By Lionell Go Macahilig
Rudolph Santos, Country Head of Alcatel Mobile in the Philippines
When was the last time you heard about Alcatel? For many of us, Alcatel has been a brand that we easily associate with affordability since the time when feature phones dominated the market. But apart from bringing value-for-money offerings to consumers, Alcatel has always been there, adapting to the ever-evolving mobile landscape. Now a part of TCL Corporation, the French native label has witnessed the transition from feature phones to touchscreen handsets, and today, to Android smartphones.
"Alcatel has been in the Philippines for over 20 years. It has been known to be one of your first phones. Though it may not have been as dominant in terms of marketing compared to others, it remains to be one of the most highly regarded and respected brands in the Philippines," said Rudolph Santos, Country Head of Alcatel Mobile in the Philippines. Like Alcatel, Santos has been in involved in the mobile industry for more than two decades, with work experiences with brands such as Nokia and Starmobile.
"Now that I am leading this brand and taking it to another level, I will bring in new ways of working. A different mindset that thinks out of the box which allows us to adapt seamlessly to the situation we are in. Specifically, I intend to start a culture of listening -- to consumers, to our partners, and team members. I believe that through this, I can remain attuned to what the market requires. Complementing this, will be a winning attitude that will defy challenges along the way," he added.
As uncomplicated as its current tagline "Enjoy Now", Alcatel recently introduced to the country six new handsets that directly adress the immediate needs of different consumer types: the 5v, 5, 1x, 1, U3, and the 3026G Senior Phone. The prices of these devices range from PhP 2,490 to less than PhP 10,000.
"Alcatel's tagline is ‘Enjoy Now’ which actually defines what our products are all about. Our devices complement the daily lives of consumers in varying degrees of lifestyles. It is about the present, the current that one is experiencing which truly matters. The Alcatel brand serves as the gateway for the growing mass base users of smartphones that offers cutting-edge features, while at the same time extending great value for money in terms of price and reliability," Santos explained.
Starting off with the largest among the six handsets, the Alcatel 5v sports a 6.2-inch HD+ bezel-less notch display with a 19:9 screen-to-body ratio, 8-megapixel front camera, and a 12MP + 2MP dual camera system with dual-tone flash on the back. Inside the handset beats a MediaTek MT6762 octa-core chip, coupled with 3GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage, and a 4000mAh battery.
Targeted toward stylish selfie lovers, the Alcatel 5 carries a 5.7-inch HD+ bezel-less IPS display with 18:9 screen-to-body ratio, 12-megapixel PDAF rear camera with 5P lens and dual-tone flash, and a 13MP + 5MP dual front camera system with 6P lens, flash, and 120-degree super wide angle feature. Powered by a MediaTek MT6750 octa-core chip, the 5 also comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and a 3000mAh battery.
Positioned as smartphones for "every Juan", the Alcatel 1x and 1 both come with an FWVGA+ (960 x 480) display with 18:9 screen-to-body ratio, and are powered by a MediaTek MT6739 quad-core chip clocked at 1.3GHz with 1GB RAM. The larger 5.34-inch Alcatel 1x comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 16GB internal storage, and a 2460mAh battery. Meanwhile, the smaller 5-inch Alcatel 1 carries a 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8GB onboard storage, and a 2000mAh battery.
An ideal smartphone for students or entry-level users, the Alcatel U3 is the smallest Android handset among the six with its 4-inch WVGA screen. Powered by a MediaTek MT6580M quad-core chip clocked at 1.3GHz, this phone is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 1500mAh battery, 512MB RAM, and 8GB ROM built-in storage loaded with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The only non-Android offering among the six handsets, the 3026G Senior Phone is a clamshell phone specially designed for elderly users. Sporting a 2.8-inch QVGA display, the phone comes with a set of large keypads and uses large fonts for the user interface. The phone is also M4/T4 hearing aid compatible, and is equipped with an SOS button for emergency situations and an easy-to-use charging cradle.
As TCL also carries the BlackBerry label, Santos also mentioned the company's plan to bring new BlackBerry devices this January. "Indeed, we are relaunching the BlackBerry brand and re-establishing it as one the most aspirational devices that have reached our shores. Our marketing efforts will no doubt rekindle its relationship to this brand's loyal users while at the same time, tapping into a new breed of consumers who value the brand's image of exclusivity, power, and elegance," said Santos.