Alcatel was established in 2004 as a joint venture between the telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent of France and TCL Communication of China. Their bread-and-butter comes in the form of low to mid-range mobile phones and Alcatel are fairly successful outside of America. The OT-980 is a smart-phone offering that runs Android. This is a change of direction for the company, but one that makes sense as the line between mobile-phones, feature phones and smart-phones becomes increasingly blurred.

The OT-980 looks similar to the Palm Pre, although somewhat less classy. The purpose of selling this device is to undercut the HTC Tattoo, which is already quite cheap. You also get some useful hardware for your money, including 192MB of RAM, Qualcomm 600MHz MSM7227 processor, WiFi, 3G, and a magnetic compass. It runs the Donut branch of Android, but as we know, it is technically possible to update this over the air to a more recent version in the future. Go checkout their website here for some idea on what they usually get up to.

James Tromans

Contributing editor of, based in the U.K.