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the Olive Compacta - is it a masterpiece?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

/ by Srikanth Eswaran
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you must by now know that I'm an avid gadget freak. I have reviewed many gadgets so far on this blog whenever I either had a chance to own them or use them. Here I am again this time with the review of a little beautiful gadget called the Olive Compacta - a single SIM GSM phone from Olive Telecom.

These are the days of complexity with too many smartphones in the market and the more features they provide, it also leads to poor battery life and an increased addiction to the apps provided on the platform. During times like these there is sometimes a craving to own something which has limited function and form, mainly the latter. You know the basic device that helps you do the basic thing - talking on the phone. Here is where the Olive Compacta steps in.



The last time I owned anything like this was the Panasonic A100 a compact little phone with soothing blue display. It was so small and easy to carry that people used to buy it for the form rather than for the function. The only grouse with that phone was poor voice transfer to the mic from the user and a rather unusable keypad. So much so you had to hurt your finger nails trying to use the piece. So without much ado, lets go to see what the Olive Compacta has to offer and whether its worth it.

For a full list of features this phone supports click here.

The VG1100 Olive compacta is sold as an affordable phone that is stylish, supports Hindi with alarm and polyphonic ringtones. Period. So how does this all stack up? Lets see.



The form factor is one of the most interesting aspects of this phone. Its absolutely cuddly, its real slim by any normal phone standards and even the circuitry inside is hardly visible. This makes the phone a very clean creation. The icing on the cake is the large buttons which is a very thoughtful addition. This in my opinion is a league ahead of the earlier panasonic A100 that I have used where this was the only sore point. While I used to hurt my finger nails with the Panasonic piece the Olive Compacta is very comforting in this aspect due to its large keys.



The side sports just one USB charging port, the backside has a nice matte finish which gives the necessary grip for users. The inside of the battery compartment and the phone in general is kept extremely clean with just the battery holder area and the sim holder area. Absolutely stunning design in its minimalism.

If you are expecting this phone to have many other features read the previous paragraphs again. This phone is affordable at Rs.879/- including taxes and other levies. It is no doubt stunningly stylish due to its slim nature. It has a hindi menu support which will cover most of north india assuming english is enough for the rest of the population. The polyphonic tones which are inbuilt are from popular movies but sound amazingly clear when the phone rings and at the same time are not obtrusive and do not disturb users. At the time of this writing I have not tested the alarm which is the only other promised functionality.



There are some other mentionable aspects while buying this phone. Particularly the customer service. As a long term online shopper since 1995 for almost 15 years, online shopping for what I need has almost become a 100% need for me in most cases. Unless otherwise I can just go to a nearby shop and get what I need. Call it geekiness or laziness, whichever way, I strongly believe internet is a medium where a product can be promoted in a much better way today as it reaches a lot of audience than what it used to few years ago. In tune with this need, Olive telecom allows online purchase of all their phone models directly on their website. By aligning with First Flight couriers who do a good job as well, Olive have established yet another set of weaponry of online deliveries stacking up against their nearest competitors like Micromaxx or Karbonn. This shows their attitude to keep up with the needs and expectations of the youth of the country and so also of the business minded individuals who literally live off what the internet has to offer them, me included. The phone also carries a one year warranty and the package contains an A3 sheet with full details of Olive's service and sales centers in all major cities of India. The network of sales centers is really exhaustive and huge. Full marks to Olive on their delivery models and prompt service.



I will shortly update this post with battery life details and call quality aspects of the Olive Compacta. Till then, I am in love with my Compacta for now. Well done Olive. Keep them coming.

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