07
Jan
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After revealing the "world's thinnest" smartphone earlier today with the One Touch Idol Ultra (at a svelte 6.45mm), Alcatel has let fly news about the rest of their planned CES 2013 lineup.

Alcatel's got more devices in line than you've got pockets, from a pair of 7" tablets (in standard and HD variants) to a bevy of "Pop" smartphones, all of them apparently aiming squarely for the budget market. Grab a snack, because we're going to take a peek at the full array.

19
Oct
2012-10-19_10h13_47

When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years.

10
Oct
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When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.

09
Oct
music1

We can easily get caught up in the mad scramble for the latest and greatest, so it's easy to lose track of the fact that low-end smartphones also have a place in the world. For this one, we'll let you decide. Who wants a smartphone with a 3" (yes, that is three inches) 240x320 TFT display, a 3MP rear camera, an unspecified "powerful" processor and 512MB of RAM? Before you decide, I should also point out that this phone has a dedicated music button and, for some bizarre reason, the spec sheet lists a WVGA projector (9 lumens), though it seems incredibly likely that this is a mistake.

30
Aug
2012-08-30_09h49_18

You may recognize this little guy from previous leaks of the so-called HTC Proto. The device looked very similar to the Desire V and, indeed, HTC's latest announcement is dubbed the Desire X. While it's no One X, the device does pack a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Unfortunately, it's not that one. This is the MSM8225 which still uses a 45nm architecture so it's not nearly as zippy as the S4 we all know and love from other, more high-end phones.

29
Aug
2012-08-29_11h09_37

Sony's just dropped a batch of bombshells on us today during an IFA press conference. Among the headlining new devices, the Xperia J which is being billed as an affordable smartphone with a "standout screen size." That "standout" size is 4", by the way. We're not entirely sure who Sony thinks they're going to impress with four inches, but the rest of the specs actually seem like a pretty good deal if the price is right.

27
Aug
2012-08-27_06h49_20

First we caught a glimpse of the Samsung Jasper, a mid-range device slated for Big Red. Then Droid Life was leaked a photo of the price card for the Samsung Galaxy Stellar. Now we know they're one and the same,courtesy of a full product listing that has cropped up on Best Buy.

2012-08-27_06h49_20

Though the Stellar is listed as available for store pickup beginning today, it's actually unavailable in stores at this point.

23
Aug
2012-08-23_13h22_37

Let's get the tough stuff out of the way up front. The T-Mobile Concord is manufactured by ZTE, runs Gingerbread, and packs a pretty meager 2MP camera. Don't worry, though. This phone shall not have been mortally wounded in vain. With a price of $99 off contract (with certain plans*) from T-Mobile or Wal-Mart, it doesn't look like too bad of a deal for smartphone users on a tight budget.

22
Aug
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US Cellular's LTE selection just gained an additional member: the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. Available online today for $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate, the device comes with fairly middle-of-the-road features, such as:

  • A slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • A 1GHz processor
  • A 4.0-inch touchscreen
  • A  5MP rear-facing camera and camcorder
  • A front-facing camera

In an effort to promote its LTE network, the carrier will be lowering the handset's price to a somewhat more reasonable $129 (also after a mail-in rebate) in markets where 4G is either currently available or will be accessible by the end of the year.

21
Aug
liquid-gallant-duo

Between the Pantech Marauder, T-Mobile MyTouch Q, and now Acer's Liquid Gallant/Liquid Gallant Duo, it certainly seems like cheap Android devices are the new feature phones.

Acer's newest offering illustrates what I'm talking about. The company has launched two phones - the Liquid Gallant and the Liquid Gallant Duo - that are very low-end and amazingly low-price, checking in at just £149 (about $235). Take a look at the specs:

  • 1GHz MTK6575 (single-core) CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB storage + microSD slot
  • 4.3" qHD display
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 5MP rear shooter
  • 1500mAh battery
  • 129 x 65.5 x 9.9mm, 145g
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0

That may not be a lot of punch, but at that price, it will be enough to pull a lot of dumb- and feature-phone users into the smartphone world.

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