Alcatel makes new 5, 3 and 1 series phones official, topping out at €229 and focusing on value

By | 24th February 2018

It's all about features for the money.

Alcatel gave us an early look at its new range of phones back at CES — comprised of an Alcatel 5 at the high end, plus the Alcatel 3 series and Alcatel 1 series below, all being pitched as providing great value under €250.

Now at MWC 2018, we have some actual pricing and availability details for us to go along with our initial impressions of the group.

The Alcatel 5 is the main device that may get a few people interested in this 2018 lineup, though now in the same ways that made the Alcatel Idol 3 and Idol 4 interesting. Alcatel is going increasingly budget-focused with the 5, setting the price at just €229.

Even at that price you're getting a brushed metal body, 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio display, USB-C and dual front-facing cameras. Also somewhat surprising at this price point is the inclusion of both a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a new face unlock mode.

CategorySpec
Operating systemAndroid 7.1 Nougat
Display5.7-inch IPS, 1440 x 720 (18:9)
ProcessorMT6750 octa-core 1.5GHz
Storage16/32GB (depending on model)
ExpandableMicroSD up to 32GB
RAM2/3GB (depending on model)
Rear camera12MP, 1.25-micron, f/2.2, dual-tone flash, HDR
Front camera 113MP, 1.4-micron, f/2
Front camera 25MP, 120-degree lens
ConnectivityLTE Cat 4, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS
Battery3000mAh
ChargingUSB-C
SecurityFingerprint sensor, Face Key unlock
Dimensions152.3 x 71.1 x 8.4 mm, 144g

The Alcatel 3 isn't just one phone ... but rather three: there's the Alcatel 3V, 3X and 3, all with slightly different combinations of features and at slightly different prices. These all fall under €200, but are designed to offer a higher-end look with an 18:9 display and key features like fingerprint sensors. The 3V has a 6-inch 2160x1080 screen, the 3X has a 5.7-inch 1440x720 screen and the bottom-end 3 comes with a 5.5-inch 1440x720 screen. (A little confusing, I know.)

Both the 3V and 3X have dual rear cameras, with the secondary lens providing wide-angle shots. All three have extremely basic plastic hardware design, and you'll be stuck with a Micro-USB port for charging. Pricing is all extremely close together on these models, but they're all launching in "select markets" so it wouldn't be surprising to see little overlap between the models. The Alcatel 3V will set you back just €189, with the 3X at €179 and the 3 at €149.

CategoryAlcatel 3VAlcatel 3XAlcatel 3
Operating systemAndroid OreoAndroid NougatAndroid Oreo
Display6-inch, 2160x1080 (18:9)5.7-inch, 1440x720 (18:9)5.5-inch, 1440x720 (18:9)
ProcessorMT8735A quad-core 1.45GHzMT6739 quad-core 1.28GHzMT6739 quad-core 1.28GHz
Storage16/32GB16/32GB16GB
ExpandableMicroSD up to 128GBMicroSD up to 128GBMicroSD up to 128GB
RAM2GB2/3GB2GB
Rear camera 112MP, 1.25-micron, f/2.2, PDAF, LED flash13MP, 1.12-micron, f/213MP, 1.12-micron, f/2, PDAF, LED flash
Rear camera 22MP, 1.25-micron, f/2.45MP, 1.12-micron, f/2.2, 120-degree lensn/a
Front camera5MP, LED flash5MP, LED flash5MP, LED flash
ConnectivityLTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC
LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC
LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC
Battery3000mAh3000mAh3000mAh
ChargingMicro-USBMicro-USBMicro-USB
SecurityFingerprint sensor
Face Key unlock
Fingerprint sensor
Face Key unlock
Fingerprint sensor
Face Key unlock
Dimensions162 x 76 x 8.05 mm
155g
153.5 x 71.6 x 8.5mm
144g
147.1 x 68.8 x 8.5mm
145g

While technically the "Alcatel 1 series," there's just one model in the series right now: the Alcatel 1X. This isn't really the type of phone we normally get excited about for ourselves, but is interesting from the perspective that it's the company's first Android Go (or "Go edition") phone running Google's lightweight version of Android Oreo. For just €99, or €109 in a dual-SIM variant, the Alcatel 1X gives you a solid build with a neat soft suede-like back and unexpected features like a fingerprint sensor and a more modern looking 18:9 display.

Alcatel isn't known for having great software or keeping its phones up to date with the latest releases, and having Android Go on board here should help with both of those aspects.

CategorySpec
Operating systemAndroid 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)
Display5.3-inch, 960x480 (18:9)
ProcessorMT6739 quad-core 1.28GHz
Storage16GB
ExpandableMicroSD up to 32GB
RAM1/2GB (depending on model)
Rear camera8MP or 13MP (depending on model)
1.12-micron, 1/4" sensor, f/2.0, auto focus
1080p 30 video
Front camera5MP, fixed focus, flash, 720p 30 video
ConnectivityLTE Cat 4, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS
Battery2460mAh
ChargingMicro-USB
SecurityFingerprint sensor, Face Key unlock
Dimensions147.5 x 70.6 x 9.1 mm, 151g

Alcatel doesn't have specific country availability for each of the models just yet, but my best guess would be that only the Alcatel 5 will make its way to North America — the rest will be slated for more emerging markets where prices this low are all but required. The Alcatel 5 is already hitting some markets at the end of February, while the 3 series is coming in March and the 1 series is waiting until April.