Head to Head

MP3 alternatives

ALCATEL OT-E801 v SAMSUNG X830

ALCATEL OT-E801

LOOK AND FEEL     
Conventional candybar with soft-touch rubberised coating on back and on keytops, metal (steel?) edging.
8/10

EXTERNALS
Very clean lines. Flat keyboard flush with display glass, mini USB port on   bottom, memory card slot (rubber cover) and three music control buttons (forward, play/pause, back) on left edge. Back and right edge are clear.
8/10

KEYBORD
Comfortable to use, good non-slip coating. Keys are large enough but alphanumerics aren’t sufficiently distinguished from navigation and control   keys. Several keys have long-press functions as well.
6/10

DISPLAY
Small, quite crude (low res) but colours are strong. Very simple line-by-line menus.
6/10

MEMORY
microSD memory card included – 128MB minimum but size varies between suppliers/networks.
6/10

PLAYING MUSIC
Shuffle, repeat, nine equaliser presets (though they are not very effective). Not much volume. No speaker, no Bluetooth, and no adapter for user’s own headphones. Alcatel’s in-ear ‘phones are surprisingly good, though.
6/10

MANAGING MUSIC
Easy enough to copy from PC via standard mini USB cable, supplied). No playlists; all music is listed in one default directory. No clues offered for remaining space.
6/10

PHONE
No problems with signal reception but call quality.could be better – recipients complain of fuzziness. Issues with the mike?
7/10

IN USE
Feels very comfortable in the hand – nice size, nice finish. Music controls   work well enough, but there’s no way of temporarily locking the full keyboard to cut out accidental keypresses while music is playing.
8/10

EXTRAS
Conference calling. One-key access to useful functions like voicemail and keypad lock (long press on existing keys).
3/10

WE LIKE   
• Hand appeal
• Simplicity
• Price

WE DON’T LIKE   
• Old-fashioned menu
• Poor display
• Music playing functions: no speaker, no Bluetooth, no playlists

OVERALL
Not a bad music player, but obviously built down to a price.
There are better low-end PAYG options out there for the iPod generation

SPECIFICATION
Size
Length 96.5mm
Width 45mm
Depth 17.5mm
Weight
76g
Main display
CSTN, 65K colours, 128×128 pixels
Camera
No
Connectivity
Triband GSM, USB
Memory
microSD memory card slot (128MB supplied, 512MB on Orange)
Battery
Standby 250 hours
Talk time 10 hours

 

SAMSUNG X830

LOOK AND FEEL
Probably unique among mobiles – a long, rectangular body with a square section, lots of metal (titanium?) with a glass cover over the display. Screen swivels open one-handed to reveal keyboard.
9/10

EXTERNALS
iPod-type thumbwheel with standard four-way navigation selector and centre button on front. One side has volume up/down button and USB/power port; the other has key lock to prevent exposed keys being used inadvertently when music is playing with the keyboard shut. Camera lens on rear.
9/10

KEYBOARD
Narrow body means keys are arranged in two columns. Keytops are well defined, though, and texting is easy enough. Soft keys seem a long way from the display.
7/10

DISPLAY
Small, obviously, but surprisingly very crisp and clear with good, rich colours.
8/10

MEMORY
No memory card, but 1GB internal memory allows for lots of music and/or video (around 250 tracks). Good memory status display.
8/10

PLAYING MUSIC
Good equaliser presets,repeat/shuffle, 3D sound options: music plays and options selected with keyboard closed. Bluetooth stereo output.
9/10

MANAGING MUSIC
Easy – playlists, artist/track/genre indication, good utility for transferring files. Can sync with Windows Media Player on PC.
8/10

PHONE
No problems with signal reception or call quality.
8/10

IN USE
Great fun – music player mode is good, keying is surprisingly easy.
9/10

EXTRAS
1.3mp camera with several onboard functions, fast USB 2.0, SOS message facility, support for smart SIMs (SIM AT functions), WAP browser, video record/playback, voice memo.
8/10


WE LIKE
• Overall stylishness, overall cuteness
• Thumbwheel
• Music playing options

WE DON’T LIKE
• No equaliser
• Swivel only opens to left
• Average camera (lots of tweaks available though)

OVERALL
Unexceptional midrange spec, but this could be the first convincing musicphone alternative to the MP3 player.

SPECIFICATION
Size

Length 84mm
Width 30mm
Depth 20mm
Weight
72g
Main displa
TFT, 256K colours, 128×220 pixels, 35x22mm
Camera
1.3MP, 1280×1024 pixels, video (CIF)
Connectivity
Triband GSM, EDGE, Bluetooth 1.2, USB 2.0, IR
Memory
1GB internal memory
Battery
Standby 120 hours
Talk time 3 hours

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