BARCELONA, Spain--A Star is born: the Alcatel One Touch Star is a new budget Android phone that brings you Jelly Bean without busting your wallet.
The Star is cute enough, with a slight sheen to the back. The case comes in white, black, or pink. The build quality feels solid and not at all rickety, but plastic does look and feel cheap.
For a budget phone, I was instantly struck by how bright and vibrant the 4-inch AMOLED screen is. Games and apps look colorful and run smoothly thanks to the 1GHz dual-core processor.
It's an Android phone, so you get access to loads of apps and games from the Google Play store, not to mention movies and music.
The Star runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is very nearly the latest version -- and a welcome bonus at this price. Alcatel has avoided adding any new features on top of Jelly Bean, which -- in theory -- bodes well for the prospect of future updates.
You can personalize the phone with apps and widgets, arranging them on your home screen to give you handy shortcuts to your favorite apps. And widgets are animated icons that display information -- like the weather, say, or recent headlines -- right there on your home screen, without having to open the app.
Android includes a number of cool photography features, such as Photo Sphere. Photo Sphere takes a 360-degree view and puts it in one photo that you can zoom around in, like a bubble. The Star boasts a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.
The One Touch Star is available in China, and will launch in Western Europe by the end of February, starting in France. There'll be a dual-SIM version, too.