Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 7 – how good can a £70 tablet be?

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In recent weeks we’ve seen major players including Tesco and Vodafone stepping up their efforts in the budget tablet market – anybody would think it was getting close to some major seasonal gift buying event.

Now French manufacturer Alcatel is getting in on the act, bringing its OneTouch PIXI 7 tablet – first unveiled at Mobile World Congress back in February – to the UK. It’s a Wi-Fi only device with a budget price of £69.99, which places it above the sort of obscure far eastern brands you can pick up online for under 40 quid, but below better known names. It’s £10 less than the original Tesco Hudl for example.

The question is, at this price point what sort of compromises does it involve? At 9.9mm thick and weighing only 285 grammes it’s suitably pixie like. Inside is a 1.2 GHz triple-core CPU running Android KitKat, 512MB of memory and 4GB of internal storage that can be upped to 32GB with a microSD card.

Unusual for a cheap tablet is an infra-red port which lets you use it as a universal remote for your TV. You can stream content with Miracast too. Where the cost cutting really shows though is in the 960×540 screen resolution and in front and rear cameras both with a meagre 0.3 pixel resolution.

As Trusted Reviews says, “The specs are assuredly underwhelming, but that’s no surprise considering the price point.”

Cnet points out that the PIXI’s design is reflected in the price,

“To look at, there’s no question that it’s a budget device. Its rounded plastic back is very plain, with none of the elegance you’d see on more expensive devices. Still, if you’re expecting bleeding-edge design for 70 quid, more fool you. It’s all plastic and comes in ‘bluish black’ — oddly unspecific, but at least Alcatel didn’t make up some awful name like ‘Midnight Emperor’ or ‘Ocean Shadow’.”

The presence of two cameras impresses Phone Arena, though their spec didn’t.

“Usually, affordable Android tablets omit cameras, so it’s to our amazement that this one is outfitted with not one, but TWO cameras. Don’t hold your breath, though, seeing that they’re measly sized 0.3-megapixel ones – front and back! They’re not there to snap the most detailed shots, but instead, they’re simply tacked on to give us that option of snapping something if nothing else better is present.”

The Gadget Show likes the fact that it runs a relatively recent version of Android,

“Although there’s no sign of the latest and greatest Android 5.0 Lollipop onboard, the fact it runs KitKat is respectable enough (we’ve seen plenty of budget slates and phones running Android that are a couple of iterations out of date)…”

Overall there’s no doubt that the PIXI 7 is a budget device with a slightly silly name. But if you just want to update your social media while you watch TV on something with a bigger screen than your phone, it’ll do the job without stretching your finances. The PIXI is available now from Three stores.