Alcatel OT-S520 Review - Alcatel OT-S520 Review


When it comes to carrying this phone around it is not going to challenge many pockets. It measures 103.5mm tall, 44.9mm wide and 10.9mm thick, and it weighs just 69g.

Alcatel suggests that the phone will provide up to 10 hours of talk-time and 400 hours on standby. I had it on my desk and in my pocket for the better part of a week making some calls during that time and never charged it once. With no music playback built in, no Bluetooth, and just a WAP browser to drain the battery, this phone has no reason not to have a battery life of more than two days between charges. Unless, that is, you decide to really thrash the software that is provided.

The only way you could possibly do that would be to get hooked on the two included games. Chicken is a sort of vertical levels and ladders game, and UFO is a vertical shooter that runs so slowly even I managed to stay alive for a few minutes on the first play. I’m not sure Beethoven’s ”Ode to Joy” is the background music I’d have chosen for a game like this, but there you are.

You could spend some time with the VGA camera, but all you can do with images is either view them on the screen or send them as MMS messages. When you shoot a photo, you are asked if you want to MMS it immediately. With no Bluetooth and no memory card slot there’s no other way to get photos off the phone, though. I’ve not produced test shots for this handset for that very reason – photos taken with it aren’t likely ever to make it to your PC.

There is an organiser on board for managing scheduled appointments. You can add notes to them and alarms too, and even set a repeat, but there is no PC synchronising. Five alarms let you control your sleeping and other habits. You can tell the phone which day(s) to run the alarms on and even preset the snooze time in increments of 10 minutes. A calculator, unit/currency converter and voice recorder help round things out a little.


There isn’t a huge amount going on here, but for £20 you shouldn’t expect a lot so that’s OK. The slow key response time and teeny number pad are much less acceptable and diminish the score of this handset considerably.

Trusted Score

Score in detail

  • Design 6
  • Usability 6
  • Value 7
  • Features 5

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