The flip phone has returned. Again. Alcatel announced the new Alcatel Go Flip 3 and the Alcatel Smartflip, which the company calls the first flip phone to launch in North America and feature both access to the KaiStore and Google Assistant.
The Go Flip 3 and the Smartflip are actually the same device — but the naming depends on the carrier. On T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, the phone is called the Alcatel Go Flip 3, while on AT&T and Cricket Wireless it’s the Smartflip.
So what makes the device so special? Well, it actually offers an interesting mixture of software. The device runs the KaiOS operating system, which includes access to the KaiStore, the KaiOS app marketplace.
This isn’t the first phone with KaiOS and Google Assistant but it is the first to launch in North America. The Nokia 8110 4G also offers KaiOS and Google Assistant, and it was launched last year. KaiOS itself is built for simplicity, is super lightweight, and able to run on phones that might otherwise have a tough time with Android. The addition of Google Assistant, however, makes it a whole lot more powerful — you’ll be able to use your voice to open and navigate to apps, message friends, control smart home devices, find information from the web, and more — all things that you would expect to be able to do on a smartphone.
Apart from KaiOS and Google Assistant, the Go Flip3/Smartflip offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor and a 2.8-inch display. Sure, that display isn’t big by any means — but it’s aiming for portability more than the full smartphone experience. You’ll also get a battery life that gives you up to 6.8 hours of continuous talk time, and 8GB of storage. There’s a MicroSD card slot in there too — which you can use to get up to 32GB extra storage.
Alcatel is also announcing the new Joy Tab, a tablet to be sold by T-Mobile starting on October 4. The tablet runs Android 9 and offers a 4,080mAh battery, and it comes pre-loaded with CloserTV, an app aimed at gathering streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime into one place.
The Alcatel Go Flip 3 is now available from T-Mobile, while the Smartflip is available from AT&T. You’ll be able to get the Joy Tab from T-Mobile starting on October 4. We don’t yet know the price of the phones, but they’ll likely be cheap given their flip design and lightweight software.