The BlackBerry has just gone budget with Alcatel taking its first step into the QWERTY-key PDA market. The PAYG TRIBE will be sold at the Carphone Warehouse for £49.99 and will come in a quite funky choice of white, lilac or acid green trim.
It's got a 2.2-inch, 320 x 240, 252k colour screen; a 2-megapixel camera and it measures 111 x 58 x 13.9mm. There's no 3G, so you're relying on GPRS for all the e-mailing and web browsing but, on the bright side, at least the battery has a better chance of lasting the advertised nine hours talk time or 450 on standby.
The TRIBE does have Bluetooth, it will play MP3s and record video and there's expandable storage for up to 4GB.
The, again, acid green Alcatel OT-708 is a slightly different proposition with the full QWERTY being an onscreen touch version only. It costs the same £50 as the TRIBE with the same 4GB expanded memory and lasts the same on each charge only with eight hours of talk time instead of nine.
The screen is a little bigger and the whole handset smaller - 2.4-inch and 95 x 53 x 13mm - and this time there's only a 1.3-megapixel handset plus you'll have to put up with dual-band instead of tri-band. It's out in October.
Last of all is the ultra-budget One Touch Magic. This flip phone is just £19.99, weighs 90g and sports a tiny 1.8-inch 65k colour screen. There's 2MB of memory for you MP3s and MMSs but there doesn't appear to be any camera of its own to speak of.