Rated 3.6 out of 5 by 39
Rated 5 out of 5 by ABQValue Excellent basic phone
My review of the T-Mobile Sparq (a.k.a. Alcatel 606a). If you’re looking for a Smartphone – one that can easily access the internet, GPS, W-Fi, etc then read no further – keep searching for the right phone as this is not it. If you are like me; uses phone occasionally, texts a bit more, uses the calendar, alarm clock, timer etc, but has no need to connect to the internet unless absolutely desperate this might be the phone for you.
Up front: the cell phone works like any old bar phone. You can access the menu, make calls, and text. The phone self locks by default so no pocket dialing and you can set the time for it to lock or not at all. The center button is your select key and the up/down/right/left navigation keys surround it. Soft keys are to the left and right at the bottom of the screen. The number keys are covered in a one piece rubberized configuration – no spill hazard there!
Inside: Slide it open and you have the full QWERTY keyboard. Unlike a lot of Smartphones the keys are further apart, rubberized, and easily distinguishable even with fat fingers without nails. If you want to type a lot of numbers you just hold down the Fn key and type them continuously. Texting in this format is much easier.
Customize: You can change the wallpaper to one of several supplied or your own picture. You can change the standard 5 quick access icons with as many or few as you like – with the exception of phone calls and texts – those two are standard. But you can rid of the whole shortcut menu if you like. On the otherhand when you slide it open the 4 icons is all you get and you cannot change them: Messages, Calander, WAP (cheap version of internet), and Contacts. You can insert a Micro SD card up to 16GB.
Ringtones & volume: You can select from many ringtones for calls, texts, and alarm. Makes it nice. You can adjust the volume for the ring and while on a call you can adjust the volume by using those up/down soft keys surrounding the select key.
Cool unknown features: Why T-Mobile didn’t release the “full” version of this phone is unknown. However if you search for Alcatel 606a phones you will find video reviews and best of all the main website where you can download the computer program that enables you to upload/download all your files/pictures/music to/from the phone and even text straight from your computer. Getting it to run takes a bit of knowledge/patience but once done it’s great! Of course this phone does not come with the USB connector from T-Mobile. Just get one that’s identical to the charger’s mini USB and you’re good to go.
Camera: It’s a cell phone camera. Don’t expect a lot. Gets the job done but that’s about it. But that’s not what this phone is about. Get a separate camera. It’s like .03 megapixels. No joke.
Further unknown stuff: The silver part of the slide out keyboard is covered in that “plastic/rubber guard” stuff and can be peeled off to make it shinier. At least mine was so don’t go scratching yours up! If you have a T-Mobile plan that you like now just swap out the SIM card and this phone works the same – even MyFaves still works – just doesn’t show. I did this option. No contracts - no upgrade fees.
Cons: You cannot set a “pre-alarm” for appointments and birthdays that tells you something is coming up - as far as I can tell. There aren’t a whole lot, if any, accessories for this phone other than generic – unless you live in the UK and then it seems that this phone is much more popular. You can only get it in silver here, unlike the green, red, black, and pink versions overseas.
Summary: Excellent phone for calls, texts, calendar, and alarm use. Again - it's not a SmartPhone so don't buy it if you want to access the internet. Bottom line once purchased: read the owners manual as it will solve many "problems" people have with this phone. Seriously it's great!
Rated 3 out of 5 by gothikbutterfly Nice, cheap phone
I have a t-mobile plan, and bought the Sparq as a replacement for my phone that is two years old and falling apart. The cost wasn't bad, a lot cheaper than most other phones with a qwerty keyboard.
It has an MP3 player and radio. Both work nicely, but they are not loud enough to hook up to a radio (I have a cassette player in my van, and my phone does not get loud enough to play over the speakers using an attachment)
Does not come with games, and the only thing you can do is get on the internet (I never have because I don't have that on my plan)
Comes apart easily when dropped. Dropped it in the store yesterday, and my battery went flying under a shelf! The back just snaps on.
Has a qwerty keyboard.
Camera has no flash, and you have to change from night to day in the settings, which makes it a bit hard when you're trying to capture family moments.
Comes pre-loaded with ring tones, but none of them are loud enough for me to hear.
Keypad does lock, so you don't have to worry about pocket dialing.
I don't have the internet, so I can't tell you if it IMs or checks e-mail. But, you can only send text messages without the internet.
Comes with Opera and java application. (never used)
Included is a wall charger, and headphones for music.
Gave it three stars because I do get calls and texts, but it has little to do with entertainment if you don't have the internet. I was dissapointed with the ringtones and ability to send photos.
And works well with medium/large fingers and short fingernails (if this helps anyone)
Rated 4 out of 5 by CaliSunshineGirl1112 Overall, GREAT!!!
I purchased this phone two days ago on Black Friday and loved it! The full keyboard if one of my favorite features and this phone is higher quality than I expected!
However, I did Experience a few minor problems-
1. The Charger that came in the package when I bought it from my local Walmart, (Placerville, California) was not only for a European outlet, but it was also not even for the T-mobile Sparq which I found weird but nothing against the phone because it was obviously just a mix up or confusion. And I did not have to buy a new one I just took it back and exchanged the charger for a new, proper one.
2. Small disappointment- The camera had no flash there for the pictures turn out a little dim.
3. I had a bit of trouble getting the 10 minutes that the phone comes with to work.
Overall, even though I had problems, I would still recommend this phone! I love it! :)
Rated 3 out of 5 by ASB1978 Has a few negative quirks
The Sparq and the prepaid plans are affordable, but the Sparq has a few negative quirks.
The "Abc" function does not work properly. It only gives a capital letter at the very start of your text. After that first time it does not work anymore. ALL the letters stay lowercase. You have to switch to "ABC" to get your capital letter then back to "Abc" or "abc". On most phones, after a period it automatically gives a capital letter.
The arrow keys on the slide out keyboard are very annoying. The keys are not just arrows, they are letters too. So you have to use a function key to switch back and forth. When you go to view your text messages using the arrow keys you have to push the Function key first. Okay fine, but the Function key does not work at that point for some reason. So you get a letter instead of an arrow direction. Now that a letter has been typed you push the Function key, erase the letter, and then move onto viewing your test messages. Why would the manufacturer leave these issues alone? It is extremely lazy on their part.
I wish T-Mobile had more accessories for the Sparq. The back of the phone is quite slick. A rubber or leather cover for grip would be nice.
The vibration mode is quite good.
Easy to navigate through the menus.
All in all the Sparq is worth the price, but it is a bit frustrating to have these quirks that are different from any other phone I have owned. I'm sure I'll get used to it.
Rated 2 out of 5 by rsamboraluvr Not great
Bought this phone to replace my old beat up T-Mobile phone.
I liked the keyboard for texting....Made life easier
I like the radio and mp3 player
I like that your mp3s can be used as ring tones.
The phone has recently started shutting itself off while trying to access my text messages. it's become a problem now because it does it during calls as well. When i called their customer service line the representative kinda acted like well it's a 50 dollar phone what did you expect? i wouldn't suggest this phone for anyone who is an active texter. I haven't personally used web on it as i have no data plan but i can't imagine it would be any better.
I wouldn't recommend this phone simply because it doesn't last long no matter how well you take care of it. There seems to be a bug with it that is unresolved....
Rated 2 out of 5 by rlaudig Better options available
We bought this as a low cost phone for my wife to use for several months until her new phone came in. It was minimally satisfactory. The construction was flimsy and the keys small and difficult to use. Even if you are on a limited budget, invest a few dollars more for a better option.
When her new phone came in we donated this one.
Rated 5 out of 5 by FoxyMama3234 Best cheap cell phone ever
I have had a bunch of cheap cell phones and this is BY FAR my favorite. Easy to use, loud and clear to hear, LOVE the Qwerty keyboard. I am getting another one for my kids. This plus the t-mobile prepaid 1500 min/txts for $30/mo without a contract is a STEAL. Texting is SOOOOO easy on this phone. Highly recommend.
Rated 4 out of 5 by emburybrett Good for the most part
I had to get a temp. phone after are phone were shut off with verizon so i need a cheap pre-paid. I dont talk much so the $30 plan was great 100 min unlimited text and data! for the phone side of this review its a good phone. Only thing i dont like is if you hold the phone in your hand you WILL lose 2-3 bars. but other then that i like it and im used to having a smartphone and this is nothing like one!
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jojo48 Best qwerty slide cell phone for the $
My daughter got this qwerty slide phone a few months ago. I get the T-Mobil unlimited texting, (type and pictures) and .10 cents a min. talk, for $15.00 a month. She has loved how easy it is to use and it fits in her pocket. So when my Son started complaining about his phone I told him I would do the same thing for him. He likes it also. It also saves me a LOT of $$$. I have the "peace of mind" of knowing I can contact them when needed, and them me. Definately a good purchase.
Rated 5 out of 5 by karjzr2 great little phone. easy to text.
Rated 2 out of 5 by AHLLsMommy Did my research
After doing my research, even calling tmobile to ask if it was similar to my current phone I was sure this would be a great phone. Wrong! The browsing capability is archaic, and after waiting 5 mnutes I gave up even trying.
That was all I needed to know this was not the phone for me.!
Rated 4 out of 5 by ooindanight good basic phone
I've had this phone for awhile now. Bought three of them to use in place of our contract phones with t-mobile. They take some getting used to menu wise but once you do they are good for calls and basic texting anything else not so much. But until the cost of the plans come down for the smartphones these will do great.(My bill would more than double for my three lines to upgrade, in this economy not happening).
Rated 1 out of 5 by waterelon Not friendly user
Very hard to manuver even when sending text messages can hardly hear person o the line volumne is tuened all the way up very dissatisfied.
Rated 5 out of 5 by jibad cool phone
I love my phone. I like the radio.THE phone is so cool
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jcm49er Excellent phone, easy to use ,sound is excellent does everything we want it to do.
My wife and I both have the same phones. 5 stars
Rated 4 out of 5 by FlanneryOCasey Great phone for txt and vox
I purchased this phone because it was one of the few low-cost 'dumb' phones with a full QWERTY keyboard. If your primary needs are texting and calling, this phone will meet them well. The keypad is SMALL and takes some getting used to. Navigation on settings and other features is a bit cumbersome (not intuitive), and the manual isn't tremendously helpful (surprisingly little detail for how thick it is). One concern: my friends tell me that they hear a LOT of background noise when I'm talking (e.g. dishes, traffic) and the plug-in head set that is included is very poor quality. Nevertheless, it's an effective tool for communication. I can't say that I loved it at first, but then I broke it and used a VERY basic phone for a while. Wow! I MISSED my Sparq then! After just a few days, I bought another Sparq and I have found a new appreciation for it. Definitely worth the extra $20 over the most basic phones. Give it a try; I think you'll like it too.
Rated 1 out of 5 by nemo4444 Phone didnt work right
none of the apps didnt work like bluetooth
Rated 4 out of 5 by James0062 Cheap and durable keyboard phone
I have had this phone for 10 months and have used it almost exclusively for texting, but calling a few times as well. I have not used the internet on it, but from other reviews I have heard it isn't very good. Overall I've definitely enjoyed having it and would recommend it.
PRICE - This phone is the cheapest keyboard phone I have found and I think that it is well worth the price.
Durable - I have dropped this phone more times than I can count; on concrete, wooden floors, tile, ect. and it has held up extremely well. Heck, I've even thrown the thing across the room for fun just because I know I can without it breaking.
Ease of Texting - Texting on this thing is SO much better than on a normal flip phone without a keyboard. I'm sure many would say this keyboard isn't that great compared to other phones, but for the price I love it.
Battery Life - Maybe it's just because I keep this phone on the lowest brightness setting and don't keep the keyboard light on, but the battery on this phone tends to be fantastic. Compared to my other electronics I seldom have to charge it.
Radio - I must say the radio on this thing has pretty good reception
Number Buttons - I absolutely hate the number buttons on the front of this phone. They are too close together and I very often click the wrong one, especially when I'm not looking at them as I input them.
Date on Texts - This con is kind of stupid and easy to ignore, but I have noticed that whenever I get texts it tells me I've received them an hour before I actually have. Note that I do not mean that I receive texts an hour late, I receive them right on time, but the time on the text is wrong. For example, if I get a text 9:45 it tells me I got it at 8:45. Strangest part about this is that it seems to be only the area that I live in that has this problem. I have brought this phone to Chattanooga and New York and the issue disappears.
Keyboard Light - Another small issue, but the keyboard light is VERY uneven, some buttons don't even appear lit when it's on. I didn't plan to use it when I bought the phone so it doesn't matter much to me, but if it does to you I have to say that it is very poor
Rated 2 out of 5 by acone741 Ok, for the value but would be better if it was more user freindly
Rated 4 out of 5 by TheJoyToShop Very good basic cell phone
It is well suited for prepaid accounts that normally use low volume calls and texting. Its slide keyboard, bluetooth and FM radio makes it standout from other low cost cell phones such those from Nokia. The charge holds for about 6 hours. It comes with limited ring tones but they're good. The charger is light weight and convenient for travel. Its display has excellent colors. Finally, it is an excellent value.
Rated 3 out of 5 by Mrsmomcat I hate this phone!
This phone is not user friendly. Every action I try to execute results in another menu opening asking me what I want to do. It seriously takes at least two if not three steps to answer a call. On the plus side, if my toddler takes it out of my purse, I don't have to worry about him making any calls because it is so cumbersome!
The battery life is poor. If not left in the main menu screen it depletes in a couple of hours and when fully charged I get 1-2 short calls at best. Call and camera quality are also poor.
I bought this to replace my broken Samsung t-369, which I really liked. I probably should have expected this to be a poor phone when it only cost half as much as my previous one.
Bottom line: I wish I had bought something else.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ladydee03 For young school age children it is a great phone to have especially the FM radio.
Rated 5 out of 5 by sketchARTIST i just bought this phone yesterday, its a little more complicated to use then other phones, you have to edit if your online and it takes more steps then it should to sign into a website. it has video, and well mine isnt working. but tomarrow i will buy a memory card to see if i can access my video, cause i bought the phone for that reason b4 i left store. so after i buy a memory card and if dosent work ill be mad. it is affordable phone and it has more features then the other phones i bought that cost more money, it has built in radio, which is cool, i think it will be worth the money once i find out about the memory card. and to take a picture is to go sideways not upward. it has a rotate button but i hadnt got it to work, but im still messing with it. i just happened onto the phone because they were out of the other phone i was going to buy, but i bought phone for 40 bucks and it will cost 53 a month full service unlimited everything, its great
Rated 4 out of 5 by MikeP62 Not the best quality but great for the price.
It does what it says. It is a very good basic phone with poor fm radio reception and a fair camera.
My roomate spayed windex in his first one to clean it and it died, so I ordered another and we are now on the second one. Since I consider the first one's untimely death to misuse, I am not knocking the reliability. The slide out qwerty keyboard is excellent and easy to use. The front keypad has good feel also. The display, though small and of low pixel count, it is easy enough to read even in sunlight, a plus. Over 15 years I have used three different flip phones and 2 basic stick phones. This is as good or better than past phones from Samsung and not quite the quality of a Motorolla flip phone we owned.
Rated 4 out of 5 by GBS13 Good, not great, phone
Handles the basics well, though I haven't tried all the functions.
Complaint: Why do some phone makers use only three bars for battery life? How about 4-5 so I can tell with better accuracy how much battery life is left?
Rated 1 out of 5 by bluesky500 No service!
I returned the T Mobile phone because I usually did not have any service and I live in North Raleigh.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Got4Kids Great phone for the price.
Bought for my teenager's first phone.
Rated 3 out of 5 by MultiTasker Got this phone for my son. T-mobile's prepaid plan for unlimited texting is MUCH cheaper than other providers and the phone is comparable to other texting phones (not smartphones). Even though the phone would probably have been free with other plans, I will make up for it in the monthly cost differential in only a few months. It did take forever to receive it though. I ordered online because the store display was not updated yet and I couldn't buy one in-store. Since it took nearly two weeks to arrive site to store, the store display was updated during that time and the phone was available in-store but $10 more than online. My son is happy with it.
Rated 1 out of 5 by gizdar says the phone will work in my area 79521 but it will not , I can call AT TIMES but no web at all
Rated 1 out of 5 by TemobilenAlcatelvictim very poor product and bad customer service.
I bought this prepaid from t-mobile for few months and it didn't work. Every time I made a phone call I had to use speaker phone in order to hear or talk to the other person. If the speaker is not "on" mode I cannot hear from the other party. T-mobile isn't providing any service for prepaid phone(according I talked to T-mobile.) Only manufacturer provides warranty service. Call Alcatel and sent it out to repair. I paid for shipping $5.50. I received the phone back and it was still has the same problem. It wasn't repaired at all. I called to to complain and the customer service didn't offer to do anything about it. So I am for just bad luck paid for the phone and shipping cost for the repair with a piece of junk which is not working.