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Phones

Alcatel OT-S120, OT-S210 and OT-211: Underdog fights back

If you don't have much cash in the old wallet and you're hankering after some basic mobile action, these new phones from Alcatel will cheer you up

It's always easy to ignore the budget underdog, especially if they're unattractive or lack finesse. In the grand scheme of things, Alcatel is definitely a mobile phone outsider, but its latest clutch of phones are fairly attractive, even -- gasp! -- desirable. We're not talking super-phones, no -- these cost under £20. Let's hit the bargain basement and see what's going down.

The OT-S120, OT-S210 and OT-211 are Alcatel's latest budget line-up and rather than point and laugh at a trio that put together would cost a fraction of our feature-packed warrior phones, we're actually fairly impressed. The OT-S120 (pictured) might only have a black and white screen, but it's tiny and usable -- it makes calls, it sends text messages, and little else.

The OT-S210 and OT-211 come in the same casing as the OT-S120 but boast colour screens and FM radios. Stop laughing at the back -- okay, it's not exactly the Nokia N95 8GB, but before you scoff at these, bear in mind they cost under £20, they do the basics perfectly well and they'll easily fit in your pocket.

The keypad is extremely usable, with a satisfying click to the buttons, and the interface is reminiscent of early Nokias, if not a little simpler. Our only initial concern is that voice quality doesn't sound fantastic, but we'll test it out further and let you know more in the full review. A retailer has yet to be announced, but they'll most likely be sold (on pay as you go, of course) at Woolworths and Argos. -Andrew Lim

Update: Read our full Alcatel OT-S120 review here.