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In a world full of iPhones and Samsung Galaxys, Alcatel devices hardly stand out on the shelves. But the manufacturer fills a very important niche, that of low budget hand sets. And more importantly, they fill that niche very well. For shoppers on a strict budget, Alcatel is the name to look for. Reliable and affordable, Alcatel’s newest low budget model, the Pixi 4 could well be the best bargain around.
Why should you buy the Pixi 4? It’s got a full five inch screen, unusual for a phone in this price range. And there’s quad core processing power too, again unexpected. There are even a couple of excellent cameras, and a removable battery too! If you’re looking for a phone that can do everything you need, but you’re on a strict budget, this is the model for you.
The Alcatel Idol 4 is maybe a little thicker than you’re used to seeing, with rounded edges and corners. But that makes it feel robust, like it could survive a drop or too. And that plastic back panel fits snugly and firmly into the hand (and is removable too). The front facing speaker gives a warm tone, and overall the phone looks more expensive than it really is.
Whilst its looks might not stand out, the Pixi 4 does have some surprisingly good internals for a phone in this budget range. That includes a full five inch display, quad core processing power, and a decent camera set as well. And all for around £50.
We can’t really find fault with the Pixi 4, after all, even just a couple of years ago £50 wouldn’t have even come close to getting you a smart phone. The right combination of specs and price mean that this is one of the best low budget mobile options on the market right now.
Let’s get started with performance, since that’s the most important factor in any smart phone. The Pixi 4 is running a quad core 1.3 GHz processor, along with a full 1 GB of RAM. No, that’s not the fastest phone around. However, the Pixi 4 is more than capable of handling every day tasks, and of multi tasking too.
This is an Android device, and it’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Unlike many low budget phones you won’t be fobbed off with an old OS version. Android 6.0 means you’ll have a stable and secure user experience, and there’s some nice features thrown in too (like the ability to keep different profiles on your mobile to separate, say, work and private calls and messages).
We really can’t complain about performance here. The Pixi 4 is able to do all the necessary tasks, and to do them well. No, it’s not super speedy, but what would you expect? It is, however, dependable and very able.
The display is one of the big selling points of the Pixi 4, simply because we don’t expect to see a display of this size at this budget. You’re getting a full five inch screen. That means tons of room for video watching and comfortable on screen typing. And thanks to a thin bezel around that screen, the device isn’t too big, and can still be used with one hand.
Resolution isn’t amazing, to be honest. You’re getting nowhere close to HD. The Pixi 4 gets 480 x 854 pixels, so around 196 PPI. Still, images are quite clear, and lines appear crisp. This is an LCD display, so colour resolution is bright and good. And the addition of IPS means that viewing angles are excellent.
We love the screen size here, though to be honest screen resolution is a bit of a compromise. But the Pixi 4’s display looks a lot better than the numbers indicate, and on the whole this is a very good little screen.
On to those cameras, and again there are some pleasant surprises here. The first of these is that the front camera is a very satisfying 5 MP cam. That means great resolution selfies, and even video calling (we’d expect only a simple VGA front cam at this price range).
At the rear you’re getting an 8 MP camera, which again is quite decent, though fairly standard on budget phones these days. You’ve got an LED flash, autofocus, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR, so all the expected camera features.
If you’re looking to take mobile snaps on a budget, then the Alcatel Pixi 4 isn’t going to disappoint. This is one of the best camera sets we’ve seen in this price range, and the Pixi takes very good pictures.
There aren’t really any extra features on the Pixi 4, and we wouldn’t really expect to see any. It does come with a removable battery, which is always nice (since it makes resetting your device easy). And at 2000 mAh, you should be getting a fair amount of battery life out of the Pixi as well.
That back panel is removable, and there is the option of switching out that panel for different colours. And there’s an included FM radio as well.
|Technology||GSM / HSPA|
|Dimensions||121.3 x 64.4 x 9.7 mm (4.78 x 2.54 x 0.38 in)|
|Type||TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||4.0 inches (~58.3% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||480 x 800 pixels (~233 ppi pixel density)|
|Multitouch||Yes, up to 2 fingers|
|OS||Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||4 GB, 512 MB RAM|
|8 GB, 1 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||2 MP or 5 MP, LED flash|
|Secondary Camera||VGA or 2 MP|
|Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, IM|
|- MP3/AAC+/WAV player|
|- MP4/H.264 player|
|- Document viewer|
|- Photo/video editor|
|Battery||Removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery|
|Stand-by||Up to 520 h (2G) / Up to 500 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 10 h (2G) / Up to 7 h 20 min (3G)|
Budget shoppers rejoice, it’s finally possible to get a decent smartphone for a very, very low price. With solid performance and camera specs, and a full five-inch display, the Alcatel Pixi 4 is an awesome low priced mobile. It definitely ticks all the boxes, and is one of the best super low budget devices we’ve seen.
Connectivity wise you’re getting 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi. Be aware that there are two versions of the Pixi 4, one with and one without 4G. Internally there’s 8 GB of memory, which isn’t a whole lot. But there is an SD card slot that allows you to add up to 32 GB of extra external storage if necessary.
Right, what don’t we like? Well, that screen could be higher definition. We’d like to see a little more internal storage too. But at these prices, it seems petty to complain. The bottom line is that this is a fantastic device for a low, low price. The Pixi 4 is more than capable of doing all you need a mobile to do day to day. So if you’re budget phone shopping, then you’re going to want to check out the Alcatel Pixi 4!
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.