The Consumer Electronics Show hasn’t even officially started, and Alcatel has already introduced a ton of new products. The one getting the most attention is the OneTouch Idol X+, a smartphone which houses what is currently the world’s fastest true octa-core processor. Another interesting new device is the Magic Flip, a 4-inch Bluetooth e-reader accessory.
Let’s start with the OneTouch Idol X+, which was actually launched in China last month under the TCL brand. The phone will be heading to Europe in Feburary as an Alcatel device. It features MediaTek’s 2GHz MT6592 processor, which, at the moment, is the fastest true octa-chip available. It does come with one big drawback, however. The chip does not support 4G LTE, so the Idol X+ tops out at HSPA+ speeds.
Aside from that, most of the trappings here are generally high-end, including a 5-inch 1080p display and a 13-megapixel rear camera, with support for digital video stabilization and 40-megapixel panoramas. There’s also a 2500mAh battery, 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot if you need more. The phone measures just 0.31 inches thick and weighs 4.59 ounces, though its plastic build doesn’t look too impressive. Still, for a projected $300 unsubsidized, it looks like a decent deal for a dual-SIM handset.
Alcatel’s other device that caught my eye is the Magic Flip, a 4-inch Bluetooth e-reader accessory. Engadget spent some time with the device and it looks like a mini Kindle Paperwhite that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Alcatel claims the device can read every standard e-book format. I can see this coming in handy for heavy readers that don’t want to carry a tablet-sized device on their commute. 4 inches might be slightly on the too-small side for a reader, but any bigger and it would become direct competition against Amazon’s readers. There’s no word on a price or availability, but like most Alcatel products, I doubt we’ll be seeing this stateside.
Alcatel also introduced the Pop C9 “phablet,” a 5.5-inch smartphone that comes in a bunch of fun color options. Unfortunately, with just 960×540 resolution, I’m afraid that 5 and-a-half inch screen is going to look pretty grainy. The rest of the specs are fairly mid-range, with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, and scant 4GB of internal storage (though there’s room for a microSD card). Like the Idol X+, the phone doesn’t support 4G LTE. But it’s likely to sport a low price, in the $200 range.
Finally, there are the Pop 7 and Pop 8 tablets, that, fortunately, do feature 4G LTE. Unfortunately, it appears that fast network connectivity was a higher priority than solid specs. At a projected price of less than $200, the Pop 7 is the cheaper of the two tablets and features a 7-inch 1024 x 600 display as well as a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, both of which are specs you were more likely to find in a device two years ago. The Pop 8, which is expected to cost less than $300, improves things a bit, with an 8-inch 1280 x 800 display and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, but it is by no means high-end. These tablets are strictly for users that want a relatively low entry-price to an LTE-connected tablet when compared to the competition.