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Phones

Alcatel VM665 comes from the past to save us from smart phones

The Alcatel VM665 is both simple and cheap, but brings a few handy features including a 2-megapixel camera and the ability to slam it shut on those who displease you.

The Alcatel VM665 is from a simpler time, when neighbours chatted over the fence, kids pushed bread-laden bicycles up hills, and phones were as simple as dirt.

To return to this bucolic past, you have to invest a mere £29.99 with Virgin Mobile on pay as you go, plus top up with £10. For that paltry sum, you get a flip phone you won't have to cry about if it ends up lost in a taxi or nicked by your little brother.

Despite the price, the VM665 isn't totally without features. It has a 2-megapixel camera, MP3 player and FM radio, although it only has room for an 8GB memory card for your tunes.

The classic flip-phone design benefits from being the only type of mobile that you can satisfyingly hang up on someone, while shouting, "I said good day, sir!"

To check if you have a grovelling text message from your victim, you don't even have to open the phone, thanks to the VM665's external screen. It shows caller ID, missed calls and texts, and what music track is playing.

Inside, a 1.77-inch screen won't blow your mind with its size, but it helps keep the VM665 small, at 96 by 48 by 17mm. 

You can even get your email on the phone, as long as you use Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo. Shortcuts to Facebook and Twitter deliver you to their mobile sites in the VM665's Web browser. There's no 3G though, so other browsing will be a painfully slow affair.

Virgin Mobile hopes to tempt you with a deal that throws in 300 free texts with your £10 top up. If you can shell out £15 per month, you'll get unlimited texts and 1GB of Web surfing juice -- not that you'll want to surf the Web much on the VM665's tiny screen.