We’ve tried a few Alcatel smartphones in the past, the most recent being the Alcatel 3V, and they have all proved to be worthwhile budget handsets. They have now released a new model, the 1X, with a retail price of just £99.99. That is incredibly cheap, even for Alcatel, so I’m skepticalon how well it will perform and whether or not it will be worth purchasing. Lets find out.
CPU – MTK6739 Quad-Core (4×1.3GHz) Display – 5.3″ 18:9 / FWVGA+ 960×480 res / 16M colours Memory – 16GB Rom + 1GB Ram (plus upto 32gb MicroSD) Cameras – Rear = 8MP (interpolated to 13MP) / Front = 5MP (interpolated to 8MP) Video Capture – Rear = 1080p @ 30fps / Front = 720p @ 30fps Dimensions – 147.5 x 70.6 x 9.15mm (151g weight) Battery – 2460mAh
Look & Feel
The 1X looks and feels nice. When put next to an iPhone 6/7/8, the 1X is comparable in width & thickness, and just slightly taller. It’s very light weight and fits well in my hand. The screen takes up most of the area to the front, apart from the top & bottom which is black casing and a thin bezel either side. Just above the screen is the front-facing camera and a speaker. There are no buttons on the front of the phone, but there are three on one side for on/off and volume control. The rear of the phone has a matte black textured wrapping, two cameras, a flash and some overly large branding. To the bottom are the micro USB port and speaker. There is a headphone jack at the top of the phone and the sim card slot to the left hand side. Note the micro SD card is located with the sim card in the same slot.
The overall look of the handset is very modest, no thrills but I like it. It’s incredibly light and the back of the phone feels nice in your hand. The buttons are well positioned, as is the rear camera.
For me, the phone came in a standard white box, with no branding or information and only included the phone, charger & cable. That’s fine with me but I’d like to think their phone will be better presented for customers to buy.
Probably the most important part of a phone nowadays is the screen and although the screen on the 1X is large, it’s not the best because of its limited resolution. That being said, the screen is relatively bright and is plenty big enough when browsing, typing or viewing content. The screen is responsive when flicking through menus & swiping, which was a pleasant surprise.
The overall performance, in terms of processing power is not bad. It’s a fairly smooth experience, loading times were acceptable and I didn’t experience any lag or delay as such. I had several apps running in the background at once and I could easily switch between them without issue.
When watching videos, the maximum resolution for the screen is 720p, and is cropped at the edges for some content I watched on YouTube & Netflix due to that aspect ratio. I did find some content that fit the whole screen and it was a much better experience. Again, because of that limited resolution, the video quality was average, it could have been brighter and crisper. The sound for the video was ok, but it comes out of a single speaker at the bottom of the phone and once covered by your finger, you cannot hear a thing. Headphones are your best bet for a better audio experience.
The camera has both a front & rear facing camera, which are interpolated to offer a higher resolution. The rear camera is ok and more than enough for your day to day photos. The image is better than the handsets screen can display, so reviewing on the handset looked a little blurry but on my computer, it looks much better. There is a portrait option available, which simulates depth of feild & that bokha effect everyone loves. The phone actually processes that blurry effect, which can be adjusted but does look ‘fake’ in my opinion. The front facing camera is good enough for video calls.
A feature I didn’t think would be included, has been and that is the face ID. Within the security settings, you can set up face ID and the front camera will scan your face. Then when you press the on button, the phone will automatically unlock when it recognises your face. It actually works really well. I must have used the face ID 50/60+ times and not once did it not unlock and it unlocks quite quickly too.
For less than £100, this is a cracking phone, that looks good, does everything you need and more. Yes the screen is on the low end, it’s not got the best spec but it takes a good enough photo and you can’t ask for much more at this price point.
The black version we tried, plus an exclusive Rose colour variant is available to purchase now at Carephone Warehouse.