Tech from Sony, JBL packed into Alcatel OneTouch's sub-$300 flagship

Australia's 3 top telcos back the emerging brand

Marking Alcatel OneTouch’s return to the Australian market is a smartphone priced below $300 and a circular smartwatch that will be priced under $200.

The company is focussing solely on the prepaid market and has gained the support of Australia’s three largest carriers, said Sam Skontos, Alcatel OneTouch’s regional managing director.

“I’m more than happy to be positioned as the prepaid specialist,” said Skontos. “Being a prepaid company is going to help us sell not just our phones, but everything else we offer.”

The prepaid market is a competitive space as brands such as Motorola and Microsoft deliver powerful smartphones that are inexpensive. Skontos said Alcatel OneTouch’s competitive advantage stems from the reliability of its products.

"When Vodafone globally partners with you...that says a lot about your organisation.

“Carriers don’t want to have massive return rates. An untried and untested brand has a very big element of risk for the carrier.”

Skontos credits the reliability of Alcatel OneTouch’s smartphones to its manufacturing process. “All of our products are designed and produced all under one roof. We don’t outsource design. We don't outsource manufacturing,” he told Good Gear Guide.

Headlining the range is the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. It has a 4.7-inch HD screen, stereo speakers from JBL and a 13 megapixel camera from Sony. The smartphone will be offered in 3G and 4G variants, has a 1.2GHz quad core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

Pricing for the Idol 3 is not yet definitive, though Skontos did confirm it will be set below $300.

Joining it is a 5.5-inch phablet variant of the Idol 3. Its screen has a higher Full HD resolution and it has twice the number of processing cores with an octa-core CPU. The 5.5-inch Idol 3 is expected to be priced below $350.

Unique to the Idol 3 range of smartphones is its ability to be used upside down as it has speakers and microphones at both ends of the smartphone.

Read more: How do Globalgig’s mobile broadband plans compare against Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone roaming plans?

Fleshing out the range is a circular smartwatch that has the distinction of working with both Android and Apple smartphones. It operates on a proprietary software platform, is equipped with a heart rate monitor, an accelerometer and sleep sensors, and is dust and water resistant.

The OneTouch Watch is expected to retail under $200, which is less than the $329 retail price of the Motorola Moto 360.

Read more: Telstra revises NBN migration plan

"We will offer products that match any of the features in the market, but at a third of the price," said Skontos.

Alcatel OneTouch’s range of smartphones and wearables will progressively be released in the Australian market as of May 2015. The company is owned by TCL, which is the most popular television brand in China.

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