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66

Meet the unexpected: TCL S606 (Alcatel One) Windows Phone is now available

There's more than what's usually visible in the Windows Phone universe. When we talk about Windows Phones these days, we always talk about Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and sometimes Huawei. But if you remember, there was another name briefly manifested in our sight, only to disappear quietly later: Alcatel.

Back in last December we reported a low cost Windows Phone called Alcatel One. Since then there hasn't been much update about this very device. Until today, as it's suddenly available in China, through locally popular e-commerce website 360buy.com, and under the brand "TCL" (Alcatel's joint-venture partner in China).

The device is listed a "TCL S606" on 360buy.com. As we've reported before, it sports a rather humble specs sheet: single core 1.0GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (NOT supporting storage cards), 4" 800x480 touchscreen, 5 megapixel for the main camera and VGA resolution for the front-facing one. And the underlying OS is Windows Phone 7.5 as a matter of course.

What's more, this phone doesn't have the dedicated camera shutter button required by Microsoft. Users will have to rely on the touchscreen for picture snapping, and one less way of waking the phone up. This is a curious decision from the designer team. Phone makers these days generally see a dedicated camera button as a good idea, and removing that plastic button doesn't seem to save a whole lot of production cost. Why break Microsoft's well unified user experience for what looks like nothing then?

"Cheap" is the keyword for TCL S606 / Alcatel One here. On 360buy it's priced CNY 799 (US$ 130), and for that price you get a free movie ticket for Iron Man 3. For comparison, Nokia's dated Lumia 610 costs CNY 698, and Lumia 620 CNY 1288 on the same website, without movie tickets of course.

What do you feel about the device? Lingering presence of a past era? Or a much needed low cost market tier for the Windows Phone universe today?

Source: WPDang

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Reader comments

Meet the unexpected: TCL S606 (Alcatel One) Windows Phone is now available

66 Comments

Exactly, that alone should make it a no-buy for everyone. Not to mention no WP8. I don't know who would buy this instead of the cheaper Lumia.
 

with the lumia 520 around, it doesn't stand a chance. really don't see a point of releasing a new wp7.5 device (without even 7.8 preloaded) at this time. when the devices running wp7 exist as zombies (they're dead but still live on somehow!)
and anyone who buys this would be a fool!
and if someone has loads of love for the lack of support to wp7, lumia 510 is still a better choice. at least you get nokia's support.

Yeah this doesn't make sense when the 520 is a much better device and doesn't cost much more.  In fact, if Nokia can sell the 521 in the US for $150, I would think they could sell it even cheaper in China (since I believe that is where it is manufactured).

It doesn't work that way. Electronic gadgets like phones,laptops, tablets are cheapest in USA, they cost much more in rest of the world.

I farted and blew this out my ass. Sorry guys. Didn't mean to leave a pile of crap on the floor.

I would think it was nice if it wasn't blatantly modeled after the 8X. You could have a 1970 Cadillac beautiful paint nice interior and start it up and see smoke blow out oil leaking and busted rod. Just because looks nice doesn't make it nice.

Exactly what i thought. I mean how the hell can an oem come up with such wonderful design only to spoil it with the internals. What is the reson for manufacturing something that will be a store warmer????

NOW i know what to replace my lumia 920 with, i was just waiting for this beauty, something truly inspired, and alcatel hasn't disappointed with that unique design and sexy hardware. Wow, just wow, this is the phone wp needs, the htc one and gs4 don't stand a chance BRING IT ON!!!

Wow, so much hate a for a little budget phone only available in one country...
 
It looks very nice, and I hope it sells well (Windows Phone 7.5 is still a decent enough OS for most people and will run perfectly well on those specs) and Alcatel will consider making more devices using WP8 and hopefully end up with a nice portfolio of devices that will only help the overall eco-system.
 
A shame about the camera button, I don't think I've ever opened the camera with anything but the dedicated button in the 2+ years I've been using Windows Phone. But that's Microsoft's fault for dropping the requirement.
 
Obviously we're not the target audience, and it's not gonna make me switch from my 8X (hopefully whatver Nokia has cooked up for next month's announcement will make me switch though!), but it's good to see more companies hopping on to Windows Phone. Better that than they churn out another dreadful budget Android device that can barely run the OS let alone the apps, right?

7.5 is already a lost cause before even released. I mean seriously not even 7.8? Its a waste of resources. Point blank. They killed that phone with no chance of upgrade. We see how upset people can't even get things on 7.8.

Well the 7.8 roll out has been a disaster (I have two Lumia 710s and an 800 in the immediate family that still haven't received it. Not checked my old Lumia 900 yet and it never arrived on my Omnia 7 so that got force updated) so it's no surprise they'd rather just get the phone out there with a stable OS that can be updated at a later date.
 
You're forgetting the target market though. Anyone that cares about an update to 7.8 (or even knows what 7.8 is!) won't buy this phone, this is for people who just want a nice, cheap smartphone. Heck, this is aimed at the feature phone market too really. The target audience don't care if they don't have the new Bing lockscreen because they don't know what that is.
 
Beyond the immediate family I "converted" about 10 people in my social circle to Windows Phone 7 devices in early 2012. Not one of them has asked me about the 7.8 update, or why they can't play certain apps etc. They're simply happy with their phones using them for basic stuff and occasionally playing Angry Birds. Only one person mentioned the lack of Instagram but has been quite happy using alternatives.
 
The 7.5 and 7.8 phones in my life didn't suddenly die the instant WP8 was released. They all work perfectly well and still do the jobs they were bought for.
 
It's the same market that buy feature phones and crap cheap Android phones that lag just typing out a text message. Better to get them on a cheap Windows Phone that actually runs well that may convert them over to a better WP8 device in the future.
 
I feel bad for those who bought Lumia 900s thinking they were getting _the_ flagship phone though. That truly was bad faith on the part of Microsoft and Nokia. Even moreso with the 7.8 fiasco that didn't bring in half the things that could have been added to the OS.
 
They dropped the ball completely but that doesn't make 7.5 a bad product, I loved my 7.5 phones and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to basic users who don't care if they can get the latest apps and features.

That's ok.  For people who had bought the phone when the OS originally came out.  Even if it's a targeted group or smaller country, leaving them behind just for a quick profit doesn't make just the MFR look bad but also the OS.  My thing is yes 7.5 is the most stable out of 7.5 and 7.8. Yes nobody may not know nor care about updates or upgrades and yes the phone is beyond an incredible price, but we are not talking some small podunk country that don't understand anything about upgrades.  This is China probably the biggest market when it comes to smart phones purchases.  They already had not good a stellar start with WP being sold and not as stellar of sales of Nokia 920s.  Sending out another low grade phone makes the ecosystem as a whole look more damaging.  You can't help the growth of an ecosystem with releasing non upgradable framentented software that's a year old.  If you're android, yes probably.  And 4GB of Internal memory with no expandable SD is an insult in 2013

I still think the 521 at $150 is a better deal, because it has twice more internal storage and it supports SD cards, not to mention Windows Phone 8 and Nokia apps, etc. But this may be the cheapest Windows Phone for them...

Considering the article states it's cheaper than the Lumia 610 I'd guess the 520 will probably be a lot more expensive. Remember this is just a currency conversion from China, which is near useless out of context. This phone will never be available in the US, or most of the planet.

That $150 price is only for USA which always gets the cheapest pricing for phones,laptops,tablets etc..

I know you guys are just keeping us informed but do we really need to know about a device as "humble" as this? My gosh!

More than that. Someone should be killed for this. If you head to the 360buy page, you will find they are stealing a screenshot of Windows 8/RT start screen to explain the phone UI. *facepalm*

If someone asked me to name every Windows Phone device ever released, I think I could probably pull it off.  But this device is one that I will probably forget by tomorrow.  Unless I remember it purely because of its absurdness.  WP 7.5???  4GB no SD card?  If there was absoluetly no competition in the budget phone sector, then maybe this makes sense.  But you could get a Lumia 520 for only a little bit more.

USA is not the centre of the universe, This TCL phone costs $130 whereas the Lumia 520 costs $210 on the same website.

Did I say USA is centre of the universe?  If you are jumping on me for not knowing the exact price of 520 in Chinese market, then you are trying way to hard to find ignorant Americans.

" But you could get a Lumia 520 for only a little bit more."
Not very hard it seems, This statement from you says it all !!

Alcatel has some very nice products. This phone looks nice just poor specs. Hopefully this is a starter phone and they will release a better phone down the road.

This design and color is awesome, I really like the appearance.
I may get one as my "backup phone" to use inbetween buying and selling my other phones. I always sell my nice phone a month or two before the "new nice phone" releases in order to maximize my resell price.
Plus I can play Chaos Rings finally! lol
 

I updated my old optimus 7 yesterday and among the updates there was one that read some thong like "provide support for devices without a physical camera button". Did they throw that requirement out the window?