The Alcatel OneTouch Pop S3 is the cheapest 4G smartphone ever, but at what cost?
Alcatel OneTouch’s latest handset undercuts all other budget 4G phones on the market – even EE’s own-brand £99 Kestrel handset that only launched in May. But as more and more phones offer LTE data speeds at a discount, is this enough to make the Pop S3 a must-have?
In terms of design, the Pop S3 has thankfully swerved the convention for the Little Black Handset that is the default for so many budget devices. Instead Alcatel OneTouch has opted for a bright white front, though the capacitive buttons along the bottom and an excessive bezel at the top seem like a waste of screen space.
Perhaps taking the lead from low-budget leaders Motorola and Nokia, the handset also has replaceable back covers. They’re made from a cheap material, but come in a broad range of colours and are tough enough to handle a knock.
Asus has come up with a nice budget-priced tablet in the shape of the new MeMO Pad 7
Smaller tablets seem like they are here to stay and if you are looking for a budget buy they are not a bad place to cast your eye. The Asus MeMO Pad 7 ME176C, for example, seems like a snip at £120, as long as it does enough to justify owning it, of course.
Certainly Asus has got things right in the looks and usability departments. The MeMO Pad 7 ME176C, which updates the previous MeMO Pad 7 HD model, comes in five colours. We have to say the yellow is stunning, and Asus makes a range of colour-matching covers with built-in stand to help emphasise your selection.
There aren’t a lot of ports and connectors here, but what you get is well placed. So the volume rocker and on/off switch are on the right edge, where both are easy to use one handed. Power and headset slots are on the top edge, and there’s an unprotected micro SD card slot on the left edge. A hinged cover would have been nice – it would have stopped there being a small black scar on the yellow casing and protected the card too.
Motorola’s budget stunner gets a 4G update and micro SD card expansion, but is it better than the original?
hen Motorola launched the Moto G it gave every handset maker aiming for a budget buyer a problem. The quality and specifications were fantastic, considering the pricing. Now Motorola has upped the stakes again, giving the Moto G a face-lift in two important areas while continuing the high-quality, low-price ambition. Motorola has added 4G into the mix, bringing ultra-fast mobile broadband into the specifications. It has also dealt with a key criticism of the Moto G, its lack of a micro SD card slot, by providing one.
The remaining specifications are identical to the old Moto G, but these two uplifts have meant a rise in price for the Moto G 4G, which you can get SIM-free for around £150. The original Moto G is currently selling for around £110.
One of the things that really stood out with the original Moto G, and which still stands out here, is the screen. At 4.5 inches and with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels the screen is a stunner. Sharp, clear, bright and with super viewing angles, you will struggle to find higher quality at this price. The handset is a comfy hold too, well sized for smaller hands and pockets, and with a nicely curved back. If you want to brighten things up, you can buy brightly coloured backplates for under £10 a pop.
Sharp has created arguably the best looking phone ever.
Although more famed for the TV sets, Sharp has recently launched one of the first true Android devices without any real bezel. The device has a 5-inch 720p display that goes from edge to edge, with the only real bezel at the bottom of the device. Although we haven’t had the chance to get our hands on it yet, we’d have to think that placement of both the front-facing camera and speaker at the bottom of the device is a slight worry, but it’s absolutely stunning!Sharp Aquos Crystal specifications 5-inch 720p display Snapdragon 400 processor 1.5GB RAM 8GB of storage (expandable via microSD) 8-megapixel rear-facing camera Android 4.4.2
It isn’t anything special in the specifications department, but Sharp has made it clear that the Aquos Crystal is very much a mid-range device. It’s set for release in both Japan and the U.S, where it will be available for $239. No news on if we’ll see the Aquos Crystal in the UK.
YouTube Music Key will be Google’s new music subscription service
Google are set to announce a new music subscription service for YouTube. Called YouTube Music Key, the service will enable users to listen to millions of songs readily available on YouTube, have access to offline playback and even listen to their favourite songs in the background.
Android Police report that the new service will also provide ad-free music and an audio-only playback function for those who don’t want the accompanying music videos.
Alongside this, Google Play Music will be rebranded to Play Music Key, but the features will predominantly remain the same as what’s currently available in Play Music All Access. Although nothing has been fully confirmed, it would seem that current subscribers of Google Play Music will get the new YouTube Music Key completely free of charge. New subscribers to the YouTube Music Key can take advantage of a 30 day free trial, before paying $9.99 a month for the service.
Source: Android Police
Is this the official price of the Moto 360?
Although we’re still a couple of weeks away from Motorola’s September 4th unveiling, that hasn’t stopped certain retail stores from jumping the gun with their listings. American giants Best Buy have gone live with their listing of the Moto 360. If it’s to be believed, then the new smartwatch will be going on-sale for $249. The price point seems fair enough, but it’s slightly more expensive than both the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live.
There’s no direct news of the UK price, as of yet, but we expect it not to be too far away from that $249 mark. We’ll have all the news from Motorola’s event right here on LittleGreenRobot.