Joining a growing crew of mid-tier Androids is Alcatel’s rather meaty selection, from the modest Alcatel One Touch 918 to the French manufacturer’s flagship, the One Touch 995.
Alcatel One Touch 995
The One Touch 995 clocks a 1.4GHz single-core processor – matching up with the Nokia Lumia 800, for one – with 1GB of internal memory expandable by the microSD slot. Its 4.3-inch WVGA screen packing 16 million colours is standard for smartphones these days – but impressively tactile and sharp for a company that last gave us the One Touch 282.
Extra-reflective screen thanks to the glass ceiling of the Alcatel booth. We were baking in seconds, and felt massively sorry for the poor staff trapped inside!
At 124g and with a chassis measuring in at 127x68x9.75mm, the One Touch 995 feels extremely light in the hand, though with enough heft not to feel cheap. There’s a five-megapixel rear camera that can record 720p video at 30fps.
Running on Android Gingerbread, the Alcatel One Touch 995 is skinned with a fun-looking Alcatel overlay sporting a 3D spinning carousel of shortcut ‘cards' that show the latest information of each app. You can customise the 10 pre-loaded app cards to whichever you actually use most, and add up to three more for a total of 13 cards. Simply flick your finger across the screen and the carousel spins around and round, in a highly satisfying manner. Watch me spin the spinny thing in our hands-on video!
An HDMI port lets you transfer or watch media on an HDTV, or you can also access DLNA for wireless streaming.
The One Touch 995 is pipped for a Q2 release – and yes, it will be upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich in the summer.
Alcatel One Touch 991
Alcatel is also hitting at the lower end of mid-range with its One Touch 991, a slightly smaller smartie featuring a four-inch HVGA touch-display with fewer colours (262k). The 800MHz processor copes admirably with the vanilla Android Gingerbread interface.
Internal memory clocks in at just 150MB, though that is expandable by microSD up to 32GB. It supports HD voice calls, so if you’re on an operator that offers it – such as Orange – crystal-clear call quality is yours.
Not too slim, not too far: 10.9mm thickness on the One Touch 991
The One Touch 991 features a pleasing curved design, and at 10.5mm it won't be bulging out of your pocket. It also comes in a variety of alluring colours, such as black, white, blue, aubergine and ‘spicy red'.
Some software trickery means that the three-megapixel rear snapper can produce photos appearing to be of five-megapixel quality, and our test shots certainly appeared crisp on the four-inch screen. We'll test the processing software out thoroughly when we nab a review sample.
Alcatel One Touch 918
Our last dalliance with Alcatel at Mobile World Congress was the One Touch 918, a chunky, compact chassis that, in a hark back to the heady 90s days of a different coloured Nokia every day, can be customised with different shades of back cover and trim.
The 3.2-inch touch-screen sits above three hard buttons for Home, Search and Back.
That's what 12.1mm looks like.
The 3.2-inch touch-screen sits above three physical buttons for Home, Search and Back. It's a chunky design at 12.1mm, but nothing so substantial that you'll struggle to fit it in your jeans. Even though this is a budget phone, we liked the cute and simple look. The buttons all have a quality feel to them, including the dedicated camera button on the side. Speaking of which, you get a 3.2-megapixel camera that can shoot 30fps video.
Under the hood you get a basic 650MHz processor, and the One Touch 918 runs Android Gingerbread, which is sadly not upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich. The 918 is also dual-SIM compatible, if you need your phone for both work and play.
Alcatel isn’t the only recent contender in these halcyon days of Android creation – check out our ZTE smartphone and tablet hands-on, plus photo previews of the Huawei Ascend D Quad and mid-tier Honor for more Android action.