Alcatel to make a move for wrists with a smartwatch

We’ve heard rumblings that Alcatel could be returning to Australia in the near future, and with a smartwatch announcement on the cards at CES, and some budget phones for that matter, too, we can see why.

Things could be heating up in the budget end of the phone and wearables market, if the vibe at CES is anything to read, and one company could be doing more to make an impact than its general grab bag of low-end gear tends to do.

That company is Alcatel, a telecommunications provider that is owned by TCL, and used to have a larger presence in Australia, but these days is generally only seen in smartphones put out by the likes of Boost Mobile (one of which is currently sitting on the GadgetGuy review desk).

But that could change this year, as Alcatel looks to show off that it can do more than just budget and mid-range phones, using CES to show off a new smartwatch it has to the world.

It’s called the “Watch”, and while it’s not a very original name, the Alcatel OneTouch Watch aims to be a budget option that skips over Google’s Android Wear for Alcatel’s own touchscreen solution, providing fitness monitoring, music controls, notifications, and an NFC-equipped band.

Alcatel’s Watch will also be joined by a few phones, with the “Pixi 3” range of phones offering 4G connectivity over the 4, 4.5, and 5 inch sizes, with support for either Android, Windows Phone, and even Firefox OS on the phones.

“Our users do not want complicated systems,” said Dan Dery, Alcatel OneTouch Chief Marketing Officer, adding that “they want something familiar from their work environment in the office, but also on a smartphone.”

We’ll be curious to see how this works, and whether Alcatel will let regular users — you and I — install the OS of our choosing, or whether it will just be left up to phone companies.

Availability in Australia on all either the Alcatel Watch and Pixi smartphones isn’t confirmed at all, but Alcatel does have a small presence, and we have heard it might be trying to increase that this year, so you might see more from the name shortly. Stay tuned.