In these technologically glorious days, many are talking about the best of the best smartphones available out there, which expectedly cost a bomb. What many are not talking about however is the entry-level smartphones Many might already know of their existence, but how well do they function really? Do these smartphones that cost around RM100 – 400 actually function well? Well we are going to take a look at one fine example here. If you are looking for a very affordable entry-level android smartphone, then the Alcatel One Touch Glory 2 will definitely not disappoint you.
By just looking at it, Alcatel’s most affordable handset looks just like any other smartphone out there, and truthfully that’s not a bad thing at all. The design might be common but on the flipside, the phone comes in eight, yes eight different colours. The hardware feels sturdy and the buttons feel like they can last for a while. The buttons feel fluent when pressed and they are sizable enough for anyone to press without even looking. As always, the power button is located on the top of the phone, with the difference of it being on the left instead of the common right. There is a camera button on the right side of the phone, which we think is quite handy for taking pictures, and the volume buttons are located on the left side of the phone. Weighing at 122gram, the Glory 2 comes with a 3.2Mp rear camera and a VGA front-facing camera. The sole USB port is located on the bottom and on the top there is the 3.5mm jack stereo headset port. There is only one speaker available and it is located on the back of the phone and lastly, which is one of the best things about this phone, it is dual-sim.
The Glory 2 rocks a 3.5” HVGA, 320x480p with 262K colour display. Our experience with the display has been pretty normal considering it is an entry-level smartphone. The sharpness while toggling through applications is pretty average, but we realise that it looks slightly better while playing games and watching videos. Hence, as far as pixel density is concerned, we think it is average at best. The screen’s touch sensitivity is another thing that we find quite average. The outer parts of the screen are expectedly less sensitive than the middle, but overall still pretty decent. Unlike with higher-end smartphones, we had to some apply pressure and concentrate properly on where we touch for the screen to detect our desired movements. The display performs well from different viewpoints and angles. The content does not become distorted whatsoever while being viewed from different points of view. The display’s colour, like most parts of the phone, is pretty average. It is not too vibrant and vivid to impress anyone while at the same time, not to dull or blurry to make the viewing experience significantly dreadful. Overall, considering the price and the fact that it is a entry-level smartphone, we were actually pleasantly surprised by how the display barely surpasses the average line by being, well, unexpectedly average, which we think is a good thing.
Much to our surprise, the phone actually packs a 1GHz CPU, 4GB internal memory and 512RAM, which is pretty decent for its price. End users will get 2.4GB internal data storage and also the option to get micro SD memory cards to expand data storage. Normally, specs speak a little too much for the phone’s performance and at the end of it all the devices perform below par compared to their specs, but this time, it speaks just enough. The device performs slightly better than what you would expect from a 1GHz processor. The multi-tasking is surprisingly smooth and browsing on the phone is a pretty good experience. Sites (with or without pictures) load smoothly without any motions or delay whatsoever. Video playbacks are steady and smooth. But of course, like any other devices, it sometimes crashes. Gaming on this phone however would depend on how you customise it. If the phone is without customised themes or any heavy applications, then games will run very smoothly. However we realised that once we started using launchers and downloading more applications, the games run significantly slower. Overall the performance of the phone is definitely above than what you would expect from a very affordable phone, but only slightly.
Unfortunately, we find that the camera is slightly weak. It does not perform well without proper lighting and what’s worse is that it does not come with flash, however the camera does support digital zooming. The smoothness of the camera application though is highly satisfying. Going into the app using the special button on the right side of the phone takes you straight to the camera without much problem. The camera also takes videos and we find it very smooth-sailing as well. The picture quality is as mentioned about the camera, slightly weak. The pixel quality is quite low, but as far as taking general pictures without close-ups or macro, the camera does the job. Hence, taking pictures of cars, buildings and places would be pretty satisfactory. The video quality is on par with the pictures. It is good when there is proper lighting and no small, focused objects. Overall, the camera would be highly disappointing for people who take lots of pictures in different situations and atmospheres, but for people who take pictures occasionally or rather, seasonally, then the camera would do just fine.
Sound/Video Playback (4/5)
We find that the audio this phone provides could very well be their strongest aspect, excluding the cheap price of course. The audio from this phone is great. It is loud, clear and quite sharp for its low-end specs. The volume’s range is highly satisfactory as it can be really loud, loud, just loud enough, acceptable, and well, you know what I mean. There are a lot of ranges that the volume can expand and vice versa, making the music experience very versatile. The music player supports numerous file formats including the usual like MP3, MP4, WAV, AAC. Combined with the solid speaker, watching videos and movies on this phone is highly satisfactory, as long as you don’t skip through the scenes too much as it does lag at times. We haven’t had any issues on crashing while watching movies but we do think that it could happen.
If the audio is not the phone’s strongest aspect, then the battery definitely is. The removable lithium 1400mAh battery is stated to have a standby time of 250 hours and 6 hours talk time. We find that the battery is almost as good as they (developers) say it is. On standby it does last for days, lots of it. Including the occasional app downloading and candy-crushing, the phone lasted 5 days without charging. Compared to medium and higher-end phones, five days including occasional (2-3 hours) gaming a day and usage is very impressive. The phone takes about 3 hours to be charged fully from 0%. With the removable battery, we can safely say that having 2 batteries would survive anyone for at almost 2 weeks without charging.
To sum it all up, if you are looking for a very affordable phone that takes very normal pictures, has the ability to function smoothly through multi-tasking and web browsing, plays music well and can last for days and days without having the low-battery notification popping up at all, then this phone is definitely for you. It performs up to par as far as the usual phone functions are concerned. However if you care a little too much about cameras, picture quality and hardcore gaming, then this phone might slightly disappoint you. Overall, as far as entry-level smartphones are concerned, we give this phone a 3 out of 5.