Thursday, 16 February 2017

ALCATEL PIXI 4 6” REVIEW BY SYNAPSE CIRCUIT

Above (top): The Alcatel Pixi 4 "6 & (below) Screenshot of the Nova Launcher Prime.

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

ALCATEL PIXI 4, 6” REVIEW

PRICE £85 - £120

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers!
#Alcatel #Pixi #Pixi4 #6 #BudgetAndroid #SmartPhone


LIFTING THE CEILING?

London, UK, February 16, 2017, Synapse Circuit has uncovered a possible gem in the Alcatel Pixi 4, "6!

   SPECS:-
NETWORK: GSM / HSPA / LTE

LAUNCH: Announced January 2016. Available. Released 2016, June
BODY: Dimensions 165 x 83.8 x 8.3 mm (6.50 x 3.30 x 0.33 in)
SIM: Micro-SIM
DISPLAY: Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 6.0 inches (~71.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels (~245 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch: Yes, up to 5 fingers
OS: Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop) - Upgraded to Android 6.01 (Marshmallow)
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8909 Snapdragon 210
CPU: Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU: Adreno 304
MEMORY: Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal: 16GB, 1.5GB RAM
CAMERA: Primary 8 MP, autofocus, LED flash
Features: Geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p@30fps
Secondary: 5 MP, LED flash
SOUND: Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker: Yes
3.5mm jack: Yes
COMMS: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.1, A2DP
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
Radio: FM radio
USB: microUSB v2.0
FEATURES: Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass (optional)
Messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser: HTML
Java: No
Media: MP3/AAC+/WAV player
MP4/H.264 player
Document viewer
Photo/video editor
BATTERY: Non-removable Li-Ion 2580 mAh battery
Stand-by: Up to 650 h (2G) / Up to 650 h (3G)
Talk time: Up to 26 h (2G) / Up to 15 h (3G)
Colour: Black

UNDERRATED
This Alcatel budget handset has got to be one of the most underrated handsets of 2016! I can’t say that I have seen a review of this very, very good Android smartphone; I am happy to be in a position to write about it.

The above spec is just about right for today’s market of low-end budget Android handsets, and what sets the Pixi 4, “6 apart is the 1.1GHz quad-core CPU, 1.5GB of RAM and a fairly decent 6” IPS screen. One of the biggest problems with low-end budget Android handsets since inception is the fact that they have been extremely underpowered. Sure, out of the box, such low-end Androids would perform surprisingly well for the money, that is until apps such as Facebook, YouTube, G+, and WhatsApp receive an update… Then the whole experience and concept of the “budget Android” slides downhill so fast that there is no flesh left on the body; such is the force of friction when going downhill and super-breakneck speed! Sorry, I do not play any games and I couldn’t tell you if you would enjoy playing CPU and RAM intensive games. I suspect that you’d be able to play some games that don’t require a huge demand on the hardware!

The Alcatel Pixi 4, 6” is a very good performer when it comes to the base apps: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Chrome, PicsArt, Google Docs, to name a few. Well, at least those are my key apps that I use on an everyday basis. The aforementioned apps have been updated several times and they still function reasonably well and the response time is also reasonable. I am inclined to think that it is the 1.5GB of RAM that makes all the difference. I have had budget handsets in the past with 1GB RAM and the performance was horrendous - the handset was too thick to use as a doorstop! Oh, the dual core CPUs on those things were equally as useless! Alcatel got it spot on with the combination of a quad-core 1.1GHz CPU and 1.5GB of RAM. By today’s standards, I suspect that 2GB of RAM should be the base of the budget Android but I guess there will be some manufacturers that would try to get away with less - much less! Such handsets, as I have stated before, aren’t worth the money - no matter how much of a bargain they seem! Do not do it!

AESTHETICS & SCREEN
Well, I guess you could say that the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 looks like a standard Android budget uniform design. There is nothing really special that stands out in its design. But it does look good, though! The bezels are quite slim at the sides and the top and bottom bezels aren’t too thick! The bottom bezel could have done with some backlighting to accentuate the capacitive menu buttons, still, you do get used to where the buttons are.

The 6” screen is a delight! It’s got an overall good colour balance and it makes for a good experience when editing photos in PicsArt, for example. The one thing that makes the screen less than wonderful is the presence of bright sunshine; I struggle to see anything on the screen in direct sunlight. Well, this is where you will notice the budget aspect of this handset.

CAMERA
I would say that the camera is not too bad. The 8MP main camera does a fair job; I have been better 8MP cameras on other budgets handsets such as the Moto G, but the results are just about good enough for Social Media Feeds! I was quite impressed with the front facing 5MP camera for the purpose of taking selfies! The front facing camera has a flash too! Great! The video quality is pretty grainy via the main 8MP & front 5MP cameras, as with all cameras, the better the lighting conditions the better the recording will appear. I can’t say that I was impressed by the video quality. These days, it would appear that 13MP is the minimum for a good camera oriented budget handset in the price range.
Above: The Alcatel Pixi 4, "6 camera results! Not bad, huh? The interface has some great settings - including HDR! The results can be gorgeous! A very good effort for the asking price!



STORAGE
The Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 comes with a remarkable 16GB of storage and 32GB external storage via the trusty microSD card slot! I have always advocated that manufacturers of budget handsets should quit the 8GB option in favour of 16GB as a standard. I just do not see the point in anything less than 16GB! Thankfully, Android Marshmallow (6.01) allows the user to store and run apps from the microSD card! This move by Google to bring back storing apps to the microSD card is one of the best things they could have done for the Android platform! Kudos! This means a great deal to manufacturers wishing to create better budget handsets. 8GB storage on today’s smartphone and tablets is a joke!

Alcatel has done themselves proud here!

OVERALL CONCLUSION
I wasn’t expecting much from this handset but it turned out to be very impressive. As a daily driver, it is almost perfect! Yes, really! Like most budget Android handsets there can be the occasional stutter and lag but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. Of course, the Pixi 4, “6 is not meant to compete with Samsung, LG, Huawei, Lenovo-Motorola, HTC, premium handsets, still, it performs like a handset that costs more than its £120 price! You can get it cheaper on Tesco PAYG for £85 but it is locked into the Tesco network. You should be able to pick it up unlocked for around £120 or less.

If you aren’t into intensive 3D gaming on your smartphone and you are in need of a handset powerful enough to get you through a day of Social Media Networking, YouTube, Email, writing the odd report, etc on Google Docs and taking photos and videos then the Alcatel 4, “6 smartphone could be right for you! The price is most reasonable and it could very well be a secondary handset to the main driver!

The battery life is pretty good - a little above average. Again, manufacturers make great claims about the battery but in usage, it’s different story! With the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6, I could get away with a good day worth of taking photographs, video, Social Media Networking, browsing Google Chrome, sending/receiving messages on WhatsApp & Line and so on. When the battery goes down to about 15% it can hold its charge until I get home.

Yes, I do rate the Alcatel Pixi 4, “6 very highly despite the 6” screen being marred occasionally by direct sunlight; I just had to angle the screen away from the Sun as you would! So, the screen is not a deal breaker. It would have been so much better if the screen was full HD! Come on, screen technology has gotten to the stage whereby 1080p should be the standard. Some handsets have gone full 4K already! I am curious if Alcatel will make a version of the Pixi 4, “6 for 2017; I think it would be another great handset! Just bump up the RAM to 2GB, go hexacore for the CPU, 13MP main camera and front facing speakers and I will be a customer!

As it stands, the Pixi 4, “6 is a great budget all-round handset in that it does everything just a tad well. Again, there is nothing exceptional about it; it just gets the job done a little more than adequately. Budget handsets can be capable of more but, for the most part, manufacturers have a tendency to play it safe. Alcatel has stuck its neck out a little on this outing to make the Pixi 4, 6” worth having! Well done, Alcatel!

Oh, I think it is important to let you know that I used Nova Launcher Prime by TeslaCoil Software to replace the interface. I tried the default OneTouch Launcher but, at least for my personal tastes, the Nova Launcher gives me a very satisfying experience. I almost forgot… The backfiring speaker is very, very exceptional! It is nice and loud, it delivers very clean audio at high volume! It is great for watching video content! Awesome! The Alcatel Pixi 4, "6 has got to be one of the best budget Android handsets of 2016 and is definitely worth picking up if you, today, are looking for a smartphone that will give you a good amount of power to get things done in an enjoyable and fluid way! Thank you for reading! Best wishes, Synapse Circuit/Blue Gene