Alcatel reveals new 'One Touch with Windows Phone'...7.8 [Update: specs]

It's not every day that we get to report that a new manufacturer is joining the Windows Phone hardware ecosystem. Indeed, as Dell, LG and Asus have slipped away from the platform (with the latter never actually selling a production handset), there seem to be plenty of headlines written about who isn't making Windows Phones these days. Even the next-generation Windows Phone 8 devices will only be offered by four manufacturers at launch.

So the addition of a new brand offering Windows Phone hardware is certainly newsworthy - and the news today comes from French telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent. Two images appeared on the company's Instagram account - having been outed on Twitter by Alcatel's Russian division - featuring a previously unseen device called the "One Touch with WP". The front of the handset is not dissimilar to Samsung's first-gen Windows Phone, the Omnia 7, while the reverse offers a much more distinctive design with its bright orange bodywork.

This second image clearly shows the handset sporting the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, while the hardware Start button features the old-style Windows flag, rather than the newer, more angular Windows Phone logo. This suggests that the device seen in these images is pre-production, meaning that the physical design of the hardware may change before the handset officially goes on sale.

 

The 5MP camera hints at relatively modest specs for the device, and Alcatel Russia's confirmation that it will ship with Windows Phone 7.8 also points to it being an affordable entry-level handset, although details of pricing and availability remain unknown.

This won't be the only Windows Phone 7.8 device being launched at a time when Microsoft and its partners will be heavily promoting their shiny new Windows Phone 8 handsets, such as the Samsung ATIV S, HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 810. As we reported a few weeks ago, Nokia is expected to launch its new low-end Lumia 510 with WP7.8 in China.

Sources: Instagram ( 1 | 2 ) / @Alcatel1TouchRU | via The Verge


Update: French Windows Phone site Professeur Thibault has published specs for the One Touch, including a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A, 512MB of RAM, 4" 800x480 IPS, 4GB of storage (2.9GB available to user) and a 1500mAH battery. The device is expected to go on sale in Russia for 7990 rubles ($255 USD / £160 GBP / €200 EUR).

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21 Comments

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Actually, I think this is Microsoft's insurance policy on WP7.8. If phones are still running it, and have a larger user base wouldn't they be saying to developers "write for 7.8 first".

Also why haven't we seen the new SDK? Again to force them to write apps for 7.8 first.

Don't think Microsoft was kidding about supporting Phone 7 at this point

Wow, I don't want to sound clueless but I thought Alcatel had more or less given up on mobile phones and are now focused on delivering the back end infrastructure for telecommunications companies. Alcatel reminds me of my first mobile phone - Alcatel Easy Touch.

I guess this will be an affordable option who don't know or care about WP8 or even know the difference. Good on them for providing an accessible device for "the basics."

seebaran said,
I guess this will be an affordable option who don't know or care about WP8 or even know the difference. Good on them for providing an accessible device for "the basics."

While there are plenty of things I'm frustrated with about my Lumia 710, it makes phone calls well, has decent battery life, and doesn't crash. That's not something I could rely on with an Android at the same price point.

migo said,

While there are plenty of things I'm frustrated with about my Lumia 710, it makes phone calls well, has decent battery life, and doesn't crash. That's not something I could rely on with an Android at the same price point.

True. I got my girlfriend Samsung Galaxy Ace at Christmas thinking it was a good mkid range phone that would make a good replacement for her terriblke and old samsung smartphone which was just terrible. Oh how wrong I was. After 3 months I said I made a mistake sold it onn ebay and got her the Lumia 710 for £150 from Vodafone. But purchase yet, she loves it and the more and more I use it the more I want a windows phones. They are the bet mid/low range phones out there. As for high end its really personal preference as to whether you go iOS, Android or WP8.

Rudy said,
Makes no sense at all to release this one so late in the game

If they didn't do this, Android would dominate the "low-end" market (if they don't already). It's important Microsoft have Windows Phones that are available to all phone users, if they'd like to compete with Android, and Windows Phone 7.8 is the best way for them to achieve that because Windows Phone 8 (and all its features and apps) won't run on that kind of hardware.

Seeing how this device will target the low end and markets like Russia and China I think going with WP 7.8 and not 8.0 makes sense. The people who end up buying this aren't big app and game buyers and just want a phone that does what it does out of the box really. More of a feature phone than a full smart phone buyer you could say.

GP007 said,
Seeing how this device will target the low end and markets like Russia and China I think going with WP 7.8 and not 8.0 makes sense. The people who end up buying this aren't big app and game buyers and just want a phone that does what it does out of the box really. More of a feature phone than a full smart phone buyer you could say.

I agree. This is the kind of phone I would get my dad. Runs smoother than a low end android and will him to use the few apps that he needs. Though it still boggles my mind why Nokia are releasing the 510 when from what I've heard it has the same specs as the 610.

Richard Cousins said,

I agree. This is the kind of phone I would get my dad. Runs smoother than a low end android and will him to use the few apps that he needs. Though it still boggles my mind why Nokia are releasing the 510 when from what I've heard it has the same specs as the 610.

The 510 has a 4" screen, so not quite the same specs. It makes their numbering system seem somewhat meaningless though, as it's hard to make sense of what any of the numbers mean, but it's not completely illogical to release it.

GP007 said,
Seeing how this device will target the low end and markets like Russia and China I think going with WP 7.8 and not 8.0 makes sense. The people who end up buying this aren't big app and game buyers and just want a phone that does what it does out of the box really. More of a feature phone than a full smart phone buyer you could say.

The thing is, by the time it's gone to sale it's going to be obsolete, because 8000 RUR isn't cheap enough. We already have Lumia 610 for this price, and it doesn't really make sense to buy it, since it's price is pretty close to that of Lumia 710 which is superior. If they could sell it for at least 6000 RUR or lower, things could be different.

so what is the idea here building on the older OS version? 7.8 wont update to 8 or upwards so most likely will die in 1-2 years.

adiaga said,
so what is the idea here building on the older OS version? 7.8 wont update to 8 or upwards so most likely will die in 1-2 years.

WP8 has higher system requirements, would make the device more expensive.

thealexweb said,

WP8 has higher system requirements, would make the device more expensive.


I thought its just hardware driver compatibility. No wonder current devices cannot be upgraded to WP8. They could simply say: "Current devices cannot be upgraded because they don't have enough hardware power" instead of "fundamentally changing the software" or some other BS things/

adiaga said,
so what is the idea here building on the older OS version? 7.8 wont update to 8 or upwards so most likely will die in 1-2 years.

Alcatel are well known for producing cheap, outdated handsets here in the UK, however Windows Phone OS is pretty amazing making even cheaper hardware work great.

Also, we have to remember that on the software side of things, the SDK does allow 7.5/8 code to be maintained and 7.x apps and games will still run on 8.x handsets. It should only really be new apps (and most games) that need the support of the hard found in WP8 handsets.

That being said, for the older adults who want a no-fuss easy to use phone it'll be great. I'll certainly be getting my parents one each if they're cheap enough and Alcatel usually are in the UK.

S3P€hR said,

I thought its just hardware driver compatibility. No wonder current devices cannot be upgraded to WP8. They could simply say: "Current devices cannot be upgraded because they don't have enough hardware power" instead of "fundamentally changing the software" or some other BS things/

It's a bit of both, we probably won't see a single core WP8 device, the OS in WinNT based now not WinCE and will be more demanding as a result.

S3P€hR said,

I thought its just hardware driver compatibility. No wonder current devices cannot be upgraded to WP8. They could simply say: "Current devices cannot be upgraded because they don't have enough hardware power" instead of "fundamentally changing the software" or some other BS things/

It's not because existing hardware is too slow. It's because 1) New drivers would have to be written because of the change from CE to NT, and 2) It's missing hardware. Missing Secure Boot. I forget what other hardware security is missing. Not speed, though.

Now there's a name I've not heard in a long, long time.

It seems like it was a common consumer name once, but this is the first I've noticed them in years.