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The solidly built Alcatel Authority (pictures)

The $249.99 Alcatel Authority for Cricket Wireless has a sturdy plastic build, runs the Android Gingerbread operating system, and demands no contract commitment.

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Brian Bennett

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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Big yet low-res screen

The Alcatel Authority's screen may be a sizable 4.3 inches but only offers a low 800x480-pixel resolution. It also has shallow viewing angles and can be hard to see in bright sunlight.
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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plastic that doesn't feel cheap

Crafted from plastic, the Alcatel Authority's frame is solid and has reassuring heft. Its rectangular shape and blunted edges fit comfortably in the hand.
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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

A curved bottom lip

The back, bottom, and top edges of the Alcatel Authority are curved slightly to conform to gripping hands.
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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Silver trim adds some style

A faux-silver metallic trim rings the Alcatel Authority, adding an extra touch of elegance. Here on the left side is the thin volume rocker.
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5 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Texture makes it better

On the back side of the Alcatel Authority sits the main, 5-megapixel camera. A back battery cover sports a nice patterned texture that's easy to grip.
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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

A phone for grooving

The Alcatel Authority comes with the Muve music-rental service app installed and you can download unlimited tunes if you sign up for a subscription.
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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

That crazy old Android

The Alcatel Authority runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which has been around for quite some time, and feels like it.
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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bare-bones camera

While the Alcatel Authority can snap decent if not excellent pictures, its camera app doesn't offer much in the way of extras.

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