Review of the secure smartphone Alcatel OneTouch Go Play (7048X)

Alcatel has long been approaching the market of secure phones, the first plans to release such a smartphone appeared in 2013, but the models never made it to the assembly line. Then they were processed in 2014, but the decision that such a device was needed in the company's line was finally made only in the spring of 2015. The reasons for Alcatel's indecisiveness are easy to understand, the rugged phone market can be roughly divided into two large segments. On the one hand, we have models with a conventional, mass-produced design and with some degree of protection, this is Sony's approach. The devices look great Meals & Drinks in Asokoro for everyday life, but are protected from moisture. And there is an approach of classic manufacturers of secure smartphones, in which the main function, namely protection, is brought to the fore, presented separately. Such models are massive, they are also distinguished by frankly outdated characteristics in relation to the mass market, whether it be memory, processor or something else. At a price twice as high as that of analogues built on the same components, the extra charge is for the protective properties of the case. Usually people who do not fall into the target audience of such phones scratch their heads in puzzlement, looking at their cost, and do not understand why they charge so much here. For those who are looking for a secure phone, the price above the market for conventional phones has long been the norm.

Alcatel had a difficult choice. Go the Sony route and release a phone with extra security features but a nice, casual design, or try to play in the second category. Both paths didn't seem to be winning, as Sony's experience says that the security properties of phones play a lesser role in their choice. In the segment of secure phones, you have to work for many years to prove yourself. Therefore, Alcatel tried to offer itself and the market a third way, taking the best from the two segments.

The company did not start from protection as such, but tried to understand for whom and why a secure phone might be of interest. The classic segments in the form of fishermen, hunters, those who go in for extreme sports were quickly dismissed as too competitive, the offer in them clearly exceeds the demand. We looked around again and realized that children and teenagers, as well as young people, were out of the attention of manufacturers. What characterizes this group of consumers? As a rule, parents or relatives buy a phone for them, children take part in this process, but often do not have a decisive vote. It is known from experience that children and teenagers often drop their devices, break screens or their filling. They don't do it on purpose, it's just the way it is. When choosing a phone for teenagers, as a rule, there is a tight budget limit, they rarely buy the latest technology, rightly believing that the simpler the phone, the less likely the child will play it. For parents, such a phone is a means of communication, a tool, but not an entertainment center or something like that. This approach dominates the market, regardless of the country. It is for such parents and their children that the company created the OneTouch Go Play model.

Inexpensive, both water and drop resistant, with a fairly large screen and average performance. The phone clearly fits the needs of the target audience, this is a good offer for those who are looking for a smartphone for 2-3 years for their child. Teenagers may also give preference to him, as he looks bright, unusual, youthful. And this will make them different from their peers. For young people, this may be a reasonable choice based on the price / quality ratio, but let's not kid ourselves, they will still dream of something else, more fashionable and functional. Therefore, the main group of Go Play consumers are schoolchildren and young people under the age of 20. It is not necessary to count on a large demand in older age groups.

Design, dimensions, controls

Everyone knows how to make a bright and attractive phone, everything is simple here. It is necessary to add bright colors, unusual prints, and here is a wonderful product of uncomplicated creativity in front of you. Unfortunately, the understandable and banal process of creating such devices leads to the appearance of boring, uninteresting monsters, which can only be called attractive when drunk, when the eyes are clouded. Alcatel has always managed to create such solutions, as the youth audience for the brand has been and remains one of the main ones. For a secure phone, the company has reserved a rather curious design option. The back of the case is printed in soft, velvety plastic with a pattern. The device is very pleasant in hands and it differs from many others. It is not perceived as one hundred percent plastic, as is often the case. Look at the color options.

When choosing light cases with a neon color, such as the one in my review, you should remember that the edges can be rubbed in pockets of clothes, they quickly catch dirt. On the plus side, you can always wash your phone in warm water and soap. He is not afraid of such procedures.

Water protection is implemented, as in classical devices, with the help of plugs. Most modern phones already offer options in which the 3.5 connector, as well as microUSB, are open, this is not the case here. The plugs themselves are made soundly, they are unlikely to quickly become unusable. But you need to understand that over time they lose their tightness, their service life is ideally 1.5-2 years, problems are possible further.

At the top end there is a 3.5 mm jack, at the bottom - microUSB. On the left side, a large cover covers the slot for memory cards and SIM cards. There is a trick here, the card trays must be removed by pressing the button on the side, after which they must be hooked by the ear. The trays themselves are made of metal, this is a necessity, since the phone should not lose cards when dropped, after all, the design is non-separable.

The right side has a twin volume rocker and an on/off button. On the front panel on the left, above the screen, there is an LED indicator, it blinks orange if there are missed events. It can be disabled in the settings.

The keys are touch-sensitive, located under the screen. Here, probably, mechanical buttons would come in handy, which is customary for many protected devices, but what is not there is not there. Also, there is no work with the screen in gloves, which is not necessary, since the target group is completely different, these are not extremists.

The assembly quality of the device is excellent, which, however, is not surprising, Alcatel has always been distinguished by increased attention to production. The dimensions of the phone are 143.3x73.3x9.2 mm, the weight is 151 grams. Thin, in some ways even unusually thin for a protected phone.

It was not possible to conduct full strength tests, since everything depends on chance, from the first fall you can break any phone if you are not lucky. But a couple of times I dropped the phone on the asphalt (I dropped it on purpose, I confess), nothing happened to it. Under water, the device worked perfectly, there were no problems.

Display

There are almost no devices with a diagonal of 5 inches in the segment of classic rugged models, and those that are presented are very expensive. Against their background, Go Play has an undoubted advantage - a 5-inch screen with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels (294 ppi), by type it is TFT. There is a light sensor.

When automatic backlight adjustment is selected, the brightness in the sun is automatically increased and it remains easy to read. For its level, this screen is average or slightly higher, you can't expect more from it. In everyday use, it is quite tolerable, no complaints.

Battery

By modern standards, the built-in 2500 mAh Li-Ion battery does not impress. Claimed standby time - up to 480 hours, talk time - up to 8 hours. And this does not say anything about how long the device will work in reality. Let's take a look at this setting.

Playing unconverted video in MX Player with hardware acceleration gave 7 hours 18 minutes (maximum brightness). This is a good result for such devices. In everyday life, the device is guaranteed to last for a day of work under load, you can talk on the phone for about an hour, use it in social networks and the web, the screen time is 2.5-3 hours. With a more moderate approach, the device will work for 1.5-2 days. The full charging time is about 2 hours.

In its class, Go Play shows good survivability, which is a plus for the model. But it is not a record holder at all, and the reason for this is the low performance of the chipset, there are no miracles in the world.

Memory, memory cards, chipset and performance

The fact that this model is a budget model affected the choice of chipset, it is an inexpensive Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, which has 4 cores with a frequency of up to 1.2 GHz. RAM 1 GB, built-in 8 GB (a little more than half is available to the user). Memory cards only up to 32 GB, they also decided to save on licenses.

The performance of this solution is average, you can run three-dimensional, heavy games, but the graphics quality and speed will be unsatisfactory. In normal games, you just don't notice it. Therefore, we can say that as a universal youth solution this device will not be in demand, it simply does not have enough processor power. On the other hand, this is a good offer for parents, as it partially guarantees that the child will treat the phone as a tool, and not a means of entertainment.

Communications

The device boasts LTE support, which is unusual for secure phones of this level and highlights Go Play. Working with LTE does not cause any complaints, everything is fine.

Other features are typical - GPS, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0.

Camera

The front camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels, this is a tribute to the times. The quality of the pictures is average.

The main camera has a module of 8 megapixels, it has average characteristics, but there is a built-in barcode scanner, a number of additional modes.

You can see sample photos below, they speak for themselves. The quality of the camera is typical for this class of devices, nothing remarkable can be expected. In real life, the camera is a little slow, when shooting, you need to keep the device motionless. Video recording is possible in FullHD resolution (30 frames per second).

Program features

I want to emphasize separately that models on Android 4.4 are still widespread in the segment of secure phones, although devices on Android 5 are also appearing, so the latter look more attractive. Whether Alcatel will update Android 5.0.2 to newer versions is unclear, most likely not. Therefore, you should not count on it, although all updates come over the air and appear with a fair amount of frequency.

At Alcatel, they initially strive not to change Android very much, but at the same time add their own features, which are often peeped from other companies. So, when you swipe the main screen to the left, you will see OneTouch Stream. These are the weather forecast, reminders from your calendar, as well as the news of the day, in which you cannot select sources of information.

Standard Android applications are diluted with utilities that will be useful to you in everyday life, these are a voice recorder, SmartSuite (data synchronization with a PC), notes, a compass, a voice recorder, a file manager, weather, a music player with support for mixing tracks (JBL had a hand in its creation on IDOL 3, it came here unchanged).

The company has its own app store, where sometimes interesting offers appear for free.

In standby mode, the screen has icons for quick access to various applications, one of them is the Zello service, a kind of walkie-talkie that transmits a message via the mobile Internet. It cannot be called widespread, but it is a convenient way for voice communications, which is widely used in narrow circles.

Finally, the phone has a handy screen recording utility. A small window appears in which your face is shown, the recording comes from the front camera. You can move it around the screen. At the same time, the voice and the entire contents of the screen are recorded. You can see an example of such a video below, as well as screenshots of the program. A convenient utility that has analogues from other manufacturers.

Finally, the device has an FM radio, which is quite typical and works only with a headset that acts as an antenna. The quality of the radio is not bad, there is text information about the broadcast, but there is no recording of it.

In terms of multimedia capabilities, this device does not differ from classmates. Average sound in the player, nothing memorable, you can't call it musical. The same Idol 3 is a cut above and better.

The phone has gestures, you can wake it up by double clicking on the screen, quickly turn on the camera.

In the settings there are audio effects from JBL, as well as in older models. But there is one speaker, and the quality of the music, as we have said, is average. The effects ennoble her a bit.

Your phone has a SwiftKey keyboard preinstalled and can be used by default.

Impressions

The first thing I pay attention to in secure phones is the quality of sound transmission, whether the interlocutor hears you well, how the speaker works. Due to the membranes on the speaker and microphone, this pair