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?
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By Jez Corden
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.
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?
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.
Not very hard it seems, This statement from you says it all !!
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