Android has undeniably made a lot of smartphone manufacturers appear a lot cooler than they were three or four years back.
Take Alcatel, for instance, which entered the Philippines around mid last decade with a number of basic cellphones that - frankly - never really posed that much of a threat to Nokia's immense and unquestionable market dominance during those years.
Fast forward to 2012, Alcatel - having adopted Android as the operating system of its smartphones - is re-establishing its presence in the country by - first - releasing a slew of full touchscreen handsets aimed at budget-conscious consumers who always want to get a little extra from their purchases and - second - by wisely getting my fellow Ateneo alumni, Chris Tiu, as the company's new image model.
One of the phones that Alcatel is heavily promoting now is Alcatel One Touch Glory 918N:
Last week, the company sent me a unit to play with.
Wanna see what's inside the box? Watch my One-Handed TechPinas unboxing video!
Priced at around Php 5,600 to Php 5,999 (depending on the store), Alcatel One Touch Glory is probably the most affordable Android handset with Dual SIM Dual Standby functionality; a feature that should come in handy for users who subscribe to two or more network providers. Considering that the phone has modest innards, multimedia capabilities, technical specifications (which are listed on the table below), I'd say the above-mentioned feature is its main selling point.
Update as of August 1, 2012: According to ClearSight Corporation, the official distributor of Alcatel phones in the Philippines, Alcatel One Touch Glory 918N now costs only Php 4,990! That's almost a thousand pesos off the phone's SRP upon release.
That's how it looks in the flesh.
The handet runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS with its 650 MHz processor and handles multitasking with 256 MB of RAM. Hardware-wise, users get a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, a 3 MegaPixel fixed focus camera with no flash, a VGA video recorder, 150 MB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, microUSB port and a 3.5mm audio jack. As for connectivity, the phone supports both Wifi and 3G, which you can use to access online content, download apps and games via Google Play, chat with friends, and update social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I've been playing with the handset for a few days now and off hand, here's what I can say about Alcatel One Touch Glory 918N:
1. The build and design are surprisingly good for a handset in its price category. Glory has this heft that gives reassurance that it can take a beating from regular use. Also, the metal accent lining the sides of the phone give it a hint of corporate elegance.
2. Of all Android handsets in this price echelon that I've played with, Glory has one of the best looking displays. Details and text appear clear and crisp, and the colors, bright and vibrant.
3. I don't know if it's just the unit that Alcatel sent me or I'm simply asking for too much from the phone, but I find the touch-response to be a bit less impressive. Frankly, the TouchPal virtual keyboard can be annoying to use and swiping on the app drawer won't always give the smoothest feedback. But again, I think I'm just too hard to please when it comes to these things. Anyway, I invite you to give a unit a test run at an Alcatel store near you and let me know what you think.
4. The camera produces decent photos in well-lit conditions. I believe the focus range of the lens goes from a distance of around 6 inches to infinity.
5. Overall, I think Glory is a good entry-level Android release by Alcatel. Honestly, my week's experience with the handset simply made me want to check out the more expensive devices in the company's current line-up.
|Name||Alcatel One Touch Glory 918N|
|Type||Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)|
|Price Category||Entry-Level Dual-SIM, Dual Standby|
|Dimensions||112 x 58.6 x 12.1 mm|
|Available Colors||Black, Purple, Cherry Red, Pure White|
|Operating System||Android 2.3 Gingerbread|
|Display||3.2 inches (~180 ppi pixel density), 320 x 480 pixels, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors|
|RAM/ROM||256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM|
|Internal Storage||150 MB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB|
|Camera||3.15 MegaPixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels|
|Audio and Video Playback||MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA/MP4/H.264/H.263 player|
|Ports||microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps|
|Network||2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity|
|Battery||Li-Ion 1300 mAh|
|Uptime||Standby of up to 430 hours, Talk time of up to 9 hours on 2G|
|Value-Added Features||Dual SIM, Dual Standby functionality|
|Announcement||In the Philippines: June 2012|
|Price||Official SRP: Php 5,999 |
Price Adjustment: Php 4,990