Reference Library – Mobile Phones – ZTE
Samsung grabbed headlines at Mobile World Congress (MWC) with the S9 and S9+, but buyers on a budget still have something to get excited about. Several sub-GBP200 phones have been shown off at MWC here in Barcelona, and we’ve had our hands on them for some initial impressions. Features typically found on premium smartphones, such as dual lens cameras and facial recognition, are trickling down the price ladder.
Below, we’ve rounded up the cheap phones that caught our eye at MWC.
This is the cheapest Alcatel smartphone of 2018, coming with a 5.3-inch display and 16GB of storage. It’s being touted as the first smartphone with an 18:9 screen that costs below EUR100. As it has just 1GB of Ram, Android Oreo (Go edition) comes pre-installed.
Android Go is purpose-built for smartphones with low amounts of memory: non-essential features are removed, making the Google apps on board run more smoothly.
The 1X could be an option if you want a phone that can manage basic tasks and take decent pictures. It has an 8Mp rear camera and a 2Mp front camera. There’s no fingerprint sensor, but it does support facial recognition.
Alcatel refers to it as ‘Face Key’. The Alcatel 1X will go on sale from April.
Also starring in Alcatel’s refreshed smartphone line-up is the 5.5-inch Alcatel 3. A 13-megapixel camera sits on the back of the phone, and on the front there’s a 5Mp camera for selfies and video calls.
You get only 16GB of internal storage out of the box, but there’s a micro-SD card slot if you need more space for pictures and videos.
The phone runs on 2GB of Ram and has a fingerprint sensor on its rear. That should mean decent performance for most, but if you watch lots of video and enjoy gaming on the go, you might want to look for something more powerful. We like the look of the Alcatel 3’s glossy back, but be warned: it’s a fingerprint magnet.
Some may find themselves forever polishing it. The Alcatel 3 is slightly pricier than the 1X at EUR150. It goes on sale in March.
Previously, Nuu has kept its focus on selling smartphones under GBP150.
But now, it’s launching its priciest smartphone yet, and the company is hoping a feature-packed spec sheet will turn some heads.
The Nuu G3 has a 5.7-inch 18:9 display. We got a chance to try it out at MWC and were impressed by the vibrant colours on screen. The G3 runs on 4GB of Ram (good enough for running multiple apps at once) and comes with facial recognition.
There’s also a 3,000mAh battery tucked inside. On the back of the Nuu G3 you’ll spot two lenses, comprising a 13Mp main camera and a 5Mp depth-sensing camera. The 13Mp front-facing camera is wide-angle, so you’ll be able to capture yourself and plenty of the background.
Nuu told us to expect the G3 some time in April, when it will be on sale online for GBP199.
Shopping for a smartphone under GBP100? The new Nokia 1 is battling rivals for a spot in your pocket. The 4.5-inch mobile fits snugly in the palm of your hand, and you can inject some personality into it by clipping an Xpress-on cover onto the back.
It ships with 8GB of internal storage, a 5Mp rear camera and a 2Mp front camera, so don’t expect crystal-clear shots from the Nokia 1. Like the Alcatel 1X, it has 1GB of Ram and runs on Android Oreo (Go edition). It’s Nokia’s cheapest new smartphone, costing just £85.
Cheap mobile phones in our test lab
Not everyone wants to splash out on the latest flagship mobiles from the likes of Apple and Samsung. But as our rigorous lab tests prove time and time again, you don’t always need to spend big for a capable mobile phone.
Google’s Office apps have finally – finally – embraced iOS 9’s split-view support, ending one of the most confusing feature hold-outs ever to plague Apple’s mobile platform. Split-screen multitasking was one of the most-anticipated aspects of iOS 9, addressing in one fell swoop criticisms that the platform was unsuitable to properly replace a laptop or Windows tablet that had plagued it since the first iPad. However, while Apple’s native apps for iPad were updated along with iOS 9 to support the feature, it was left up to individual developers to code support into their own software. That has taken Google longer than expected. In fact, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, the company’s word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation apps, were arguably the most obvious candidates for split-screen support, making the company’s tardiness to update them even more confusing.
Good things do apparently come to those who wait, though, and today updates pushed out to Docs, Sheets, and Slides bring with them, among other things, the oft-requested feature. It works just as you’d expect. Swiping in from the side of the screen while you’re using Google Docs pulls in a sidebar which can be used to view a second app; dragging that divide further across splits the screen into two. When holding the iPad in portrait orientation you have a single split option, 60/40, while in landscape you get a choice of two, both 70/30 and 50/50.
Unfortunately you can’t have two instances of the same app visible at the same time, though, which means there’s no way to see two Google Docs documents simultaneously and flick between them. NOW READ: Making the iPad Pro 9.7 work for work1
Still, even with that limit in place, this is a long-anticipated improvement. Rival word processing apps, like Microsoft’s Word and Apple’s own Pages, have ticked that box some time ago, but many people are heavily wedded to Google’s services and couldn’t justify – or stomach – switching platforms. You can find the new Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides versions in the App Store, where they’re free downloads.
In addition to split-view, the new Google Docs supports inserting images and page breaks; like Google Sheets and Slides, it also has a number of bugfixes.
T-Mobile has a deal that is so “super,” it is being offered for just one day only. On Saturday August 6th, buy a qualifying Samsung Superphone and you’ll get a second one of equal or lesser value for free when you add a new line. The phones involved in the sale include the Samsung Galaxy S71, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge2, Samsung Galaxy S63, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge4, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 56.
Here is how it works. Buy one of the above mentioned phones using an EIP (Equipment Installment Plan). Add another line, and over the 24 month term of the installment plan you will receive a credit for the 2nd phone you choose of equal or lower value. Any down payment you lay out will also be returned to you over the 24 months.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, the deal runs for tomorrow (Saturday, August 6th) only. Coming into the store on Sunday with sad puppy dog eyes won’t help you. And we also would imagine that recycling your old high school homework excuses (my dog ate the car keys so I couldn’t make it to the store on Saturday) won’t work either. Besides, the deal is available at both physical and online T-Mobile stores.
A free Samsung Galaxy S7 would feel really good right about now, so don’t let this opportunity go by.
If interested, head to your local T-Mobile store or go to T-Mobile.com.
Samsung Galaxy S7