The C825 slider is described as a star product in Alcatel’s 2007 collection, and it’s certainly a different order of design and capability to other recent launches from this company. It has a slight retro feel – most sliders these days are thinner, and the brown cover with its one steel strip on the back (including the camera lens) feels resolutely unstylish.
The spec is a bit yesterday, too. There’s only a 1.3mp camera, the block of function and navigation keys appears to be made out of very average plastic, the soft keys are on the bottom edge of the block rather than the top (so they’re as far away from the on-screen selector messages as they can be).
But it is solid: the slider is precise, for instance, and the rubber covers for USB and memory card slots fit tightly. The main numeric keypad is a bit RAZR-like, though not formed from metal; they are very positive, and texting is excellent. As with many sliders, though, the top row of keys is a bit close to the sliding part. The leather-look finish is smart if not luxurious, there’s an easy to use MP3 player with dedicated music control keys on the front, you get a hotswappable128MB SD card ready installed, and using the USB cable you can plug the phone into a PC and use it as a webcam. That hasn’t been realised too well, in fact; it’s rather fiddly to set up, and there’s no desk stand to hold the camera while in use.
The camera app is loaded with goodies – multi-shot, mosaic mode, three timer periods, four automatic white balance adjustments, and a collection of overlay effects. The camera itself isn’t great, however, and snaps are rather washed out. There’s no optical zoom or flash, of course.
The music player is better, certainly up to the standard of comparable handsets. There are seven equalizer presets each of which has eight adjustable sliders. You can set up playlists. As with other music phones, tracks have to be stored in a folder named “Music” on the memory card.
Overall, this isn’t a bad phone at all. The screen is good, the keypad is fine, build quality seems high, call quality and reception are excellent – and it won’t be expensive, because that’s simply not Alcatel’s brand image. One for the youth market?
• Smart slider that won’t scare the horses
Display: TFT, 262K colours, 176×220 pixels
Camera: 1.3MP, 1280×1024 pixels, video (QCIF), webcam function
Connectivity: Triband GSM, Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0
Battery: Standby up to 300h, talk time up to 6h
Features: Music player, 3GP/MP4 video player, conference calling, organiser, voice memo, memory card supplied