbers from both memories (phone and SIM-card) are displayed in the total list. When you add a new contact, you can select where your phone numbers will be saved: either in SIM-card memory or in the phone memory, but they can’t display separately. It is a shortcoming for many users, as very often they double their phone numbers in SIM-card in case of dire need. Up to 100 phone numbers can be stored in the phone memory. Only one phone number can be added to one name. You indicate only a name and a phone number while adding a new entry. In edit mode it is also possible to assign one of the 5 caller groups. It is not very convenient, as you should do an extra operation and waste your time. A selected ringing tone and a picture (one can’t change it, only switch it off) are added to each caller group. There is a search by name and a possibility to copy all phone numbers in the phone memory and back. It is necessary to remember that modern SIM-cards enable to record up to 200 phone numbers, so, we recommend using this type of memory, as phone memory doesn’t have any preferences here except the only one. It allows to record up to 20 characters in a field, while the filed length in SIM-card is 14 characters. Think, is it so important for you.

Messages. SIM-card memory is used to store SMS messages. There are up to 5 groups of templates (10 messages in each). They differ, depending on the menu language. One can’t record new templates. Russian text input is not available, but the phone supports Russian menu and has a possibility to read Russian SMS messages. The handset doesn’t support EMS. The user can create messages up to 160 characters long, there is no a T9 dictionary.

Profiles. . All profiles are changeable. For example, you can set a special ringing tone in each profile. Totally, up to 15 8-tones polyphonic ringing tones are available in the phone.

Settings. One can adjust a display contrast, volume of the loudspeaker, auto keypad guide, welcome text message. So, all settings are very ascetic. There are also two alarm clocks here. It is necessary to input a text to set each of them. It is not understandable why we should do it, as alarm clock is not an organizer.

Calls. One can view duration of the last call and all calls. A total list of calls is also hidden here. It includes 20 records with date and time indication for each one. Calls, which have the same phone number, are not summarized, they are displayed as different records. For example, if you dial one number during ten minutes, most likely you’ll see only one number in this list. It is also a shortcoming of this phone.

Extra. A calculator is very scarce. A calendar has both monthly and daily view. To add a record, press a phonebook key. Totally up to 4 type of records are available: reminder, birthday, call and meeting. You can’t view the whole list of reminders, only by days. A usual signal tone or a sent SMS-message can be used as a reminder.

There is a possibility to view world time in different cities of the world.

There are three games in the phone: Miner, Tetris, and Snatch. First two games are old PC games, which are well-known. In the third game your mission is catch a mouse, pressing a respective alphanumerical key. As for me, this game is not captivate.

Impressions

The phone has an average loudness of the ringing tone. It is pleasant to listen to the preinstalled melodies that sound softly, but you can miss the call when you go outside. A vibracall is also average, you can feel it if you wear the phone near in a belt. Speakerphone function is well-realized. Just press a phonebook key during a talk to activate it. In fact the function is implemented well for such a small device. The retail price of 70-75 USD is comparable with rival phones by other manufacturers.

Melody samples (450 KB, mp3)

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