Alcatel One Touch intros budget Android smartphones

The Ultra 995 has a 4.3-inch screen and is powered by 1.4 GHz processor

Alcatel One Touch has introduced 12 Android-based smartphones, including the Ultra 995, which will cost about US$250 and have a 4.3-inch screen.

A growing interest in cheaper smartphones is one of the trends at Mobile World Congress that Alcatel One Touch, which is a brand that belongs to Chinese company TCL Communication, wants to capitalize on.

The Ultra 995 runs Android 2.3 and is the most advanced of its new models. The smartphone's screen has 800-by-480 pixel resolution and is powered by a 1.4GHz processor from Qualcomm.

Other hardware specifications include a 5-megapixel camera that can shoot video at 720p and a MicroSD card slot to expand the rather paltry 1GB of end-user memory.

The price without subsidies is the same as Nokia's low-cost Windows Phone-based smartphone Lumia 610, which has a screen with the same resolution as the Ultra 995, but measures 3.7 inches. The Lumia has 8GB of memory, but there is no card slot.

On the other side of the spectrum in Alcatel One Touch's Android portfolio there is the 903, which will cost $150. It too runs Android 2.3, but the lower price comes at the sake of features. The screen measures 2.8 inches and the phone is powered by a 650MHz processor.

The company is also working on an Android 4.0-based tablet that will have a 7-inch screen and an aluminum body, it said.

Along with its Chinese competitors ZTE and Huawei, which are hoping to move in to the high-end market, Alcatel One Touch has a chance to threaten the established order in the handset market, according to market research company CCS Insight

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