My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: JA$13,688 Digicel DL750 Launched – Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 with Free TV App, DL600 issues in X-Men Origins First Class Days of Future Past

Thursday, October 16, 2014

JA$13,688 Digicel DL750 Launched – Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 with Free TV App, DL600 issues in X-Men Origins First Class Days of Future Past

Introducing the DL750, priced roughly at around JA$13,688.00 on a Prepaid (Digicel Flex) Plan and JA$10,688.00 on a Postpaid (Digicel Select) Plan.

This new smartphone, called the DL750, as announced in their Press Release on Friday September 19th 2014  is a bit of a mystery, as no-one seems to know the manufacturer of the smartphone. Instead, Telecom Provider Digicel merely offers this lone ad, the ONLY ad for the DL750 on YouTube ANYWHERE.

There is no specific ad for the other territories and details on the actual specs of the DL750 are very sparse.  So much so that the Geezam blog, which did an article on Friday September 24th 2014, a week later as noted in “Digicel Launches the DL750”, published September 24, 2014 by Kelroy, Geezam, merely repeated their Press Release on Friday September 19th 2014 as no other information could be found on the smartphone.

Ditto too the Jamaica Telecom Scene Blog, which may really be a hand-puppet for Digicel as noted in the article “DL750 ENHANCES CUSTOMERS’ SMARTPHONE EXPERIENCE”, published Friday September 19th 2014, Jamaica Telecom Scene.

It appears to has been launched in St. Lucia, but with little fanfare and in a very controlled manner, with Telecom Provider Digicel supplying the Press Release as noted in the article “Digicel introduces the latest DL 750 handset”, published Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 5:21 PM, by Digicel, St. Lucia News Online

Even stranger, it’s not detailed on any other Digicel Website specific for the small islands. Just the same Press Release repeated and echoed by everyone. This strange hand-puppet behavior resulted in me spending a few weeks hunting down the true origins of the DL750, as this level of media control by Telecom Provider Digicel a little frightening!

DL750 Origins –X-Men Origins First Class Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 Days of Future Past

So I’ll started off by going to each Digicel Store and questioning the staff in the week of Sunday September 21st 2014 , getting a good look and feel of the smartphone and writing off the IMEI (International Mobile Equiptment Identification) Number and Manufacturer numbers, hoping to do an IMEI Search to determine the actual maker of the phone. I managed to capture these three (3) IMEI as shown from the following Digicel stores. 

Then I did an IMEI lookup to determine the manufacturer. Surprisingly, on several IMEI sites, nothing came up for any of the three (3) IMEI! Basically came up with nothin’, nada, Zip. So I decided to track down the smartphone on the Internet, looking for clues of its Origins.

However, based on the physical inspection of the DL750 and research online, it seems to be a low-end 4.0” touchscreen smartphone running Android v4.4 aka Kitkat with dimensions 122 x 64.4 x 12 mm (4.80 x 2.54 x 0.47 in) weighing in at 110 g (3.88 oz). In short, it’s the Alcatel One Touch Pop C3, but with a new OS. These specs explain the name DL750, since it’s really an incremental upgrade on the DL700 with no major Hardware upgrades.

The Processor is a Dual-Core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 that supported by a Mali-400 GPU. Its packing a mere 512MB RAM with 4GB Internal Memory, albeit that's expandable with a 32GB MicroSD Card.

That said, the 4.0" screen has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (~233 ppi pixel density) TFT and the capacitive touchscreen that supports 256K colors. Curiously, it has a 5 Megapixel Rear-Facing Camera with a VGA Front Facing Camera for the selfie-obsessed crowd.

It's also sporting the usual bells and whistles in the form of an accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and magnetometer or compass. It's great for playing MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA Audio and MP4/H.264 Video. Messaging is also the standard fare with SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail and IM (Instant Messaging), albeit you'll probably get WhatsApp to do all that.

The new DL750 supports Wi-Fi and Digicel 4G Mobile Network (read 3G Network), who are currently involved in an ongoing a Caribbean-wide upgrade to 4G LTE. Telecom Provider Digicel’s 4G LTE will be bolstered by Streaming Cable TV Service as noted in my blog article entitledDigicel officially acquires Telstar Cable – Why Digicel is launching IPTV Streaming over 4G LTE using 20 Years of Cable TV History”.

SportsMax announced on Thursday September 18th 2014, adds Sports as one of the preferred content to stream as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Digicel's Streaming Cable TV over Bigger, Better Network 4G LTE and FTTH”.

That said, this 3G capable DL750 has a Battery life just like its predecessor, the DL700 and barely lasts up to 13h 30min on 2G Voice Calling and to 9h 30min on 3G Data on a full charge. Worse, it has similarly lackluster standby times of 510h on 2G Voice Calling and to 410h on 3G Data.

So it's basically the DL700 with an Android v4.4 aka Kitkat. Same old hardware; what’s new, you may be tempted to ask? Not much really if the article “DL750 — Fitting of any lifestyle”, published Tuesday, October 14, 2014, by Novaro Thompson, The Jamaica Observer is to be believed.

Digicel DL750 Incremental Upgrade - New Name, same DL600 problems but with Free TV Service

According to Word on the Street (….. and Facebook!), the DL700 it does have a few shortfalls mainly centering around it mechanical defects which are similar to those that the DL600 has as noted in this Saturday July 19th 2014 Open Complaint Letter to Telecom Provider Digicel entitled “Come On, Digicel - Recall These Phones”, Published Saturday July 19, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner . It probably suffers from the same overheating problems well known to Milk River residents!

In terms of aesthetics, main problems appear to be lack of backlight Buttons that are typically found on these Android smartphones and the Camera being the same as on the DL700. Interestingly too, the Protective Screen that come with the DL750 isn’t very protective.

My personal favorite is the price, which at JA$13,688 is bordering on uncompetitive with LIME Huawei Ascend Y330 priced at around JA$5000 as pointed out in my blog article entitled “JA$3999 Huawei Ascend Y330 vs JA$7599 Digicel DL700 this Summer of 2014 - Waggonists Transfer Form not Required to get new smartphone

At least it has a nifty feature, that being the ability to pick up local TV Stations thanks to a Mobile TV App that appears to use the headphones as the antenna as noted in the article “A New Breed In A Similar Package”, published Monday October 6, 2014, by Payton H. Wilmott, The Jamaica Gleaner.

If these complaints are anything similar to problems with the DL600 and the DL700, it goes a long way to explaining the lacklustre crowds at Digicel stores and even why I can't find it using an IMEI lookup! More reason why my Luddite camp of haters of smartphones may be growing as noted in my blog article entitled “The Reason why I don't like Smartphones - Location Privacy and How to disable Location Services on Android and iOS”.

Still, if you have JA$13,688 burning a hole in your pocket, then the DL750 is waiting for you at a Digicel store near there are no lines forming for this phone in a manner similar to the far more hyped and advertised DL600 or the DL700. Check back with my blog or just follow Digicel Jamaica’s website Digicel Jamaica YouTube Page, Digicel’s Facebook Page and Digicel’s Twitter Page.

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