Feeds

Ten... dirt-cheap voice phones

Mobiles for the money-less

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Product Round-up World+Dog may be falling in love with smartphones faster than a large lass on a date with George Clooney, but there is still a place for the cheap and cheerful voice-centric handset.

To start with, basic phones shorn of the extravagances of 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi, football pitch-sized hi-res screens and always-on connectivity can often run for weeks rather than hours on a single charge of their battery.

Secondly, their very affordability makes them ideal for anyone whose travels take them off the beaten track: they bring fewer worries about loss or damage. And yelling into a phone that costs more than the locals earn in six months is never a clever thing to do on either a moral or practical level.

Before we start, I'll come clean and admit that the prices listed don't include the often mandatory £10 of airtime, but even if you never use it, a spare Sim with a few quid on it is always handy to have.

So what can you get for my self-imposed limit of 30 quid? Quite a lot, and in a plethora of styles. And if three Charles Darwins is too much, there are a couple of handsets that can be picked up for less than an Elizabeth Fry.




Alcatel OT-222

RH Numbers

Flip phones seem to be something of a dying breed, but if it's a form-factor that appeals to you, the OT-222 is a solid super-budget choice. An extremely simple handset all you get beyond the telephonic essentials is an FM radio. It's a pretty robust device despite a slight wobble in the main hinge which frankly was nothing more than I expected at this price point. It didn't worsen during my test despite some deliberate abuse. The screen is more pleasant to look at than the spec suggests, and the UI, while not fancy, is perfectly logical and efficient. The keypad appears a bit odd in the photos but it's actually rather nice to use and has a funky blue back-light that matches the LED event indicator on the lid. Call quality was impressive too, with plenty of volume on tap. The battery is small but that helps keep the weight and size down and with such a small screen you can still go a week between charges.

Alcatel OT-222

Network GSM/GPRS 900/1800
Screen 1.5in, 128 x 128
Battery 650mAh, 7 hours talk,
400 hours standby

Reg Rating 70%
Price £7
More Info Orange





Alcatel OT-800

RH Numbers

The Alcatel 800 is the perfect phone for compulsive messengers on a very tight budget. A well made handset, it looks like a Blackberry Bold on cursory inspection though the keyboard doesn't quite match that of the Rim product. For the price you get an RDS FM tuner, a 2Mp camera and A2DP Bluetooth. The handset comes with a 2GB Micro SD card but 4GB is the largest the 800 will support. There's no earphone socket of any sort other than the mini USB port, which is an issue if you want to trade up from the bundled headset. The IMAP4/POP3 e-mail client supports SSL and TLS security so the vast majority of e-mail accounts can be accommodated, and the built-in IM client supports most common protocols. The keyboard has lots of handy shortcuts and a shake of the handset will skip through your music library. T-Mobile will sell you a branded version called the Vairy Text for £25.

Alcatel-800

Alcatel-800

Network GSM/Edge 850/1800/1900
Screen 2.2in, 240 x 320
Battery 850mAh, 9 hours talk,
450 hours standby

Reg Rating 75%
Price £25
More Info Alcatel

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: 

LG GS101


More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.