When you look just at the design and construction of the Alcatel 1C you’d be impressed, then you see the price and you’re assuming someone has made a mistake.

This thing is available at Telstra for just $89 for prepaid phone users.  That means it’s locked to Telstra, but who cares – take a look.

The metal body is not just a premium look it’s a premium feel. The curves between the metal edges are a sweet design, and they’ve dropped the camera lens, LED flash and fingerprint in circles one under the other on the back which looks great too!

Out front Alcatel have achieved a large 18:9 ratio screen following the current trend – which looks great, though is still surrounded by a large edge to the phone so it could hardly be described as “full screen” – but lets again remember – it’s $89!

At 5.34 inches the screen is a solid size – resolution isn’t premium at 960×480 but it’s as good as you’ll find sub $100.  On its own in your hand it’s unnoticeably different to anything else, though of course when you set it alongside another smartphone $399 or more it looks washed out and lacking in resolution.  Again – $89.

Front camera is 5MP, rear is 8MP and while it’s there, its not a camera to write home about – though I reckon the shots I took indoors were quite adequate for the price, its when you introduce bright sunlight or dark areas that the results start to degrade.

Battery life is impressive, a full day no doubt, and while it’s a “quad-core” processor it’s hardly snappy – though on the benchmark testing I did, I’d say it’s around iPhone 5 class speeds, at worst iPhone 4S, so again – for most users, you’ll not be complaining.

This is not a phone to “upgrade to” from any previous smartphone other than Alcatel’s own Pixi or some other similar low cost phone.  But as a first smartphone at any age, especially for kids – it’s an outright winner.

Locked to Telstra, it runs on their 3G network and is a simple $89 purchase.  Throw in a prepaid SIM and you’re good to go!

Remember – it’s $89.  That’s right – $89.

Web: Telstra