If you were feeling as jaded as we were by Apple unveiling a load of years-old tech this week, here’s a little bit of good news.
Alcatel Onetouch (the guys behind the enormous Xess tablet we wrote about recently) have made a super-cheap phone and matching smartwatch that aren’t just water-resistant, but full-on waterproof. We’re always surprised by how few Android manufacturers make waterproof phones, given how useful it is – the main ones come from the Sony Xperia line and cost flagship money. Meanwhile, the Alcatel Onetouch Go Play phone costs around £150, and the watch is yours for ~£100. Impressive.
Also, not all waterproof phones can actually be used underwater – often they’re built not to die if you dunk them, but you can’t interact with them either. Not so with the Go Play – you can still use the 8MP camera to take cool underwater photos and videos as long as it’s not salt water. In other words, it’s good for the pool but not the sea.
As with most Alcatel phones, the Go Play and Go Watch are bright and cheerful to look at – you can tell these products are aimed at the younger end of the market. In fact, they seem to be thinking about festivals, pointing out that the Go range is not just waterproof but also shock, mud and dustproof. Ideal for rolling around in the mosh pit while My Chemical Romance – or a band that still actually exists – rocks the stage. (I’m sorry, I’m old. I have no idea who’s cool).
The battery life’s ideal for festivals, too – the phone lasts 20 days (!) on standby time, 8.3 hours of calls or 55 hours of music playback. You can listen to music for more than two days and it won’t run out. At this price point, that’s brilliant.
Meanwhile, the watch lasts between 2 and 5 days on a charge, depending of course on how much you use it. We get less time out of some considerably pricier smartwatches, and they don’t remind us so much of our beloved Baby G.
The shockproof aspect is particularly appealing to me, because I drop my phone all the damn time. The handset is really grippy, so you’re less likely to drop it in any case – but it’s good to know it won’t shatter into a billion pieces if it falls on the floor. It’s shockproof for drops of up to 1.5 metres, which means you’re fine as long as you weren’t holding it over your head.
For further party tricks with the Go Play, try dunking your waterproof Android in water in front of iPhone people. The horror on their faces…!
There are eight colours of Go Play phone to choose from, with waterproof headsets to match, and the watch can be customised endless ways – there’s a central watch module with swappable bands and faces. Again, that’ll put it right in the eyeline of the younger crowd.
The watch also comes with a feature that might raise a few eyebrows: the ability to “hack your emotions.” Over to Alcatel to explain what that means:
Press the GO button to trigger an emotion pulse measurement. An emotional graphic will be created based on the input from the gyroscope, heart rate sensor and accelerometer.
Select a theme that matches your mood the best to create your personalized emotion pulse. You can instantly share your unique emotion pulse on social networks or even set it as the wallpaper of your GO WATCH.
Well, I’m not sure I’d use that, but then I’m not 18.
The phone has a youth-friendly feature, too: you can record screencasts and give them a voiceover. In other words, you can make a video of what you’re doing on your phone, narrate it, and easily put the whole thing on YouTube. That’s ideal for bloggers, and personally I’d find it super-useful too. Everyone loves a how-to video.
Alcatel Onetouch Go Play specs
- 5-inch HD (720p) screen
- Android Lollipop
- Quad core, 1.2GHz CPU
- 8MP main camera, 5MP selfie cam
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage, expandable by up to 32GB with microSD
- 2500mAh battery
Alcatel Onetouch Go Watch specs
- 5cm watch face diameter
- 22mm wide, 3mm thick strap
- 225mAh battery
- Gyroscope, altimeter, heart rate sensor, compass
- Compatible with Android 4.3 and above, iOS 7 and above
Where, when, how much?
We only have information for Europe as a whole so far, but assuming that includes the UK (Alcatel Onetouch devices usually come here), you’ll be able to get hold of the Go Play phone from September for around £150, and the watch in November for about £95. We don’t have confirmed retail channels yet but they’re likely to be online rather than through networks.
Main image: Alcatel Onetouch