Alcatel Authority Review
If you are looking for an affordable Android smart phone for a midrange price, then I must say that Alcatel Authority should be on your radar. It’s the brand’s latest touchscreen phone that offers basic features and functionalities. It has a sturdy design with basic Android capabilities plus Muve Music downloads. However, it has an outdated Android Gingerbread operating system which could be a deal breaker for the many and it has a slow processor as well. The Alcatel Authority is now available for $249.99 on Cricket Wireless.
The Alcatel Authority has a 4.3-inch, 800x480-pixel-resolution LCD that’s captivating. Yup, it may be a low-resolution screen but then again you’d be able to read text, see photos and videos clearly. It runs on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread operating system which is indeed a blast from the past. But then again, just like other Android device, it offers access to Google's universe of services, staples such as Gmail, Google+, Google Talk, Google Latitude, Google Maps and navigation, local search, and YouTube. You won’t find any bloatwares here. Instead, you will see apps for accessing your Cricket account and backing up your phone, Cricket 411 conducts local searches, and Cricket Navigator offers turn-by-turn driving instructions. There’s also Block Breaker 3 and Uno preloaded by Cricket. They are merely trial versions, however, they cannot be uninstalled. Basic management apps include a calendar, instant messaging and e-mail support (including Microsoft Exchange), an alarm clock, voice commands and a voice recorder, a weather app, a calculator, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Polaris Office, and a notepad. There’s also a Cricket's onboard software called the Muve Music rental service. If you subscribe to a special Muve Music plan bundled with a Cricket Wireless subscription, you can download and store audio tracks that can fit into your phone's memory. There are caveats though, you have to pay something extra ($10 per month).
The camera and media quality is just a OK. It’s simply because its camera is just a no-frills 5-megapixel sensor. Colors were accurate but details were soft most of the times. Expect something worse, when you’re outdoors. TheAuthority is powered by a 1.4GHz processor paired with 512MB allotment of RAM. Yeah, considering its specs it’s not a speed demon. In fact it's downright sluggish. It lags and I experienced sudden shutdowns when multi-tasking. As a 3G device, the Alcatel Authority demonstrated slow. Using Ookla's Speedtest app I clocked average download throughput at a low 213Kbps while uploads averaged a slightly higher 313Kbps. Call quality seems adequate but not exceptional. I experienced audio quality with speakerphone similar too. Audio seems clear yet it sounded robotic at times. The device has a 1,530mAh battery which is rated to provide up to 5 hours and a standby time of up to 420 hours (17.5 days). During my battery drain tests, the device struggled to last through a full workday and conked out after approximately 5 hours of playing an HD video continuously.
Not all affordable off contract smart phones are good deals. The $249.99 Alcatel Authority is a good example. It is something that I would not recommend as it’s slow with an ininspiring camera, and ancient Android operating system.