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Alcatel OneTouch to Add Phones, First Smart Watches

Watches to come in Q1 with embedded sensors, variety of traditional-watch styles 1/02/2015 11:00:00 AM Eastern

Irvine, Calif. –Alcatel OneTouch, the TCL Communications brand, will go to International CES with its first smart watch selection, an expanded selection of LTE smartphones, and its first phone series available in Android, Windows and Firefox OS versions.

The company already offers Windows and Firefox smartphones outside the U.S. but offers only Android snartphones in the U.S.

Alcatel One Touch did not reveal the timing of the smartphone releases nor which models might come to the U.S., but it did say the smart watch series would be available in the U.S. in the first quarter.

The new phone series is called the Pixi 3 series, which consists of what the company called affordable smartphones in 3.5-, 4-, 4.5-, and 5-inch screen sizes. All feature 4G LTE except for the 3.5-inch model. They are the first Pixi series phones with LTE and the company’s first phones available in three OSs.

Alcatel OneTouch began making the transition to 4G LTE from 3G last year, launching three LTE phones in the U.S. and promising that almost every new U.S. product in 2015 would ship with LTE.

In launching the Alcatel One Watch, the company contends it is creating a new market segment of affordable smartwatches. The smart watches will be available “at a fraction of the cost” of competitors models, the company promised.

The products offer the “same look and feel” of a traditional watch but incorporate sensors and apps that let users monitor activities and connect to Android smartphones to control music, take photos, receive notifications and the like, the company said.

The Watch features USB charging built into the band, making it unnecessary to use a “clunky” specialty charger, a spokesperson told TWICE. The Watch also runs a proprietary OS to deliver longer battery life than the Android Wear smartphone OS, he contended. Additional details were unavailable.

TCL Communication, a public company on the Hong Kong stock exchange, is part of TCL Corp., the consumer electronics company.

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