Not bothered in any way by how everyone anticipated this year’s Mobile World Congress to be Samsung and Sony’s show, Alcatel keeps on trickling out budget-friendly Android devices during major tech expos, hoping they’ll score some exposure and bolster their still frail reputation.
Even richer and more diverse than the company’s CES product lineup, Alcatel’s MWC roster stars a quartet of second-generation One Touch Idol smartphones, plus a single dirt-cheap 7-inch tablet.
Starting with the handhelds, the biggest, zippiest, proudest new member of the Idol family is dubbed Idol 2 S, being reportedly priced at €249 ($340) in Europe, with 4G LTE connectivity, 5-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, and an 8 MP primary camera.
The 3G-only variant, known simply as the Idol 2, is valued at €199 ($275), ditching the uber-high network speeds, as well as lowering the screen resolution to qHD.
Then there’s the LTE-enabled €209 ($285) Idol 2 Mini S (try to keep up), which is forced to settle for a tinier 4.5-inch IPS qHD panel, but packs the same chip, RAM and camera as its larger cousins. Finally, the Alcatel One Touch Idol 2 Mini is the least expensive, at €169 ($230), and also least technically impressive, with a smaller battery and, obviously, no LTE.
All four devices run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but they’re all due for imminent bumps to 4.4 KitKat, which is not what we can say about the €79 ($110) PIXI 7 slate. Bummer? Not at all, as the 7-incher comes with KitKat pre-loaded.
What an unbelievably sweet surprise, though beware, everything else is, well, on-par with the low, low price: 960 x 540 pixels resolution, dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB on-board storage, 2,840 mAh battery. Do yourselves a favor. Save some dough, and get a Nexus 7 instead. The 2012, 2013 model, whatever you can afford.