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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 launches early with discounted price

The unlocked smartphone arrives a few days ahead of schedule and with a lower-than-expected price.

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Early adopters can score the unlocked smartphone for $200. Alcatel

Alcatel is pushing its latest phone hard. On Friday, the smartphone-maker announced that its OneTouch Idol 3 is available for pre-order. Arriving a couple days ahead of its April 21 presale date, the phone also carries a lower price point.

For a limited time, customers can pre-order the Idol 3 for $200, a savings of $50 off the normal retail price. Alcatel's Amazon ad shows a retail price of $280, but the company promised that the phone will never sell for more than $250 from their own site.

Unlocked and ready for either T-Mobile or AT&T networks, the discounted device features a 5.5-inch display.

Specifications -- at least those on paper -- are somewhat robust considering the cost of the handset. There's a 13-megapixel rear camera and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, for instance.

The Idol 3's real claim to fame, though, it that the display and OS will orient to whatever direction you pick up the device. This reversible feature also adjusts the speaker strength depending on how you hold it: pick it up one way and the "bottom" speaker will dominate; turn it around and the two will switch.

The limited-time pricing expires at 11:59 p.m. PST on April 20; the standard $250 cost takes effect immediately thereafter. Shipments are expected to begin in May.

Check out CNET's hands-on impression of the OneTouch Idol 3 which includes videos and photos.