Cricket Wireless have started selling the Alcatel Streak, an entry level Android 6.0 Marshmallow device, for the low price of $29.99 with activation. The Alcatel Streak appears to have the same design and specification as the Alcatel Dawn, which has been on sale with Boost and Virgin Mobile for around a month now - and now we have four North American carriers offering what appears to be a very similar device for prices ranging from $30 to $70. There are some differences in the devices as sold: for example, Best Buy are selling the renamed Alcatel Ideal on the AT&T GoPhone plan at $50, which again appears to be the same hardware. However, the GoPhone model comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop rather than 6.0 Marshmallow.
Returning to the Cricket Alcatel Streak, for $30, customers receive an entry level Android device with a 4.5-inch, 854 by 480 pixel display. There's a quad core, 32-bit, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 chipset clocked at 1.1 GHz and backed up by 1 GB of RAM. The device comes with Bluetooth 4.1 and 4G LTE, plus it's capable of providing a Wi-Fi hotspots to deliver Internet to other nearby devices. There's 8 GB of internal storage, which may be boosted by a MicroSD card of up to 128 GB capacity. It is not clear if the Alcatel Streak supports Android Marshmallow's Adoptable Storage technology, whereby the operating system treats the memory card as a part of the device. There's a 5MP main camera and a 2MP front facing camera and Alcatel have bundled Polaroid's capture and photo editing software. Finally, Alcatel have given the Streak a 1,780 mAh battery and a MicroUSB port for recharging.
Whilst this specification does not sound like much, it must be remembered that the device is only $30, which is significantly less than most people pay for their monthly service. For those customers not wanting an Internet or gaming powerhouse and not interested in Android Pay (and so have limited use for NFC), the Alcatel Streak offers the essentials at a bargain price. It was not so many months ago when entry level devices came with 512 MB of RAM and no support for LTE. Furthermore, Android 6.0 Marshmallow continues to benefit from Google's internal project such as Butter (to smooth the performance of the operating system) and Svelte, to help low memory devices perform.