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I've already noted that this is a small, thin and light phone. The bodywork is not unattractive. There are three colour options offering a choice of green or purple trim or, as my review sample, an all black shell.
There are a few concave and shiny circles on the back casing that add a splash of designery looks to things. White highlights are used on the two softmenu keys, the Call and End keys, navigation button and numberpad.
There is a red backlight behind the number keys and this kicks in when you press anything. It is very uneven, and is at its strongest behind the 7, 8 and 9 row and the navigation button. This unevenness is a shame as it spoils what is otherwise quite a neat look.
The keys themselves are built as a single rubber pad and differentiated by patterning in the rubber as well as by their white markings. They are easy enough to find and hit accurately partly thanks to these markings and partly because the keys are all very large. I've no complaints here.
However the screen is a bit of a let down. Its tiny size is the reason the number keys can be as large as they are, and at 128 x 128 pixels and just 1.5 inches across opposite corners it really is small. It is a CSTN screen and offers 65 thousand colours. Quite clearly it doesn't have the vibrancy of screens found in more expensive handsets.
But let's look at SMS messages to see how well it works in everyday use. It displays five lines of message text as well as the date and time received. If the sender is in the address book it'll put their name above the message; if not it puts the number of the sending phone. In short, it does what you want from an SMS capable handset. And the phone can extract the phone number from an incoming message so you can add it to the address book.
Voice calls were no problem to make and receive, and perhaps best of all, with no fancy features to cater for, the battery life was quite good too. My experience during testing suggests that with minimal calls and texting you might even get a week's worth from this handset between charges. Alcatel says the battery should give you 400 hours on standby and 5 hours of talk.
There is some additional software over and above the standard calling and texting facilities, but not a lot. A calculator, four alarms and a Tetris clone called Russia round things off.
The price is still to be confirmed but we expect the OT-S210 to be very cheap, so if you don't have much money to spend or are looking for a mobile just for voice calls and texting then this slimline and unobtrusive phone is worth considering.
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