Alcatel POP4 hands on

Meet Alcatel's POP4 - budget brilliance...
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Alcatel POP4 hands on

Previously known for its line up of feature phones, Alcatel's been dabbling in the smartphone market for a while now. Today we're looking at the POP4, which is bridging the gap between the two...

Design and display

The front of the smartphone is completely flush, with the 5-inch HD screen sitting just above a touch key home button. The other two navigational keys that normally appear either side of the home button only show up when needed - softly illuminated from underneath.

Meanwhile round the back, you'll find a smooth plastic-coated rear with the camera and LED flash embedded at the top centre.

Overall, it's quite Nexus-like and that familiarity continues when it comes to the software and usability... more on that later.

Camera

The POP4's camera sensor is a very respectable 8MP, comes with its own LED flash, and has a couple of tricks up its sleeve, too.

The first of which is a QR scanner - built right into the camera. In most cases you would need to download a completely separate app before you can scan codes, but this cuts out the middle man.

There's also beauty mode, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. Whether it's a selfie using the 5MP front-facing lens, or a normal shot, the camera will effectively airbrush your face in real time, removing any blemishes or imperfections. Not that you need it, of course.

Performance and software

Now, back to the software. The POP4 is running Google's current operating system, Android Marshmallow, with hardly any personal UI overlays. Most manufacturers like to add their own twist to the Android appearance, but it's clear Alcatel is keen to keep it clean.

Saying that there’s a cool animation that comes with the home screen folders. When tapped they unfold like pieces of paper, and fold back down when you come out of them. It's simple, but it stands out.

Power-wise, the POP4 has a 1.1GHz quad-core processor in charge of keeping things moving. It's not the biggest or most powerful processor out there, but it certainly makes the POP4 smooth to use.

Finally - the battery. Given its relatively slim build, it's refreshing to learn that the POP4 is packing a sizeable 2,500mAh cell under its hood. To put that in perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S7 - the current flagship - has a 3,000mAh battery, so the POP4 shapes up pretty well on the power front supporting up to nine hours of talk time on 3G.

If you're interested in the Alcatel POP4, you can buy one from Carphone Warewhouse right now.

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