The Various Pixi 3: Same Name, Different Smartphones

Note well the two photo smartphones above. They are the same company, have identical design, adopt to the same name. But they are different. Both are low-end segment, ie, cheap smartphones, with the limit performance of the Tolerable and other minimally functional characteristics. But one, the right one is better than the other. How, and more importantly, why does this happen?

Why Does It Happen?

I can not say for sure why manufacturers baptized with the same name different products, but I have some suspicions. Two, to be exact.

First, for marketing. Stick a name in the consumer’s head is easier than two. At different levels this phenomenon manifests itself. A softer, the fact that (almost) all smartphone from Samsung has “Galaxy” in the name.

The other is for logistics – operating costs and components. Create a derivative of another product already in production is cheaper than a zero. Components, production lines and work in software is reused, resulting in new products which, for various reasons, can do better, commercially, of those that originated.

There are also subjective aspects, easier to understand, but no less important. A very clear observed in Brazil is offering dual SIM smartphone variants, ie, with space for two chips. In the United States, for example, that does not exist. The market there is no interest in this kind of solution, here, has emerged thanks to the dynamics of the mobile operators – “club effect”, with different prices for those who communicate with other clients of the same.

All this unfolds in two types of internal changes: small and little publicized, and the large, highlighted and that, in practice, affect the user experience.

Small Differences

Sometimes these changes are so minimal and discrete passing beats. A recent example: the Galaxy S6. His great camera could come either with an own sensor as Samsung with a Sony, and there was no reference in the documentation or on the box stating which had been used. In practice, the differences when observed were minimal.

Samsung also uses this expedient elsewhere, as in the SoC, the chip containing processor, GPU and other vital components in its line of smartphones tops. There is the Exynos SoC, own manufacturing, and Snapdragon, Qualcomm rival, outfitting devices that despite this difference, are sold under the same name. So it was with the Galaxy Note 3, S4, S5 and S7 1. The choice depends on each market. In Brazil and the United States almost always receive the change with the chip from Qualcomm.

In these cases and others, such as SoC A9 iPhone 6s, whcih can either be manufactured by Samsung and by TSMC, which helps maintain the discretion of these differences is precisely what little changes between one model and another of the same products that use more than one vendor components. There are slight variations, but they are just that; they are so subtle that the user experience is, in general, and for most, uniform, consistent.

The order, in which case the means justifies: differences exist to circumvent limitations assembly lines/suppliers or as adjustments for specific markets. There is nothing that discredit or diverge the eyes of consumers, that is, chip manufactured by Samsung or by TSMC, an iPhone 6s will still be an iPhone 6s in every way, period.

Large Differences

The same can not be said when the exchange components affects device characteristics. The Pixi 3 (still return to it) is a great example: four different screen sizes, each of which can have up to three (!!) variations in domestic settings. Say “I bought a Pixi 3” is a lower level, almost the same as “bought a Galaxy” – does not explain much.

Such cases are rare because the potential for confusion with the consumer is very large. Even Motorola, which in recent years stood out in Brazil for its cohesive and lean line, already incurred in this sin.

The second bike and came in two configurations, one with 3G and other 4G. But the differences do not stop there. The 4G model had a more advanced SoC Snapdragon 410, against 200 Snapdragon 3G. In this, processor and GPU were better on 4G, opening a significant hole in performance between the two models. With the Moto 3rd generation GMotorola repeated this controversial strategy: some models came with 1GB of RAM, the other with 2GB. The more RAM, the better Android behaves.

From a consumer point of view, it is a bad approach. Differentiating components in smartphones bearing the same name creates an aura of uncertainty around it. The security had before saying “buy the Moto G, is good,” turns a longer sentence and the recommendation before direct, becomes conditioned, “buy the Moto G, is good, but only if the version 2GB of RAM. ” For many people, “2GB of RAM” is greek speaking. And yet there appeared a Turbo range, best in everything, but at least earned a name to distinguish it from non-Turbo models. Complicated, right?

The Two (Multiple) Pixi 3

Alcatel sent to the user’s manual two smartphones Pixi 3, both running Android and with the same screen size of 4.5 inches. Do not miss the math: there are still Pixi 3 3.5, 4 and up to 5 inches. And not talk of tablets Pixi 3, 7, 8 and 10 inches. (Seriously, it is very Pixi 3) Calm down, there’s more. When it was announced, the great advantage of the Pixi 3 is that it could come with one of three operating systems: Android, Firefox OS (RIP) or Windows Phone. Ufa!

In Brazil only the Android flavor was released.

Not in enrolarmos, we focus on both Pixi 3 4.5-inch running Android that were with me. The first difference is physical: one is slightly thicker than the other, 11.7mm to 9.95mm. This thicker, not by chance the worst of both brings the peculiarity to use MiniSim cards, a rarity today. The other uses the micro SIM standard, most popular among intermediaries and low-cost smartphones.

Like the Moto E 2nd generation, the two Pixi 3 also are distinguished mainly by the connectivity – the bulk is only 3G; the other 4G. Here also it unfolds in performance differences, and 4G, with faster SoC consisting of a Cortex-A7 quad-core processor at 1.1 GHz, and has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory, protrudes easily. The 3G model has a Cortex-A7 dual-core processor running at 1 GHz, only 512 MB of RAM and only 4GB of internal space. In other words, it is painfully slow.

Going deep into the comparison, her least some logic is that, above all, they do not run the same version of Android. The Pixi 34G is the Android 5.1; 3G in 4.4. In this, the customization of Alcatel switches from one to another. The version with Android 4.4 has more things customized as a third keyboard (SwiftKey) and system elements such as curtain notifications and internal menus, with its own colors and graphics of Alcatel. The Pixi 3 with Android 5.1 is very close to the pure version of Google, with just a few extra apps and some icons changed.

Isolated numbers may not be enough to determine which smartphone is the best, but in this case they do not leave much room for discussion. The performance of the Pixi 3 in the 4G version is much higher. It is still a low-end smartphone, with all the shortcomings inherent in the category: screen below average performance is not very good, unsatisfactory camera. The cameras of the two, said Alcatel, are the same; and even seem, except the front – the 4G is slightly better. None has variable focus, or any positive highlight.

The suggested price is R$479 (3G) and R$579 (4G). If interested, get ready to hit a lot of virtual leg, since it is quite difficult to find them for sale. (A quick search found only 4G for R$599 in Magazine Luiza) These values are slightly higher than one would expect from low-end smartphones, but which are justified by the economic times and one or another highlight, especially the 4G model as the minimally acceptable performance, the front camera and 4G connectivity itself, something that is still uncertain even better and more expensive competitors.

Even when public guides and give more specific guidance, the rule of search (enough!) still applies. The devil is in the details, and sometimes these are hidden well behind the same name.