/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Alcatel OT-S120 review: Alcatel OT-S120

Sometimes all you want -- and frankly, need -- is a phone that does the basics and does them well. Finding a simple phone can be surprisingly difficult, but we think Alcatel might be on to something with its OT-S120.

440x330_1.jpg
6.5

Alcatel OT-S120

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Simple but stylish design; straightforward interface.

The Bad

Lack of onboard memory.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for an inexpensive handset that covers the basics, the Alcatel OT-S120 is a good choice. While it's Stone Age compared to some of the smart phones we get in, we were impressed with its small size, low price, snazzy design and straightforward interface

According to Alcatel, it will be out soon and cost under £20. You'll most likely be able to buy it from Argos and Woolworths, among other high street shops.

Design
Pay as you go phones usually look as though they've been made out of leftover parts and put together in factories run by gremlins, but not the cute kind. The Alcatel OT-S120 breaks this mould: it's one of the most attractive pay as you go phones we've seen so far.

It may be small, but it feels solid and its black casing keeps things simple. There are several dimples on the back that add some extra style. Its rubberised keypad is easy to press and well laid-out. We particularly like that the navigation keys are nice and large, so we aren't pressing multiple buttons with our man-thumbs.

Features
Sure, it's basic, but like your local greasy spoon, it does the basics well. If it's simple you want, it's simple you'll get. There's a black and white screen that's easy to read and is clearly visible in bright sunlight.

Composing a text message is made easy using predictive text. There's no MMS facility, but then again, it does only have a black and white screen. Other features include an alarm clock, a calculator and two simple games, one of which is similar to Tetris.

The only thing we found annoying about the OT-S120 is the lack of onboard memory. You won't be able to keep many text messages or contacts, as you'll have to store them all on your SIM card.

Performance
Since there aren't any power-hungry features on the OT-S120, the battery will last longer. We didn't need to recharge it after three days of moderate use, which is pretty impressive and useful if you're at a festival, for example.

Conclusion
While it's one of the most basic handsets we've reviewed, the OT-S120 is actually rather impressive. A minimalist approach has ensured that it not only looks good but is also straightforward to use.

Compared to other entry-level phones such as the Motorola F3, we think this wins hands down. Unlike the Motorola, the Alcatel displays everything normally without cutting words in half or requiring codes to access certain features.

If you'd prefer a colour screen, the Alcatel OT-S210 (in black) and OT-S211 (in white) offer all the same features, plus an FM radio.

Edited by Nick Hide