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You may have thought you knew everything there was to know about TCL’s “re-imagined” Alcatel smartphone portfolio, but it’s only today that the affordable lineup is detailed in full. And yes, the Alcatel 5, 3 and 1 Series have a lot more going for them than just ultra-low prices and “FullView” 18:9 displays manufactured by parent company TCL.
Starting from the top of the food chain… sort of, we have to commend the Alcatel 5 for its “premium brushed metallic unibody design.” That may not sound so special for your typical flagship, but this “bezel-less” 5.7-incher is available now in “select markets” for a measly 230EUR.
Powered by a middling MT6750 processor, and merely sporting HD+ (1440 x 720) screen resolution, the Alcatel 5 stands out with a dual 13 + 5MP front camera setup, as well as a rear-mounted fingerprint reader capable of doing more than just unlocking the phone. Namely, you can use the biometric sensor as a shutter key for selfies or program it to launch a different app with each finger.
Oddly enough, the lower-end, lower-cost Alcatel 3 family includes a 3V model with a larger and higher-res 6-inch 2K (2160 x 1080) panel. The 3V is also set to run Android Oreo out the box, compared to the 5’s pre-installed Nougat flavor. Priced at 190EUR, the 6-incher pairs a single 5MP front shooter with a dual 12 + 2MP rear camera.
The Alcatel 3 and 3X are also part of a series “designed with beautifully curved lines, sleek 2.5D contoured edge glass, and curved backs”, with the former settling for a 5.5-inch HD+ display, while the latter bumps the size up to 5.7 inches, retaining the 1440 x 720 resolution.
Finally, the Alcatel 1X starts at a ridiculously low 100EUR with surprisingly respectable specs and features. We’re talking the same premium Face Key and fingerprint recognition “experiences” as the 3 and 5 series, as well as a FullView 18:9 display with a modest FWVGA (960 x 480) pixel count.
Above all, the 1X is optimized to provide a silky smooth experience with Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) software, likely performing just fine while packing a humble 1GB RAM.