Sunday, April 20, 2008

Locus' O2 Wireless In The News for Intro'ing Alcatel Phones

They sell you 1000 minutes a month for $40. Their website isn't quite set up yet to reflect this. Their phone selection makes you think you're in a third-world country. They're O2 Wireless (aka Oxygen, powered by Locus Telecom, no relation to O2-by-Telefonica in Europe and such), and they're now selling Alcatel phones.

These guys somehow made it onto the front page of PhoneScoop today with the E206a, which actually has a decent set of features, ranging from EDGE to Bluetooth to a camera. I doubt that most of these features will be useable in the near future though; Locus' agreement with AT&T, on whch the O2 service runs, has so far been voice-and-text-only. Then again, things could change. On the other hand, Page Plus cellular still hasn't rolled out data, and they said they'd do that a year ago.

So please don't excited about this handset, whose screen and keypad are reminiscent of the Nokia 1600, but with a lesser-quality user experience (but without the call answering bug, see my review). I'm pretty sure Alcatel is a no-name for a reason, though that probably means the E206a will be quite cheap for someone...if not for the consumer then for Locus, which would help them to keep the 1000-for-$40 plan running.

As for me, I'll take a Nokia phone any day of the week. Or a Moto c168i. Or a Pantech. Or an Alcatel review unit to dissuade me of their inadequacy (hint, hint).

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