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Alcatel One Touch 993D and 997D preview: two affordable dual-SIM smartphones

Alcatel made a good impression before with the One Touch 995, an affordable and quality smartphone. You could almost say that it offers the same performance of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S at a fraction of the price. Today we will take a closer look at the Alcatel One Touch 993D and 997D.

The One Touch 995 really caused us to start paying closer attention to Alcatel. Most consumers prefer buying an affordable phone that can still provide good performance. The One Touch 995 managed to achieve that balance very well, both with its screen and its performance.

When we received the One Touch 993D and 997D, we were eager to find out whether Alcatel would be able to repeat its success with the 995. They are once again affordable smartphones and they both run on Android 4.0. We don't have any information about future updates, but the One Touch 995 was updated from 2.3 to 4.0, so the track record is good.

The 'D' in both product names indicates that these are dual-SIM phones, but keep in mind that only one slot supports 3G and the other is limited to 2G.

The Alcatel One Touch 993D is the cheaper out of the two Alcatel smartphones. It has a 4in screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, not bad considering the sticker price. The only other smartphone in the price segment that offers this resolution is the Acer Liquid Glow E330. The 993D feels nice and solid when you hold it, but it should be that way with a weight of almost 150 grams.

The display uses a TN panel, which is obvious when you look at it from the sides. TN screens are known for their terrible viewing angles, and here the screen disappears completely from the sides. Other than that the screen is pretty decent. The touch interface works well, but it would not have hurt to increase the brightness. The 267 cd/m² is a bit on the low side.

The right side of the One Touch 993D has the volume buttons, the top side features the power switch and headphone jack, and the bottom has the micro USB port for charging the phone or connecting it to a PC. On the back there's a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and this certainly isn't a bad camera at this price point.

When you remove the back cover, you'll find the two SIM card slots on top of each other in a single module, and not next to each other like we've seen in other dual-SIM phones. There's also a microSD card slot for memory cards up to 32 GB. The internal storage is only about 1.2 GB, so being able to add to that is useful. The battery has a capacity of 1,500 mAh.

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