In August 2016, the well-known phone manufacturer Alcatel has released another unit that is not only of quality but also an affordable phone for regular phone users. Designed to attend to consumers’ day to day needs, the new Alcatel unit has more to show than its cheap pricing.
Seemingly a rebadge of Alcatel’s Pop 3 released in 2015, the new Alcatel TRU comes off with a 5-inch scratch-resistant LCD display panel with a resolution of 480 x 854-pixel. It measures to a good 5.55 by 2.81 by 0.39 inches and weighs up to 5.89 ounces. This new unit features soft keys that users will definitely love.
Along with a compact body, the handset displays a minimal front display – with only a circular capacitive home button at the bottom, and the speaker and the selfie camera occupying the upper part of the screen. Going to the sides, Alcatel chose to retain the usual setup of the volume rocker and the power button at the right side of the device. More so for the main camera which is integrated at the rear of the unit with LED flash following it and the brand’s logo.
The Alcatel’s TRU unit comes with 2MP for the selfie camera and 5MP for the main camera at the back of the unit that is definitely suitable for beginners. The camera also features autofocus and geo tagging, and a LED flash that can be of use, especially for night shots. With regards to video recording, the camera’s capable of shooting a 720-pixel video at 30f/ps.
Connectivity and Network Performance
Aimed to meet the needs of a regular customer, Alcatel TRU has integrated just the right connectivity protocols for a better connection experience. The unit’s equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11, A-GPS and a USB 2.0 port for transferring files between a computer and a phone.
Going further, the MetroPCS device is also capable of quick downloads and uploads due to its 4G/LTE network capability.
Power and Battery
Powered by a quad-core 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 along with 1GB of RAM, the entry-level handset is very much capable of allowing smooth multitasking on particular apps such as utility, games, and messaging apps.
It is also capable of lasting a day’s use with its 2000 mAh battery capacity, proving to be sufficient for an everyday use.
Software and Memory
Running on Android, the handset’s equipped with a Lollipop version of the operating system, whereby it contains the complete suite of features of the said Android version. Going further, it includes an 8GB built-in storage and a Micro SD card slot for additional storage, even mounting up to 32GB.
What’s New with Alcatel TRU (OT-5065N)
What can be expected from the new Alcatel unit depends on which type of consumer a user is. Having that said, Alcatel TRU is yet another efficient entry-level smartphone that can cater to any regular users’ needs. It is equipped with the right specs such as a 2000mAh battery capacity that can withstand a day’s use, a quad-core Snapdragon processor along with 1 GB of RAM that allows particular multitasking on apps, a camera equipped with great Polaroid filters, and of course, the blazing fast 4G/LTE data connection. The unit also flaunts a good looking and leather-ish feel on its back panel as it features a soft noir faux leather rear.
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HTC has built a reputation over the years for its high-quality, premium looking smartphones. With that said, it won’t be a surprise if the brand will continue to add yet another impressive and affordable unit to continue the Desire lineup, which goes by the model name: HTC Desire 626s.
Similar to the previous Desire units, HTC Desire 626s sports a premium look with the polycarbonate material that covers its body. More so, it allows a variety of dual tone color options that customers can choose from.
With regards to the handset’s details, the device’s sides include the volume rocker and the power button on the right, and the flap that shelters the MicroSD and SIM card slots on the left. At the upper part of the device is the headphone jack and at the bottom is the micro USB port. As usual, the front displays the speakers both at the upper and bottom part of the panel, and the front camera is located at the upper left corner just beside the speaker. Looking at the back of the device, there’s nothing new but the usual placement of the rear camera at the right corner with the LED flash just below it and the brand’s logo at the middle. The design’s pretty much similar to its predecessor and is proven to be user-friendly as well.
When it comes to the display panel, the HTC Desire 626s features a good 5-inch LCD display with 1280 by 720-pixel resolution. While the handset’s body allows the user a good grip given that it only measures up to 5.78 by 2.79 by 0.32 inches and weighs to 4.90 ounces. Given these specs, the design’s definitely one reason to go for the Desire 626s.
Being an entry-level unit, the HTC Desire 626s offers a rear camera at 8MP which features autofocus setting and LED flash. It also includes a 5MP front camera that takes good selfies. Beyond these specs, the unit also allows a bit of tweaking with its camera settings including ISO, white balance and exposure.
Both cameras can also shoot quality videos with a resolution of 720-p at maximum. Favorably, HTC promotes quality over price on this one.
Connectivity and Network Performance
It is particularly impressive that HTC Desire 626s’ connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz, and A-GPS with GLONASS, retaining its predecessor’s good points
Additionally, given that MetroPCS is its carrier, the handset supports both GSM and LTE bands, hence, a fast connection can be expected that shall allow quick downloads and uploads.
It also does great when it comes to the call quality, as it is especially free from unnecessary crackling and background noise. Much can be expected from its connectivity and network specs despite it being an entry-level smartphone.
Power and Battery
The HTC Desire 626s flaunts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor which is clocked at 1.1GHz and a good 1GB of RAM. It allows multitasking though at a limited manner. Furthermore, the device is backed up with a 2000mAh battery that can last a day with up to 22 hours of calls made and 720 hours if it’s in standby mode.
Software and Memory
HTC has a well-known reputation when it comes to quality software experience and the Desire 626s can attest to that statement. The unit runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop along with the brand’s custom UI – the HTC Sense 7.0 skin. It allows an amount of difference when it comes to the icons, the notification area, and the settings menu that customers will surely appreciate. Furthermore, it includes HTC’s BlinkFeed feature which displays news, sports and weather updates, and a lot more information that may be relevant to the user’s interest.
Aside from HTC’s custom features, the unit also includes pre-installed apps that are user-friendly, and will surely ease the users’ effort on installing particular apps given that these are already installed by the brand.
What’s New with HTC Desire 626s
HTC has introduced yet another desirable unit to the world – given that it’s premium looking, has good camera specs, and is very affordable in terms of pricing. More so, it provides users a great software experience that is lacking from its rival units.
Going further, it gives users the freedom to be themselves with the varying dual tone color schemes that they can choose from. This unit definitely aims the youth in the market.
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“I want to unlock my phone!” – Tons of consumers have been curious about phone unlocking for a while now. Some may be aware but may have also been confused about unlocking with illegal practices on mobile. One may be aware though hesitating. Truly, unlocking has reached various people from around the globe. However, misconceptions continue to prevail due to lack of knowledge.
How about locked phones? Sure, many people rely on contract phones – those that offer plans and great perks. This is usually due to the reason that they are more trustworthy because they are sold by well-known carriers.
However, what could be the main difference between these two types of smartphones? How do they differ? What could be the pros and cons of purchasing them? Which smartphone type suits you best? Which side should you be on as a consumer?
The Unfolded Difference Between Locked and Unlocked Smartphones
• Locked smartphones are those mobile units that one can purchase from a carrier. In particular, they are restricted and can only work on the network provided by the carrier. Going further, what consumers do not know about purchasing contract phones is that those devices are locked by a program code which then disables the use of another carrier’s network. This explains why if you replace your carrier provided SIM card with a different one, it wouldn’t work.
• Unlocked smartphones, on the other hand, are mobile units which are directly purchased from a manufacturer. However, it can also be in the form of a locked phone that has been unlocked via a third-party service or the purchaser has acquired a manual code to unlock the unit. Either way, an unlocked smartphone enables the use of a different mobile carrier, hence, the reason why some can take and replace SIM cards much often than others.
Identifying a Smartphone Whether It’s a Locked or Unlocked Smartphone
It may be hard to distinguish an unlocked smartphone from a locked unit especially for non-tech savvies. Having that said, here’s a few factors to consider in identifying whether a smartphone is locked or unlocked.
The easiest way to identify whether a smartphone is locked or unlocked is through its branding. One can easily tell if the phone is locked if it has the company logo of a carrier which includes Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Most often, these companies offer contract phones which strictly runs only with its provided network.
However, it’s also best to be aware that a manufacturer’s logo (i.e. LG, Samsung, HTC and many others) is different from the carrier’s. More so, they can both be indicated on the unit.
2. Dual SIM Capability
One path to identify an unlocked unit is through its SIM card slots. Most likely, a smartphone would be designed with two separate SIM card slots if it’s meant to be utilized with different carriers. Even though the chances can include that the unit is supported by multiple carriers, hence, a locked phone, a Dual SIM is still a definite factor in the identification of unlocked smartphones.
3. Model Number
If you want to be 100% sure about the unit especially during purchase, you can search the model number on the Internet. You can either check on the details included in the flyer or directly ask the salesperson about it. Now, when you get your hands on relevant results online, you will be able to determine whether the phone’s sold as locked or unlocked and even scan through advanced details on the unit for a better purchase.
4. Different SIM Card
Whether you have asked your carrier’s help or availed a third-party unlocking service on unlocking your locked phone, you can confirm this through inserting a different SIM card. If your smartphone worked with a different carrier’s SIM card, then that surely is already unlocked. However, if it didn’t, then it’s still locked.
The Pros and Cons of Locked and Unlocked Smartphones
Here’s an interesting list of the pros and cons of a locked and unlocked smartphone to help you weigh your options:
The Locked Smartphones
✔ They are cost efficient. Most likely, carriers offer phones at a much lower price, given that they are contracted for a year or two of exclusively using the phone on the carrier’s network. It’s very much practical for those who don’t want to spend too much on a smartphone.
✔ They are equipped with extra warranty options. Compared to purchasing an unlocked phone, locked phones generally come with a carrier’s exclusive warranty program. This is beneficial especially when the phone starts malfunctioning shortly after the purchase. The consumer can easily file a warranty claim through the carrier and get a replacement phone without having to wait for the manufacturer to repair it. While the warranty options may differ from carrier to carrier, they are still worth the consideration.
✔ They are available everywhere. One may encounter various phones at the mall, however, the chances are locked or carrier phones are much common on stores.
✔ They come with great perks. What most people love about locked units is that it comes with perks that unlocked phones are lacking. This may come in accessories, freebies, or the plan itself. Hence, regardless of a two-year contract, consumers still prefer to purchase this type of smartphones.
✘ You can’t switch carriers. What people are unsatisfied about locked phones is that you don’t get to switch on a different carrier especially when the provided service is not useful for you. More so, with the plans being offered.
✘ You’re bound to a contract. It is one of the many things that makes a locked phone worrisome. You will have to think about the two-year contract for a while just to get that great phone in your hands.
✘ You have to endure some bloatware. Think about this: you are purchasing a great deal of a phone that is only equipped with 16GB of internal storage (which you let go as it’s already a great deal for the purchase). Then, upon using the phone, you discovered that there is only a minimal amount of storage left on your phone. The suspect? The load of bloatware the carrier company has incorporated in the unit. Which, by the way, cannot be uninstalled. However, doing so may result in instability issues.
The Unlocked Smartphones
✔ They work with various mobile carrier options. The most common reason why people switch to unlocked units or have their phones unlocked is that it is definitely capable of working with every other carrier. It is simple as popping out the SIM card from the slot and replacing it with a different one to avail a better service.
✔ You are not bound to any contract. This goes way back to the above stated, as contracts may refrain you from using your preferred carrier – despite the existing carrier being unusable. With unlocked phones, you are free to switch to any carrier at any time.
✔ There is a fewer bloatware. The thing about unlocked phones is that they are not incorporated with unnecessary apps that consumers do not usually need. They might contain apps, but most likely, they are those that are installed by the manufacturer and won’t consume the entirety of the unit’s internal storage.
✔ They are cheaper than locked phones. Unlocked phones may seem as expensive upfront, however, given that they are purchased in a take-it-and-it’s-yours-forever manner, they are cheaper than the locked units. If you will take the time to compare the price difference between the one-time payment over unlocked phones and the expense you will be spending on the contract of a locked phone, you will get to see that the initial purchase is way much cheaper than the wholeness of the expenses from a contract phone.
✔ They are travel-ready. A particular complaint about locked phones is that they are not practical for use when traveling – given such reasons as non-compatibility or costly charges from partner services from outside the country. With that said, an unlocked phone is most likely to be efficient as one can simply change SIM cards to avail the service in the area that they are in.
✔ They are practical for resale. Given that they are not bound to any contract; a consumer can easily sell them to any potential buyer all over the globe. Even more, the consumer can always swap to a new unit upon resale.
✘ They are expensive for initial purchase. What people find as an issue with unlocked phones is that they’re particularly expensive given the initial purchase compared to locked phones which are offered at discounted prices.
Evaluate Whether You’re the Locked or Unlocked Smartphone Type of User
As a consumer, it is best to go for the type of smartphone that fits you and your needs. With that said, here are some considerations for you to evaluate if you are the locked or unlocked smartphone type of user.
Are You the Locked Smartphone Type of User?
Wants to make sure your phone comes with full protection (or warranty options)
Loves flagship phones from well-known smartphone brands
Unwilling to spend too much upfront
Not so much of a traveler
Are You the Unlocked Smartphone Type of User?
Purchases the latest phone with the latest technology – immediately
Does not have the patience on waiting for a new upgrade of the device from the mobile carrier
Willing to pay upfront
Is a regular traveler
There are various reasons why you should side on either locked or unlocked smartphone. However, what this article highlights are the benefits that you can earn from purchasing either of them. Sadly, there is no definite winner – only of what is fitting for you and your needs that makes one your perfect match.
However, if you are unwilling to pay upfront but loves the perks of unlocked phones, you can always ask an unlocking service to have your phone unlocked. This way, everybody wins!