Alcatel came up with a load of phones in the Spring, and we’re still working our way through them. Most are very definitely entry level PAYG candidates with old technology and a built-down-to-a-price feel, so it’s a pleasure to commend the C635. Ok, it’s not pushing any boundaries; and with PAYG prices at £40 it’s not going to be loaded with too may goodies. But it is surprisingly solid, especially for the younger woman at whom it is so obviously targeted…

It’s purple, for a start (surf blue and flowers white are also available) and has a rather nice soft-touch body with a swirlycircles pattern that is apparently “inspired by nature’s floral prints”. It’s a compact clamshell with a good hinge. Inside there ‘s a good keypad with big, responsive, easy-tohit keys. Function keys aren’t distinguished separately — they all look of a part with the overall design – but the keys are large enough to stand out. There’s a D-pad for navigation, a separate camera key, and nifty red backlighting.

After that it’s downhill all the way. The screen is small, low-res (only 128?160 pixels), and capable of 65k colours – which look a bit murky, especially in strong light.

At least the menu system is sensible and easy to use, but then it doesn’t have to accommodate too many options. There’s no music, for instance; nor do you get Bluetooth, or indeed any other way of moving photos (or anything else) to and from a PC. Not that you’d want to share your photos – the VGA camera is just about ok for snaps, but there are very few settings let alone goodies like a flash.

• Looks and feels nice. Ok for the basics – texting and voice calls – at a bargain-basement price.


88 x 45 x 21mm
CSTN, 65K colours, 128 x 160 pixels
0.3MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video (QVGA), flash; secondary QVGA videocall camera
Dual band GSM
Standby up to 320h, talk time up to 6.5h


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