If the idea of spending north of $100 for a phone or tablet scares the dollar signs right out of you, something might be coming by way of Alcatel, which plans to make a show of its phones, tablets, and wearables later in the year.
We’ve yet to see most of its gear land locally, and Mobile World Congress certainly allowed the company to flex its muscle, but until then, we’ll take what we can see, which right now starts with a couple of budget options offering a phone for $59 and a tablet for $99.
The phone is worth talking about first because it’s very hard to argue with a phone for a hair under $60, and yet that’s what Alcatel is talking about.
You can’t expect an iPhone for that sort of money, but what you will find is the Pixi 3, which despite its name is a phone with a 4 inch display, dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 4.4 “KitKat”, and two cameras with a 2 megapixel shooter with flash on the back and a basic camera up front.
Memory on this model isn’t much, with 4GB offered here, but you can expand that with a microSD card. High-speed 4G LTE technology is also missing in action here, but for $59, we’re not surprised, and it’s still a 3G phone.
Alcatel has a similar approach to tablets, and will have one released this week for $99. Again, it’s a budget device so you can’t expect an iPad out of this, but with a 7 inch display offering around 1024×600 pixels, and a dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, microSD to expand this, and support for 3G and WiFi, allowing people to take their mobile experience with them.
Very interesting is the inclusion of an infrared port which should make the tablet more like a remote control for a TV if you’re keen to use it for that.
Alternatively, Miracast’s wireless support will mean you can send video straight from the tablet to a TV provided there’s a Miracast dongle connected to your television or support built right in.
“The Pixi range are fantastic entry-level devices, particularly for those new to the technology,” said Nic Ferraro, Regional Head of Marketing and Products for Alcatel in the Australia and New Zealand region.
“The Pixi range really exemplifies the Alcatel OneTouch ethos of creating products that are easy to use, accessible and affordable for our users.”
As for availability, Optus get this one first with the $59 and $99 prices of the phone and tablet meaning the devices are locked to the Optus networks, though both will arrive at Optus stores with three (3) months free Netflix access when they land on shelves this week.