We already know that Tesco is releasing its very first own-brand smartphone in 2014, but what specs will the Tesco mobile pack, when will it hit the UK, and how much will it cost? Here’s what we reckon…
If you’ve read our best smartphones under £100 feature, you’ll know that it’s finally possible to bag a great fully-featured mobile phone on the cheap. Not chunky macnasty smartphones from companies you’ve never heard of, either – the Motorola Moto E and Nokia Lumia 630 show how much value can be packed into a cheapy mobile now.
So Tesco already has some stiff competition for its upcoming value phone, revealed by Chief Exec Philip Clarke earlier this month. Here’s 5 things we’re expecting from Tesco’s mobile creation.
1. Tesco’s value phone will sport a colourful, soft touch design
The Tesco value phone won’t stray too far from the Tesco Hudl tablet’s design philosophy. It should have a soft-touch rear and chunky, friendly build, just like the Motorola Moto E. And like the Hudl and Moto E, it’ll come in a range of colours to appeal to the whole family, from drunken dad to irritating offspring.
It won’t come under the Hudl monicker, but it’ll be something very similar. Like Chatr, or Mudl, or something.
2. Full 4G and an HD screen
The cheapest 4G phone around right now is EE’s Kestrel, a £99 smartphone that’s basically a rebranded Huawei. Tesco’s new value phone will come in cheaper but still sport 4G connectivity, so Tesco Mobile customers can enjoy that free fast data.
We’re also hoping for a 720p screen, just like Motorola’s Moto G, so you can happily stream HD movies on the move. However, it might well sport a 960×540 resolution instead.
3. It’ll feature Android KitKat, with minimal mess
Not much of a stretch, this one. The Tesco Hudl tablet rocked a very vanilla version of Android, with a clean appearance (no heavy overlays, like you get on most other tablets). Tesco merely added a couple of apps and services in – namely, the Tesco app for ordering online and tracking your account, and BlinkBox support to buy, rent and stream media. We’re expecting the same from Tesco’s smartphone.
4. No front-facing camera, but help for selfies
To trim costs, the new Tesco phone will ditch any front-facing camera. However, to make up for this, Tesco will implement some simple feature to help users take that all-important selfie. This will most likely be a basic voice-activated shutter tool.
5. It’ll arrive in October (or thereabouts) for £69, and special Tesco Mobile deals
There’s serious competition around the £80 mark now, thanks to the Moto E and Nokia’s Lumia 630, so if Tesco really wants to appeal to the masses, it’ll have to at the very least match that price point. We reckon it’ll actually undercut, going for around £69 on Pay As You Go.
We’re also expecting some saliva-inducing deals on Tesco Mobile, where the handset is free and for under £10 a month you get more minutes, texts and data than you can shake a USB stick at. And of course there’ll be extra-special deals for picking up the phone with a Hudl tablet.
You’ll be able to snaffle the Tesco phone in time for Christmas, so we reckon an October launch is a safe bet.
Think we’re talking rubbish, or bang on the money? Let us know in the comments below.