Headed for the Philippines with the newest iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS pre-installed, the Alpha Prime 4 and 5 are unfortunately decidedly low-end affairs.
While Lumia manufacturers continue to play coy, neither confirming, nor refuting recent 940, 940 XL, 840 and 840 XL speculation, a tiny OEM founded in 2008 in Manila and focused on the emerging local market just went ahead and snatched the honor of announcing the Win 10 road-openers away from the ecosystem’s imperators.
Technically, the Cherry Mobile Alpha Prime 4 and 5 are the first and so far only handhelds we know for sure will run WP 8.1’s follow-up out the box. The when and the where of the equation haven’t been addressed yet by the exotic device producer, but in all probability, Cherry shall stick to familiar territory, i.e. the Philippines, and stand by until at least a couple of next-gen Lumias roll out internationally.
Bottom line, don’t hold your breath for a commercial bow before September. Which still sounds fairly early, given Windows 10 isn’t ready for primetime at the moment, proving Redmond is (slowly) taking previously unexplored Asian markets seriously.
It’s worth pointing out that, while virtually unknown on the Western hemisphere and even in certain parts of Asia, the Cherry Mobile name actually means something domestically. The Android, Firefox OS and Windows player of course gained relevance thanks chiefly to ultra-low-cost, entry-level gear, and the Alpha Prime 4/5 duo is no exception.
With 4 and 5-inch displays in tow (duh), the two pioneers look destined for casual web browsing and multimedia tasks, using humble quad-core 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 processors backed by 512 MB and 1 GB RAM respectively.
Good thing Microsoft specifically optimized Windows 10 Mobile for low-memory systems. Not exactly a looker but not particularly tacky either, the larger Alpha Prime model comes further endowed with FDD-LTE connectivity, 8 GB internal storage and 8 MP/2 MP cameras.
The 4 incher retains the advanced network speeds, which is somewhat surprising for its no doubt sub-$100 price tag, offering little more to write home about – 4 GB ROM, 5 MP rear shooter, 2 MP selfie cam.