T-mobile has just announced that it's adding the Alcatel One Touch Evolve and One Touch Fierce to its low-cost tier of smartphones. The Alcatel One Touch Fierce seems like a mid-range smartphone with quad core 1.2 Ghz Cortex A7 processor, a 4.5" screen with a 960x540 resolution, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage with microSD card, 1,800 mAh battery, 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-camera. T-mobile calls it a 4G phone, but it doesn't support LTE, only 21 Mbps HSPA+. It's running Android 4.2
The Alcatel One Touch Evolve goes down in specs a little, and it comes with a 1GHz MediaTek MT6575 processor, 800x480 4" screen, 512MB of RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD, 5MP rear camera (no front-camera), and 7.2Mbps HSPA connectivity. This one will arrive only with Android 4.1 out of the box, and there's no mention of any future upgrades, but I wouldn't count too much on it. Most OEM's don't seem to care very much about their low-end smartphones and the customers who buy them, and they tend to give maybe one more update at most.
The One Touch Fierce will arrive with the T-Mobile Simple Choice plan, costing $19.99 down, followed by 24 monthly payments of $6 (remember T-mobile is charging separately for the phone now, instead of bundling it with the cost of the Voice/Data plan). The One Touch Evolve costs less, priced at $27.99 down, with 24 payments of $3 afterwards when paired with the same plan.
If you're on a tight budget, these two options seem pretty good for the price. Alcatel may not be a huge name in smartphones, but ever since they've started making Android smartphones, they've produced some quality devices, and it's unlikely to go wrong with any of these devices.
For the Fierce at least, the performance should be very good, since it has a quad core Cortex A7 processor, which is only slightly weaker than a Tegra 3, but for a smartphone at this price and running Android 4.2, the performance should be more than good enough. The Evolve on the other hand may be a little tight on performance, as it only has a single core Cortex A9 processor, but it should be able to play 720p videos, and won't feel too slow browsing the web. For a super budget phone, it doesn't seem too bad.