Alcatel’s the latest one we’ve seen that embraced the Android OS and it looks like it’s doing something good for them. The one we have here, an Alcatel One Touch Blaze 990, will be launched in August 4 with an introductory price of Php9,999. Check out our full review after the jump.
The OT Blaze 990 looks like your regular mid-range Android smartphone — full touchscsreen, candy-bar form factor and a flavor of Froyo.
The Blaze 990 has a slightly larger screen size of 3.5″ (diagonally) compared to the usual 3.2″ we’re seeing in other smartphones in the same category and price point. However, the screen resolution of 320×480 pixels is a bit of a downer.
The display is bright and relatively crisp although I find the colors a little washed-out. One can’t expect much from a TFT capacitive touchscreen at 256K colors so that’s a given.
The size is just right, not too thick (12.2mm) and has a bit of a heft to it. The microUSB port is found on the top end along with the 3.5mm audio port. The volume control is on the right side while the power button is on the left side. The 5MP camera and LED flash at the back is placed beside the audio speakers.
Up in front, the touch panel on the bottom end has the usual buttons — Settings, Search and Back. The Home button is the only physical button and positioned below the panel.
There’s no dedicated button for the 5MP camera. Speaking of the camera, we found the image quality quite unimpressive. The photos are soft and looks out of focus, despite the autofocus feature of the camera. Quality of video recording is also the same so we didn’t bother getting samples.
Performance of the Blaze 990 is decent — it doesn’t have the fastest single-core processor (just 600MHz) but it works just fine. Some Android games like Angry Birds might feel a little jittery sometimes but they’re very playable (others might not just work because of the resolution). Speakers volume is actually really loud.
The virtual qwerty keyboard is also a bit cramped in the portrait orientation but is more usable in landscape mode.
Our Quadrant benchmark gives it a score of 429, just under the Xperia X10i. It’s got a healthy serving of internal RAM though at 411MB (actual) so that makes up for the lower clocked CPU. Internal storage is just 158MB so you will need to plug in more external storage via the microSD card slot.
Alcatel One Touch Blaze 990
3.5â€³ capacitive display @ 320Ã—480 pixels
Qualcomm 600 MHz processor
Adreno 200 chip
200MB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
3G/HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
5MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS w/ aGPS support
Li-Ion 1300mAh battery
Android 2.2 Froyo
As for battery life, we’re able to squeeze in around 2 days of normal use (a little bit of web surfing, SNS and some text and calls). And since it already runs on Froyo, you can also use it for WiFi tethering to other devices.
The Alcatel OT Blaze 990 would have been an attractive Android handset had they brought it earlier this year. The suggested retail price of Php15k is a bit much considering there are a lot of more capable Android handsets in that price point. This could be the reason why they’re pegging it down to just Php9,999 (which, IMO, might be the permanent price).