Alcatel One Touch Smart 916 is £50 Android BlackBerry rival

The Alcatel One Touch Smart 916 sports a Qwerty keyboard for BlackBerry users who want to try Android -- for just £50.

How much does it cost to ditch your BlackBerry and get started on playing games, surfing the web and filling your phone with Android apps? To you, sir -- I do beg your pardon -- to you, madam: just fifty quid, for this 'ere Alcatel One Touch Smart 916.

The One Touch Smart 916 sports a 2.6-inch touchscreen above a Qwerty keyboard, which should appeal to BlackBerry users who want to get involved in this app-loving, game-playing, video-watching smart phone lark, but can't bring themselves to ditch their beloved clicky keyboard.

One of those keys is a dedicated Facebook button to instantly post a status update with one press. Or if you've taken a picture and you're in camera mode, you can press the button to share your snap or video instantly. While browsing the web, the Facebook button shares links with your friends.

If you like to spread the social network love around, Twitter and LinkedIn apps are also built-in.

The One Touch Smart 916 connects to the web via 3G or Wi-Fi to read CNET, check your email and social networks, or download more apps and games from Google Play, the online Android app store. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread software, which is based around home screens that you fill with shortcuts to your favourite apps.

To keep your lugholes happy there's a built-in MP3 music player and FM radio, as well as a Tune In app to browse and listen to Internet radio stations.

Other built-in aps include augmented reality app Layar to give you information about the world around you or show you directions; Office lets you look at your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents when you're out of the office; and Picsay lets you add a host of cool effects to your pictures.

To help your phone last longer, Battery Saver manages your battery life by closing apps not in use, while Traffic Manager keeps an eye on the data you use so as to stay within your contract. The TouchPal keyboard lets you type without taking your finger off the screen, similar to Swype, and Ringdroid lets you create your own ringtones.

The Alcatel One Touch Smart 916 is on sale from Virgin Media in early August from £50 -- when bought with £10 worth of credit -- and comes with 1GB of free data per month for a year.

Cheap and cheerful or just cheap? Tell me what you think of the One Touch Smart 916 in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Phones
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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