Tuesday , October 24 2017

Alcatel launches new smartphones, tablets and its smartwatch into the Australian market

alcatel-onetouch-logo

Alcatel OneTouch wants everyone to know that they’re back – though really, they never left. The company is embarking on a new chapter in its history, and is ready to start engaging with the media (that’s sites like us) to get news and information about their new products out.

The company took to Play Bar in Sydney last week to demonstrate their latest products. Usually when a company says “products” in the plural form, they’ve brought a couple of slight variations on the main product they’re launching, but Alcatel showed up with three ranges of phones and tablets, a smart watch and a number of accessories. When they go big, they mean it. Their phones go to the pre-paid market, with all but the highest spec’d Idol 3 coming in at under $300.

Alcatel is a formerly-French company, but they’re now owned by China’s TCL. This affords them a fairly large manufacturing scale, and the ability to manufacture components for their phones themselves instead of having to outsource. Even so, they’re not above sourcing from other component manufacturers to improve the end product, like the screens (Technicolor) and front-facing stereo speakers (JBL) in their new high-end Idol phones.

PIXI 3 2

Pixi 3

Starting at the low end, the Pixi 3 is an “OS-agnostic” series of phones available in a multitude of screen sizes (3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 and 5.5 inches). The “OS-agnostic” tag is a bit of a misnomer for consumers, as it’s carriers who’ll get the choice of OS they want to load onto the device. This means (for example) Vodafone might sell a 4.5-inch Pixi 3 with Android, while Telstea might sell the same phone with Windows Phone.

Each device has dual SIM capability and all of the models over 3.5 inches have 4G connectivity. The largest of the Pixi 3 series – the 5.5-inch model – also features Wi-Fi display and a number of pre-loaded games.

You’ll be able to swap the back cover for a number of colours: Volcano Black, White, Amber Orange, Tango Red, Neon Pink, Laser Yellow, Vivid Green, Sharp Blue and Metallic Silver.

That’s not all though — there’s also an tablet in the Pixi 3 range, with a MediaTek chipset, 8-inch 1280 x 800 TFT display, 2MP rear and VGA front camera, 4GB storage and a Micro SD slot. It’ll take a SIM card too, but only has 3G connectivity.

PIXI 3 Tablet 3

The 4-inch Pixi 3 will be available from May, with a price under $100. Other devices may be available from carriers on pre-paid plans.

POP 10 Tablet 2

Pop phones and tablet

Taking aim firmly at the mid-range market, Alcatel’s Pop range contains both phones and tablets with slightly higher spec’d phones and a 10-inch tablet. Items in the Pop range come with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.

The Pop 2 phone range comes in 4, 4.5 and 5 inch screen sizes, with quad-core CPUs, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras. The 4-inch model has 4GB storage and can’t be expanded, while the other models come with 8GB storage and Micro SD slots that can expand storage by up to 32GB.

POP 2 1

The Pop 10 tablet has a quad core CPU, 1GB RAM and up to 8GB storage, with 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras. It’s also got a neat keyboard cover that’s light, well-spaced and easy to use.

IDOL 3 6

Idol 3

The company was eager to draw attention to its high-end Idol 3 phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop, available in 4.7 and 5.5 inch varieties, and indeed that’s the phone I was most interested in checking out. The 4.7-inch model comes in at under $300 and the 5.5 at under $350, with the release due in Q2 of 2015.

The phones bear a resemblance to the Nexus 4’s curves and materials, although they’re much lighter in the hand given the plastic construction. Still, it’s not bad company to be in. Inside you’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 CPU, but the exact storage capacities weren’t specified. Both phones feature 4G LTE connectivity.

You’ll find a 720p display on the 4.7 and a 1080p display on the 5.5, both using Technicolor’s “Color Enhance” technology to provide better visibility from all angles and better sunlight readability. The screens on these phones really could be seen from almost any angle without losing colour or light although they don’t pop colours like an AMOLED display.

Alcatel’s packed some impressive tech into the phones for their price point, too. There’s front-facing stereo speakers powered by JBL, and a custom-made OneTouch Mix application that’ll let budding DJ’s everywhere mix their own tracks (or you can just let the app do it itself). Camerawise, there’s a 13MP rear camera with a large aperture for low-light shots. There was mention at the event that the camera was a Sony unit, but that detail is absent from the spec sheet.

WATCH 3

Alcatel Watch

Finally, Alcatel’s watch is a round smart watch running on a custom Alcatel platform affording it both Android and iOS compatibility. It’s a little smaller than the current generation of Android Wear devices.

There seems to be no Android Wear notification sharing (a la Pebble’s recent release) to speak of, but Alcatel’s loaded a number of apps onto the watch that might make up for that. For instance, it’ll hook into your social networking streams to provide updates, notify you of calls and texts and it’ll also vibrate if you stray too far from your phone. There’s also a heart rate monitor and the usual bevy of sensors to afford fitness tracking capabilities, but no word on whether this will integrate with Google Fit or Apple’s HealthKit services.

Band-wise, Alcatel says there’ll be multiple bands available (and indeed we can see them in the press images), but the USB charger is integrated into the band, so we’re not sure whether or not the bands are interchangeable or if your band preference is a decision you’ll have to make at time of purchase.

Despite going their own way and eschewing Google’s Android Wear platform, Alcatel’s watch is an attractive piece, and its size relative to other smartwatches will stand it in good stead for some sections of the market.

Alcatel will be bringing the Watch to Australia in Q3, so we’ve a while to wait yet. When it hits, expect it to come in at under $200.

WATCH 1

We’re expecting to get a few of these products in for review when they’re released. Tell us what you think of the announcements, and let us know which products you’d like to see us review in the comments below.

 

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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4 Comments on "Alcatel launches new smartphones, tablets and its smartwatch into the Australian market"

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Brian Robinson
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Brian Robinson

Would definitely like to see more of the watch. This is where my interest is at at the moment.

vijay alapati
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vijay alapati

don’t trust those mockups of watch yet, as per verge video i had seen is a black tyre at the bottom which is same as moto 360 and actually its bigger than 360’s. looks ugly for me.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

In the pic here on Ausdroid, the flat tyre is just barely visible on the white with metal band.
It shows up as how the watch face of that white one was designed, and can just be discenned by its very slightly different shade to the watch face.
Looking elseweb for pics of these watches, the flat tyre is very obvious.

My opinion on the flat tyre is simple. If you can’t make a full round face, then make it square, and add a top bezel, to hide by balancing the bottom one.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

A review on the Pop 10 tablet is what I’m interested in.
I’m looking at it as a possible upgrade from my Aldi Bauhn WL-101GQC 10.1in tablet. Looking at the pic of it in the article, there’s a phone reception icon in the Notifications Bar, and it looks like the right column bottom icon is a phone icon.

wpDiscuz

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