Alcatel really isn’t a brand known for high-end smartphones. In fact, it isn’t even that well known for making midrange devices. But in a world in which Huawei starts designing its own quad-core processors, certainly everything is possible.
So ladies and gentlemen… enter the Alcatel OT986. Or the TCL S900 – that’s the branding that will be used on the Chinese market.
This is an Android smartphone with a 4.5-inch 1280×720 HD IPS touchscreen, a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, a 5 MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage space, and HSPA+ support. It will be 9.75 mm thin. And will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from day one.
There will also be a cheaper version which will come with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and just 4 GB of built-in storage. It’s not clear right now if the cheaper device will sport the same name(s) as the high-end one.
Interesting to note is that the Alcatel OT986 is one of the very few non-Nexus smartphones that come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and don’t feature physical capacitive Android buttons below the display. As you can see from the picture above, Alcatel’s flagship uses software keys, just like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We sincerely wish more manufacturers would do this, and stop trying to needlessly differentiate by adding physical buttons where there’s absolutely no need for them (since Android 4.0 is 100% optimized for use with software keys only).
The TCL S900 will cost 1,999 yuan, which comes in at about $315 or €252 at today’s exchange rates. Pricing for the Alcatel OT986 hasn’t been announced, but NetEase expects it to be similar to that of the TCL-branded version. We assume that this low price is for the ‘cheaper’, 1.2 GHz + 4 GB ROM version of the phone, but things aren’t 100% clear just yet. We’ve been promised that more details will become available next month, so stay tuned for that.
If Alcatel manages to get this device in stores in Europe for €250 or so, you may need to get ready to be excited about an Alcatel smartphone for the first time ever. The price per features ratio in that case would be outstanding.
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