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For the square and savvy


There are few gadget makers who would openly declare that they are ‘for women only’, but Motorola, Micromax and Alcatel are saying so with their new mobile phones. Their bold designs and unique looks are bound to catch your eye and won’t even dent your pockets. 

Alcatel Ice3 
Price: Rs 7,000

You will definitely pause to look twice at this cuboidal clamshell handset, if you spot Ice3 in a shop or somebody’s hands. Ice3 looks like a powder compact in your hand and that makes for an unusual design with both pros and cons. Good thing is that due to its wide-bodied design, Alcatel has managed to house a full QWERTY keyboard that facilitates fast typing of mails or messages, a feature similar to what you see in business phones like the BlackBerry. The con, also due to its wide waistline, is that it feels a little awkward in your hand while making and receiving calls. 

The 2.4-inch internal display is appealing (but certainly not the best in class) with its TFT colour screen. With the shell closed, you will be alerted to any missed call or text message via a thin OLED external display. 

Moving on from looks, Ice3 has built-in social networking apps that allows for one-click connection to websites, saving you the technical trauma of setting up accounts on mobile platform. While you’ll be surfing the internet at a sluggish EDGE pace, Alcatel has pre-embedded the phone with the excellent Opera Mini. This mobile optimised browser will automatically compress web pages, so the Ice3 will not only display more content, it will also fire up webpages far quicker than most other mobile browsers. However, both the camera and the music player could have been improved upon. 

While we agree that for Rs 7,000, we can overlook a few flaws, we still feel 80MB of internal storage (can be increased up to 8GB with a memory card) is inadequate. 

Micromax Bling Q55
Price: Rs 5,500

It is hard to miss Micromax’s latest TV commercial featuring its Bling phone running on a loop across channels. Micromax seems to have broken away from the conventional rectangular-shaped mobile handsets with Bling, a square-shaped, palm-sized mobile handset. Even as Bling shares its looks with Alcatel Ice3, what sets Bling apart is the Swarovski studded keys. Decidedly, Bling lives up to its name. 

This slider phone sports a 2.4-inch display, supported by a QWERTY keypad. Bling has one-touch-launch set-ups for email, and apps that update your status messages on social networking sites and instant messenger on the move. This one, too, embeds Opera Mini browser, which is best for surfing web on EDGE networks. 

An internal memory of just 10 MB, however, means that you cannot think of storing any file or image on the device, unless you get an external memory card (supports up to 8 GB external memory card). Media player and video recorder are very ordinary and probably won’t have you rocking for hours, but the player is good enough for listening to music while commuting or in between meetings. We wonder why Micromax thought a 2-megapixel device would satisfy a fashionista that carries a Swarovski studded mobile phone. 

At Rs 5,500, Bling Q55 is a great option for evenings out. Since Bling is a dual-SIM phone, you can happily use it to carry your multiple phone connections.

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First Published: Mon, June 14 2010. 03:42 IST