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Alcatel Says Idol 3 Gets Android Marshmallow Today

Jun 8, 2016, 12:05 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel's Idol 3 smartphone should begin receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow starting today. The company shared the news via its official Twitter account. The Idol 3 was Alcatel's 2015 flagship Android smartphone. It was initially sold directly to consumers unlocked, but was eventually picked up by Cricket Wireless. For now, Alcatel says only the unlocked variant will receive Marshmallow. The system update includes a number of new features, such as Now On Tap, Doze, and advanced permissions. Alcatel announced the Idol 4 back in February, but has yet to say when its 2016 flagship phone will go on sale.

'Daydream' to Serve as VR Platform for Android

May 18, 2016, 1:18 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today announced Daydream, a brand new platform for expanding virtual reality to more devices. The Daydream spec will be defined so hardware makers can make sure they create compatible phones. Android N will be able to tell if phones are Daydream ready based on the sensors, display, and processor within. Android N brings improvements to performance VR thanks to low latency (20ms) and the simplified system user interface. At the same time, Google created a blueprint for Daydream-compatible headsets. It will share the headset / controller blueprints with device makers. Google believes a secondary controller (like a small remote) will help the Daydream VR experience. Google expects Daydream-ready devices, including phones from Samsung, Alcatel, and Asus, to reach the market by fall.

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New Big-Screen Jitterbug Smart Made by Alcatel

Apr 6, 2016, 11:30 AM   by Rich Brome

GreatCall has released the Jitterbug Smart, a new smartphone made by Alcatel. It replaces the Jitterbug Touch3 by Samsung. The new Jitterbug Smart runs Android, but has a custom interface that makes it easier to use with simple list menus, and larger icons and text for older users. Its specs include a large 5.5-inch HD screen, 2,500 mAh battery, 5-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front camera for video messaging, and 4G LTE data. It also has a voice dictation, and GreatCall's 5Star emergency concierge app. It's available now for $150, with monthly service plan.

Latest Windows 10 Preview Targets Browser and Maps

Mar 18, 2016, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft has made a new build of Windows 10 available to mobile phones and PCs alike. Build 14291 makes significant changes to several important features. First, the Edge browser now supports extensions. Though this feature is limited to PCs, it makes the browser more competitive with Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. The Edge browser also makes it possible to pin tabs within the app to anchor specific web pages, and adds more options when copying and pasting URLs. This Windows 10 update also heralds big improvements to the Windows Maps app for handsets and PCs. Maps is now more consistent between phones and PCs, and has a lightweight user interface. Some of the features added to Maps include one-tap access to search and directions, Cortana turn-by-turn directions, and quick access to cities rendered in 3D. Microsoft says the new Maps lets users view multiple searches and directions at the same time, minimize search results and directions during navigation, and see labels more clearly. Turn-by-turn navigation is easier to understand at a glance, and now supports landscape orientation. There are a number of other changes to the platform, such as a revised alarm clock app, support for various Japanese text entry modes, and the addition of the Feedback Hub for Windows Insiders to share their thoughts about Windows 10. This build is available to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring for the Lumia 550, 650, 950, 950 XL, Xiaomi Mi4, and Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL. Microsoft says these devices are on deck for more previews in the weeks ahead.

Alcatel's Go Play Handset Available for Sale Starting Today

Mar 4, 2016, 2:41 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel today made the Go Play available for sale on its web site for $199.99. The phone is being sold unlocked and is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE networks. The Go Play has a 5-inch 720p HD screen and 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Go Play has an 8-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and can record full HD video. The phone features an IP67 rating for protection against water and dust, and can be used to take underwater images. Other features include GPS, an FM radio, and 2,500mAh battery. The Go Play runs Android Lollipop. Alcatel is including a free rugged case with the phone through the end of the month.

Hands On with Alcatel's Pop 4 Series

Feb 21, 2016, 11:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Pop is Alcatel's main line of affordable phones. The Pop 4 series breaks little major ground, although the top-end model of the range — the Pop 4S — sports a fingerprint reader. We spent some time checking them out. Read on for our impressions.

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Hands On with Alcatel's Idol 4 and 4S

Feb 20, 2016, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Alcatel’s new flagship phone for 2016 is the Idol 4S. It’s accompanied by the Idol 4, a smaller and more affordable cousin. Both phones sport a “reversible” design similar to last year’s Idol 3, but with a more premium metal frame and glass back. The specs on the 4S are impressive, and not too shabby on the 4, either. There are small differences that are only apparent upon close inspection. Read on for our hands-on impressions.

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Alcatel's Flagship Idol 4S Includes VR Goggles

Feb 20, 2016, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Alcatel today announced the Idol 4 and Idol 4S, the company's new top-end phones. Both phones sport a premium design with metal frame, and glass front and back. Both also include 3.6-watt JBL stereo speakers and come with JBL earbuds. Like the Idol 3, the Idol 4 series is revisable, so it can be held in any orientation and the screen and speakers will flip to be right-side-up. The larger 4S model comes (in some markets) in packaging that doubles as virtual reality goggles when used with the phone. The 4S also has a 5.5-inch quad-HD OLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 16-megapixel camera, and 32 GB of internal storage. The smaller Idol 4 has a 5.2-inch full-HD LCD display, Snapdragon 617 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 16 GB of storage. Both models have 3 GB of RAM, 8-megapixel front camera, NFC, Cat 6 LTE, memory card slot, Android 6.0, and fast charging. The Idol 4 series will ship first in Europe in the second quarter of this year, to be followed by the U.S. later in the year.

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Alcatel One Touch Rebrands as Alcatel

Feb 20, 2016, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Alcatel has dropped "One Touch" from its company brand. The company also updated its logo. Alcatel is a brand of TCL, a large Chinese electronics company.

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Sprint and Alcatel Debut Ride-Fi for In-Car Hotspot

Feb 12, 2016, 10:14 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint and Alcatel today made the Ride-Fi available for purchase. This mobile hotspot, first announced last month, was made specifically for cars and plugs into vehicles' DC power port for in-car connectivity. It can get power from USB-2 ports, as well. The Ride-Fi supports up to eight devices through Sprint's LTE 4G network. The device costs $168, but can be purchased via installment plan for $7 per month, or with a contract at no charge.

Alcatel Windows 10 Fierce XL Hits T-Mobile's Site

Feb 10, 2016, 8:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile has made the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL with Windows 10 available from its web site. The phone, announced earlier this year, has a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen, a 1.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor, an 8-megapixel main camera with flash, and a 2-megapixel front camera. The Fierce XL supports LTE 4G along with VoLTE, HD voice, and WiFi calling. T-Mobile is selling the phone for $139.99 or 24 payments of $5.84. T-Mobile hasn't indicated yet if the Fierce XL with Windows is available in stores. T-Mobile also sells an Android variant of the Fierce XL.

Alcatel Web Site Spills Details Of Idol 4S and Idol 4

Feb 2, 2016, 8:02 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today inadvertently revealed details of the unannounced flagship Idol 4S and Idol 4 smartphones on its own web site. Similar to last year's Idol 3, the Idol 4S and 4 will be available in two different sizes. The Idol 4S has a 5.5-inch quad HD screen while the Idol 4 has a 5.2-inch full HD display. Shared features include support for LTE networks, dual-band WiFi, GPS, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2. The phones include stereo speakers and Alcatel's reversible user interface, so they can be used upside down. Basic specs show the Idol 4S will ship with an octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor with 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 512 GB. The Idol 4S also includes a 16-megapixel main camera with slow-motion video capture, an 8-megapixel selfie cam, and a 3,000mAh battery. The Idol 4's specs are stepped down just a bit. It will ship with an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor, 2 or 3 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and support for microSD cards. It packs a 13-megapixel main camera and a wide-angle 8-megapixel user-facing camera. It includes a 2,610mAh battery. Both phones will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Alcatel OneTouch has not officially announced these phones, so pricing and availability are not yet known.

Unannounced Alcatel Allura Headed to AT&T

Feb 2, 2016, 12:13 PM   by Rich Brome

The FCC this week approved and made public the Alcatel one touch Allura, an unannounced Android phone for AT&T. The technical model number (5056) suggests a phone very similar to the Fierce XL (5054) for MetroPCS. The Fierce XL is a $139 phone at MetroPCS; it has a 5.5-inch screen, Snapdragon 210 processor, 8-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front camera, and a memory card slot. FCC documents show that the Allura supports AT&T's LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12 (17), and 30. The only Alcatel smartphone phone previously sold by AT&T was the C1, a considerably lower-end model. That makes the Allura a notable step forward for Alcatel's relationship with AT&T, the country's second-largest carrier.

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Cricket Offers Discounted Phones to Switchers

Jan 21, 2016, 8:58 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless is looking to entice people to switch to its network by offering discounts on a number of smartphones. Beginning January 22, consumers who port their number to Cricket can buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 for $399.99, a savings of $100 over the normal retail price. Cricket is making similar discounts, ranging from $20 to $50, available to a dozen other devices, including the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 ($109.99), ZTE Grand X Max ($99.99), HTC Desire 626s ($89.99), and Microsoft Lumia 640 ($79.99). The promotion runs for a limited time. Cricket's service plans start at $40 per month. Wireless carriers are competing for customers fiercely. With most Americans already carrying a smartphone, the only way for carriers to score new customers is to steal them from rivals.

FCC Shines Light On Unannounced Flip Phone for Jitterbug

Jan 11, 2016, 5:11 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Documents on the FCC web site have revealed an unannounced flip phone for Jitterbug. The Jitterbug Flip, as it is referred to in FCC documents, was manufactured by Alcatel OneTouch and includes two screens and a rather basic set of features. According to the FCC's paperwork, it has a camera with flash, and a dedicated flashlight button in addition to a hardware dial pad, speakerphone, USB connectivity, and Jitterbug's branded services, such as 5Star. The Alcatel OneTouch Flip has not been announced by either Jitterbug or Alcatel, and pricing/availability details are not yet available.

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Hands-On with the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL with Windows

Jan 6, 2016, 7:36 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Making good on a promise it made last year, Alcatel has shown off its first Windows 10 smartphone. Rather than start from scratch, the copy repurposed the Fierce XL handset, swapping Android for Windows. Here are our first impressions of this handset bound for T-Mobile.

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Alcatel Adds Windows 10 to the Fierce XL

Jan 6, 2016, 7:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel today announced a Windows 10 variant of the Fierce XL smartphone. The phone is a direct carry over from the Android version, which was announced last year. The hardware features a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen, a 1.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It supports memory cards up to 32GB. The main camera features an 8-megapixel sensor with flash and the front camera has a 2-megapixel sensor. The Fierce XL supports LTE 4G along with VoLTE, HD voice, and WiFi calling. Though it runs Windows 10, it does not support the Continuum feature. Alcatel said the Fierce XL will reach T-Mobile stores in a few weeks. T-Mobile will carry the phone in the months ahead. Pricing has yet to be determined. Alcatel said it will eventually make an unlocked version available to U.S. buyers via its web site.

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Alcatel Teases Revamped Pixi Line Ahead of CES

Jan 3, 2016, 10:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch offered a sneak peak at what it plans to announce during the CES trade show later this week. The company has fully revised its Pixi 4 series of devices, which comprises three phones with 3.5-, 4-, and 6-inch screens, as well as a tablet with a 7-inch screen. Alcatel describes the Pixi line as "premium entry-level devices" that offer top design, audio, camera, and battery performance for the dollar. They all run Android. Alcatel also has an 8-inch Pixi 3 tablet (shown) in the wings that will run Windows 10 Mobile. The Windows tablet features a TV remote control, voice-call capabilities, GPS, and front/rear cameras. Last, Alcatel plans to show off the CareTime Watch for children, a GPS-enabled wearable so parents can monitor kids' whereabouts. More details concerning these products will be made available as the week unfolds.

Nokia Closes Sale of HERE Business to Car Companies

Dec 4, 2015, 9:11 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today said it has closed the sale of its HERE Maps business to a consortium of automobile manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, and Daimler. The sale leaves its telecommunications equipment unit as Nokia's core concern moving forward. The company already divested its handset business to Microsoft, and expects to close its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent early next year.

Alcatel Reveals the Fierce XL for MetroPCS and T-Mobile

Oct 29, 2015, 8:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today announced the Fierce XL, a budget phablet headed to MetroPCS and T-Mobile. The XL is the third Fierce-branded handset from Alcatel and features a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen. The phone is powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The phone supports memory cards up to 32GB. The main camera features an 8-megapixel sensor with flash and a Polaroid shooting mode, which can apply filters, borders, and text tags, as well as assemble photos into double or multi-shot layouts. The front camera has a 2-megapixel sensor. The Fierce XL supports LTE 4G along with VoLTE, HD voice, and WiFi calling. Alcatel said the Fierce XL reaches MetroPCS stores starting Nov. 2. T-Mobile will carry the phone in the months ahead. The Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL costs $139.

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Cricket Wireless to Sell Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

Oct 28, 2015, 8:29 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today announced that it will offer the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 beginning Nov. 6. The handset will cost $149.99 with a new activation. The Idol 3 has been for sale in the U.S. since April, but this marks the first time it will be sold by a carrier. The Idol 3 has a 5.5-inch full HD screen and octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The phone boasts stereo JBL speakers with Clarify processing and 1.2W amplifiers. The main camera uses a 13-megapixel Sony sensor that includes a variety of modes and video-capture tools. The phone has an 8-megapixel user-facing camera with wide-angle lens. Connectivity options include LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS, and WiFi. The Idol 3 has a 2,910mAh battery and supports microSD cards up to 128 GB. The Cricket Wireless variant of the phone integrates the Deezer music streaming service with Alcatel's Mix deejay application. Idol 3 owners can listen to their Deezer playlists directly from Mix and add effects, transition songs, sync, mix, scratch, or insert samples. The Idol 3 runs Android.

China Approves Nokia's Alcatel-Lucent Acquisition

Oct 19, 2015, 7:25 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia's attempt to acquire Alcatel-Lucent has cleared another hurdle now that it has won approval from China's Ministry of Commerce. The anti-monopoly body will allow the proposal to move forward under certain conditions, which mostly pertain to licensing standard essential patents. The deal has already won approval from most governmental bodies around the world and is awaiting only for approval from France, Alcatel-Lucent's home country. Nokia expects to close the deal during the first half of 2016.

Alcatel Pushing Performance Update to Idol 3

Sep 28, 2015, 4:02 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today began delivering a system update to the 5.5-inch version of the Idol 3 smartphone. The improved system fixes bugs in the Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and the Camera FV-5 apps; and also adds support for IPv6 and improves the general performance and responsiveness of the phone. The update can be installed over the air.

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Alcatel to Build Windows 10 Handset By Year's End

Sep 11, 2015, 7:45 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch said it will release a smartphone with Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile platform before the end of the year. "We are very supportive of the Windows ecosystem," said Steve Cistulli, Alcatel OneTouch's senior vice president for North America, to CNET. Cistulli did not provide any details about the phone, other than to say it will be inexpensive and sold through at least one U.S. carrier. Microsoft has yet to launch Windows 10 Mobile.

Hands On with Alcatel's New Phones

Sep 3, 2015, 10:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel had a handful of handsets to talk about in Berlin this week. Alcatel is targeting consumers directly with these phones and hopes they'll find a home with budget-conscious buyers. Here are our first impressions of the Go Play, Go Watch, Pop Up, and Pixi First.

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Alcatel Shows Off the Go Play, a New Mid-Tier Line

Sep 3, 2015, 10:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today announced the Go Play, a new series that fills the gap between its flagship Idol series and its lower Pop and Pixi series. The Go Play is nearly identical to the Conquest, which is already sold in the U.S. by Boost Mobile. Alcatel will be selling the Go Play unlocked, directly to consumers via its web site. The Go Play has a 5-inch 720p HD screen with Dragontrail Glass and 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Go Play supports AT&T/T-Mobile LTE, and has an 8-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and can record full HD video. The phone features an IP67 rating for protection against water and dust, and can be used to take underwater images thanks to dedicated filters. Other features include GPS, an FM radio, and 2,500mAh battery. The phone is also drop proof. The Go Play, which will be sold in eight colors, runs Android Lollipop. Alcatel will sell the handset in the sub-$150 range later this year.

Alcatel Relaunches Watch as Go Play Accessory

Sep 3, 2015, 10:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel today announced a new version of its smartwatch called the Go Watch. The smart wearable has been given a new exterior design to match the Go Play handset. Other than the basic appearance, however, the features of the Watch remain more or less the same. The Go Watch is compatible with both Android (4.3) and iOS (7+). The device has a built in accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, altimeter, and e-compass. Alcatel says owners will be able to track fitness (steps taken, distance traveled, etc.) and sleep cycles, as well as manage incoming notifications and remotely control media. Alcatel also added a new function that lets people "hack" their emotions. Pressing the Go button will take the owner's "emotionpulse" and generate an adjustable graphic to represent their mood. People can then choose to share that graphic and their mood to social networks if they wish. The Go Watch, which comes in several different styles, has a 1.22-inch circle display, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 225mAh battery. The USB charge port is built into the bottom of the watch to simplify charging. The Go Watch is easily removed from the casing so users can swap out bands. The Go Watch goes on sale later this year. Pricing wasn't announced.

Alcatel Touts Pop Up and Pixi First Handsets

Sep 3, 2015, 10:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel's handset roster grew by two with the Pop Up and Pixi First smartphones, which fill out the company's entry- and mid-level line-up.

  • Pop Up: The Pop Up (pictured) is a mid-ranger that focuses on creating a fun user experience thanks to interchangeable rear shells. The shells will come in a wide range of colors, materials, and finishes, such as leather, denim, and wood. Alcatel expects to sell them in three-packs for $20 to $30. The handset itself features a 5-inch 720p HD screen, Qualcomm 1.4GHz octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage; a 13-megapixel main camera and 5-megapixel user-facing camera; and a 2,000mAh battery. The Pop Up runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. Alcatel isn't sure if the Pop Up will be sold in the U.S. or not.
  • Pixi First: The Pixi First is an entry-level phone that targets first-time users who are cost conscious but still want a stylish handset. The Pixi First has a 4-inch WVGA screen, and a Spreadtrum 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. The main camera rates 5 megapixels and the user-facing camera rates 2-megapixels. Other features include GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, and an FM radio. This phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but is not intended for the U.S. market.

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Nokia Forges China Joint Venture to Win Alca-Lu Approval

Aug 28, 2015, 7:53 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia has signed a memorandum of understanding with a China government-backed investment company called Huaxin in order to encourage approval of its proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. The acquisition has already been approved by U.S. and E.U. antitrust bodies, but is awaiting China's decision. The joint venture, named Nokia Shanghai Bell, will mirror one Alcatel-Lucent had in place with Huaxin and may facilitate China's approval of the deal. Nokia will hold 50% of the company plus one share, and Huaxin will hold the rest. Nokia believes merging with Alcatel-Lucent will allow it to better compete with companies such as Ericsson and ZTE, which also provide network operators with telecommunications equipment.

Alcatel Bringing Smaller Idol 3 to US and Canada

Aug 10, 2015, 8:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today announced that it will soon sell the 4.7-inch version of its Idol 3 flagship in the U.S. and Canada. The Idol 3 4.7 shares virtually all features with the larger 5.5-inch model, which has been available since May. As the name implies, the screen measures 4.7 inches across the diagonal and it has 720p HD resolution. The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The Idol 3 4.7 has stereo JBL speakers with Clarify processing, and each speaker has its own dedicated 1.2W amplifier for full sound. The phone is reversible, meaning it can be held in any orientation and the user interface will rotate accordingly. The main camera uses a Sony sensor that rates 13 megapixels. It includes a variety of modes and video-capture options. The user-facing camera captures 5-megapixel images. Wireless radios include LTE for AT&T and T-Mobile, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS, and WiFi. The Idol 3 4.7 supports microSD cards up to 128GB. The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 4.7 will be available unlocked from Alcatel's web site and on Friday, Aug. 14. The retail price is $179.99.

Motorola to Issue Stagefright Fix to Most Phones

Aug 9, 2015, 1:01 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Motorola has said it, too, will push a security patch to resolve the Stagefright vulnerability found on its Android smartphones. Motorola's newest phones, the Moto X Style, Moto X Play, and Moto G (3rd Gen) will have the patches installed in the factory. Motorola is actively building patches for the Moto X, G, and E (1st Gen, 2nd Gen); Moto X Pro; Moto Maxx/Turbo; and Droid Turbo and Droid Ultra/Mini/Maxx. Motorola will begin handing the patch to its carrier partners on August 10, but it will be up to carriers to deliver the final version of the patch to end users via over-the-air software updates. Google, Samsung, Alcatel OneTouch, and LG have all said they plan to issue Stagefright security patches in the near future.

Alcatel Says Security Patch for Idol 3 Due August 10

Aug 5, 2015, 10:57 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today said it will issue a software update for the Idol 3 to repair a security problem on or around August 10. The fix will be pushed to U.S. users first and will include a Google security patch for the Stagefright vulnerability.

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Nokia Makes HERE Sale to Audi, BMW, Daimler Official

Aug 3, 2015, 7:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today formally announced the sale of its HERE Maps business unit to a consortium of three German auto makers. Audi, BMW, and Daimler have agreed to buy HERE Maps for $3 billion. Nokia has been shopping the business unit since April, soon after it announced plans to acquire Alcatel-Lucent. The three car makers will act as investors in HERE, as well as customers of the mapping business and suppliers of data. Nokia said HERE-branded mobile apps will continue to be available to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Nokia expects to complete the sale during the first half of 2016. Once finalized, Nokia will have two business units: its telecommunications equipment unit and its technology unit.

Boost Mobile Adding Alcatel OneTouch Conquest and Elevate to Roster

Jul 29, 2015, 11:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today announced the Alcatel OneTouch Conquest and Elevate, two low-cost Android handsets. Shared features between the two handsets include support for LTE, 5-megapixel rear cameras, 2-megapixel front cameras, and the Google Now launcher.

  • Conquest: The Conquest (pictured) features an IP67 rating for protection against water and dust. The larger of these two smartphones boasts a 5-inch 720p HD screen with Dragontrail Glass and 1.2GHz quad-core processor. The Conquest runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and costs $129.99.
  • Elevate: The Elevate has a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and quad-core 1.1GHz processor. It relies on a 2,000mAh battery to get it through the day. The Elevate runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and costs $99.99.
The Conquest is available today and the Elevate will become available in August. Boost Mobile operates on Sprint's network and does not require contracts.

New Group Working on Practical 5G

Jul 10, 2015, 9:34 AM   by Rich Brome

A large and diverse group of mobile companies have formed a new group to work on potential 5G radio technology. The group is focusing specifically on technologies that will work below 6 GHz, near the frequency bands of current mobile networks. Some recent "5G" demos have relied on much higher millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies, which have short range and cannot pass through walls. Many major players are exploring including mmW technology in 5G, but it is not expected to be the core of the standard. The new group - called FANTASTIC-5G (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation) - includes Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sequans Communications, and Wings ICT Solutions, as well as several European mobile operators and research institutes. Their goal is a new air interface to replace LTE that is more efficient and flexible, supporting diverse needs from fast broadband to small, low-power sensors.

Alcatel Pushing Maintenance Update to Idol 3

Jul 9, 2015, 3:29 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today said owners of the Idol 3 can expect to see an over-the-air update reach their phone in the coming days. The update makes refinements to the camera app and double-tap-to-unlock feature, and makes other general performance improvements. The update is free to install.

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Alcatel Conquest Coming to Boost

Jun 10, 2015, 2:30 PM   by Rich Brome

The FCC today approved the Alcatel One Touch Conquest for Boost Mobile. FCC documents show an Android phone with a colorful design, tri-band LTE, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, a camera with flash, and a front camera. Slots on the side accept a memory card and the SIM card. The battery does not appear to be removable. The phone would be Alcatel's second phone for a Sprint brand, and first smartphone. Alcatel has made significant inroads into the U.S. market in recent years, mostly with T-Mobile.

Alcatel OneTouch Pop Astro Takes Off with T-Mobile

Apr 29, 2015, 8:07 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile today said the Alcatel OneTouch Pop Astro is available online and in stores for $149. T-Mobile customers can pay full price for the phone, or break the price down to 24 monthly payments of $6.24. The phone has a 4.5-inch qHD display and it is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek processor with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. The main camera has a 5-megapixel sensor while the front camera has a VGA sensor. The phone has a 2,000mAh battery and supports memory cards up to 32 GB. Alcatel says the Pop Astro supports VoLTE and T-Mobile's WiFi calling feature. The Pop Astro runs Android 4.4 KitKat.

Alcatel Launches Idol 3 Pre-Sale At Discounted $199 Price

Apr 17, 2015, 9:52 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Alcatel OneTouch today kicked off a limited pre-sale for the Idol 3 smartphone that drops the price by $50. The pre-sale starts immediately and runs through 11:59pm Pacific Time on April 20. Customers who order the phone during this initial pre-sale window will pay only $199.99 for the phone. After the pre-sale ends, Alcatel will begin accepting standard pre-orders on April 21 at the regular price of $249.99. Alcatel said the Idol 3 will ship in mid-May. The phone, which is compatible with the GSM networks operated by AT&T and T-Mobile, is being sold unlocked.

Nokia to Buy Alcatel-Lucent, Mulling Options for HERE Maps

Apr 15, 2015, 7:12 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today said it has agreed to acquire Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion. The combined companies would be a giant in the telecom equipment space with more than 100,000 employees. The terms of the deal will see Nokia acquire all of Alcatel-Lucent's stock, as traded in both France and the U.S. The companies' boards of directors have approved the deal, though shareholders have yet to vote on the acquisition. The deal will also require regulatory approval. The companies expect the deal to close during the first half of 2016. Once combined, the companies will streamline redundant operations, but believe the 40,000 research and development at its disposal employees will be able to make the company a world leader in the connected IP space. Nokia-Alcatel-Lucent will specifically target the development of 5G wireless networks. The largest competitors remaining are Ericsson and Huawei, though ZTE, Samsung, and others make telecommunications equipment, too. In addition to announcing the Alcatel-Lucent deal, Nokia said it has begun a review of strategic options for its HERE Maps business. Nokia acquired Navteq's mapping business in 2007 and turned it into a competitive global company. Nokia's HERE Maps are available to the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms, as well as online, and provide robust driving, walking, and transit directions. Nokia said its review of HERE Maps may or may not result in a transaction.

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