In the end there are three reasons to buy the Alcatel One Touch 991D. First of all it's a very affordable smartphone at £120, that's entirely touch operated. The dual-SIM feature is also a unique selling point, with various applications. The third reason to get the One Touch 991D is the excellent battery life. See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?
The recently reviewed Alcatel One Touch 995 made a very good impression. You get a lot of phone for £170, an unusual amount of quality for an affordable price. Digging deeper into Alcatel's vault, there is also the One Touch 991D. This is a smartphone with touch interface for around £120. Hardware.Info tested the 991D to find out if it also manages to impress. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?
When you first hold the Alcatel One Touch 991D in your hand, it doesn't feel like a phone you can buy for £120. It feels solid, and isn't that small with its 4 inches. It does weigh more than its bigger sibling, the One Touch 995, at 135 grams. First impressions do count, and those are positive.
In terms of connectors and buttons, the 991D has a headphone jack on the top along with the on/off button. On the side you'll find the volume button, and on the bottom there is the USB port for the charger and connecting the phone to a computer. Below the screen there are four capacitive buttons. When you remove the back cover you'll see that, in addition to the microSD slot (32 GB max), there are two SIM card slots in the phone. That is what the "D" in 991D stands for, dual-SIM.
The rest of the hardware in the Alcatel One Touch 991D is not very impressive, but that is to be expected for a phone in this price segment. The 320x480 display is clearly a TN panel, which means that the viewing angles aren't great. Particularly from above you can't see very much. The brightness of 250 candela per square meter is not very high. Touch operation works really well, however, and the virtual keyboard also works great.
Alcatel used an SoC that you don't see every day, the MediaTek MT6573. It's a somewhat older chip that utilises ARMv6 architecture and a single ARM11 core that runs at 800 MHz. The phone has 256 MB of RAM. The internal storage space of 512 MB is pretty limited, but you can expand that up to 32 GB with a micro SD card. However, there are a number of applications that won't go on a micro SD card, and then your 512 MB will be maxed out pretty quick. Without adding anything yourself, the available internal space is already limited to 100 MB.
The dual-SIM feature won't be useful for everyone. In areas where not every provider has good coverage, it can be handy to have to SIM cards in the phone. Another interesting application is that you can separate your professional and your private use this way, or if you want two different numbers for other reasons. There is one limitation, and that is that only one of the SIM cards can take advantage of 3G, the other SIM card only goes to 2G.
The 991D has two cameras. The front-facing one has a resolution of 0.3 megapixels, and the main camera has 3 megapixels and LED flash. The quality is acceptable for this type of phone, social networks are full of photos taken by these types of cameras.
In the version of Android running on the Alcatel One Touch 991D, Android 2.3.6, it's possible to configure the traffic for each application to one of the two SIM cards. You can decide whether you want calls, video calls, text messages and data traffic to run via a specific SIM card, or you can disable a card altogether. You can set which SIM card can roam. Two bars at the top of the screen show how strong the signal is for each SIM card.
To find out how well this affordable touchscreen smartphone performs, read the full review on Hardware.Info