Airtel and Google announce partnership for low-cost smartphones

Greg Lawrence
March 2, 2018

It looks like Alcatel came to MWC 2018 with a massive arsenal of phones and tablets; promising something for nearly every consumer in its product range.

Android Go handsets are made available for first look at Mobile World Congress. It sports a dual rear camera setup with one 12-megapixel and one 13-megapixel sensor. On the brighter side, the Alcatel 5 gets a dual selfie camera alongside feature such as USB-C, fingerprint scanner and 4G LTE connectivity, as shown below. The phone will also come with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Seeing as Nokia sales remain strong in developing markets, it's a natural fit, one that happens to complement its pivot to higher-end devices with Android One-but that's another story.

Juho Sarvikas, HMD's chief product officer, has confirmed the availability of the Nokia 6 (2018) smartphone in the USA market in a recent interview.

Also starring in Alcatel's refreshed smartphone line-up is the 5.5-inch Alcatel 3. The Go edition of the Android Oreo and ships with optimized default apps and an optimized version of Google play store that highlights lightweight apps. Again, the goal of Go Edition phones isn't to provide a robust hardware experience with blazing-fast processors and 128GB of storage.

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Connectivity features of the phone include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and Global Positioning System. It houses a 2,200mAh battery and Google is promising regular Android software updates.

The GM8 features a 5.7-inch 18:9 IPS "full vision" display with a slightly-above 720p resolution (accounting for the move from 16:9 to 18:9 - its called HD+). He also clarified that with these Go edition phones, Google is not specifying any hardware requirements to the OEMs like it did when Android One was first launched in 2014 in India. A 5MP sensor with LED flash is there for selfies.

Both feature one of the most coveted phone features, an 18:9 aspect ratio screen - as do the Alcatel 3 Series phones, which sits in between the two. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat and is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6739 processor with PowerVR GE8100 GPU. "If I'm looking at what we've been able to get out of the 1GB of RAM and the [MediaTek] 6737 [processor] here, it's actually a really fluid user experience".

The Alcatel 1X has an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front facing snapper, both of which work reasonably well considering the phone's price point. They have to come up with innovative marketing strategy to boost the number of selling of their new smartphones in the coming weeks. The Alcatel 5 runs on Android Nougat and will be available in metallic black and metallic mold colors for *€229.99 or roughly Php14,745. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 CPU and PowerVR GPU.

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