Another incredible bargain smartphone from Alcatel that ticks all the boxes.
Dare I say that full-featured smartphones are nearing the status of stocking fillers or ‘burners’ for those fond of The Wire? If your wallet is light but you like to keep connected & watch content on the go the Spectrum Blue Alcatel 3V is a low budget masterpiece. It costs under £130 but has most of the same features as a £1000 premium phone. Great for those who don’t have a bank balance that would stretch to a premium handset but demand the latest features.Dare I say that full-featured smartphones are nearing the status of stocking fillers or 'burners' for those fond of The Wire? Click To Tweet
For those who watch the smartphone market, it is clear that innovation has shifted to the lower end of the market. In fact, at the very top, the big boys such as Apple and Samsung are not really innovating at all, relying on bigger bevel-less screens and slightly better cameras to differentiate from each other. In fact, you might say smartphones have hit a similar plateau as Desktop CPUs, with max power levelling off and the design focus shifting to cheaper production methods and power-saving features rather than more grunt.
Alcatel, rather cleverly, only target the lower section of the smartphone market and have just released four new sub £130 handsets with the 3V at the upper end of the scale, where you get Face Unlock and a Fingerprint Scanner. The camera is as good as anyone really needs, producing pleasing photos and with an intuitive interface. The battery lasted a good day’s worth of use and when left idle three days! It is not a quick phone and it takes a split second longer to load apps and change screens but it is not too slow, it is, after all, running Android Oreo 8.0. The fingerprint & face unlock both worked but again are just a bit slower than more expensive devices.
- 6-inch 18:9 2K display
- Quad Core
- Android Oreo 8.0 OS
- Fingerprint scanner
- Face Unlock
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB storage
- 5MP front/dual 12MP and 2MP rear cameras
- 3,000mAh battery
There continues to be a need and strong demand for compelling sub-$200 alternatives, with customers craving affordable yet well-made, attractive options Click To Tweet
“There continues to be a need and strong demand for compelling sub-$200 alternatives, with customers craving affordable yet well-made, attractive options. We work closely with our parent company TCL to ensure we leverage its manufacturing capabilities that means we can bring immersive entertainment experiences and attractive devices to our smartphone customers through 18:9 displays, improved battery life and enhanced camera quality, all at an affordable price,” said Sam Skontos, VP and Regional Managing Director, Alcatel Mobile.
Cinema-style viewing in pocket size
Get leading smartphone features for a fraction of the cost of premium devices – Want to watch content on the best smartphone display resolution on the market for below £150? Alcatel provides the latest Alcatel 3V handset – with a 12MP rear camera.
Widescreen viewing – perfect for Netflix on the go
Edge-to-edge viewing capabilities providing a 6-inch display in a super compact form factor. Due to a 2K Display. It will not only be bright and crisp but offers you the best viewing experience on the market for under £150.00.
Face Key: Unlock your phone with your face
Top-of-the-range Face Key technology in the Alcatel 3V means a simple glance at the screen of your smartphone can scan your face and unlock your device, ready for use.
Unlock and more with a touch of a finger
Along with the face-recognition technology, the Alcatel 3V also allows users to secure their smartphone with a fingerprint and launch multiple apps with a designated fingerprint, meaning all apps are only one touch away.Along with the face-recognition technology, the Alcatel 3V also allows users to secure their smartphone with a Fingerprint, meaning all apps are only one touch away Click To Tweet
Connectivity is very good and includes NFC which makes this phone even better value to me as I am frustrated by cheap phones without this life-saving feature. Call quality is fine, nothing special but OK, music, however, via BT 4.2 is good and pairing a nice set of cans to the 3V is a solid experience all around. Get online and the 3V does seem a little slow but the budget components can’t be expected to pump huge amounts of data around effortlessly, this is a £130 phone after all. The screen is very bright indeed but the blacks are very grey until you turn it down a bit. Colours are bright and pleasant.
- UMTS: B1/2/5/8
- LTE: B1/3/7/8/20/28A/B38
- GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+: 42 Mbps downlink, 11 Mbps uplink
- 4G LTE Cat 4: 150 Mbps downlink, 50 Mbps uplink
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
- Wi-Fi direct
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS with A-GPS
- Nano SIM
Maybe most importantly for some, it looks good! Yes, it is a standard smartphone design but it is good looking and the shiny blue back and chrome trim is really nice. Like Samsung, it has a plastic back which some hate but it comes with a transparent case so you get the nice back with a sturdier feel from the case.Alcatel has done a great job delivering an attractive low-cost smartphone that impresses with its very capable range of features Click To Tweet
The whole package does feel a bit light and flimsy, the lack of weight giving the impression of lower quality but it is lower quality, that is precisely the point. Alcatel has done a great job delivering an attractive low-cost smartphone that impresses with its very capable range of features. Oh, and it comes in white for those who want it to look a bit more like an iPhone 🙂
The best way to describe the difference in performance between the Alcatel 3V and a £400 mid-range handset such as the Honor 10 is rough vs smooth but this still might sound too harsh as the actual difference is not huge. The 3V does everything the more expensive phone does but just feels less smooth. Scrolling in Chrome connected via superfast Wi-Fi is a little stiff and stuttery. Jumping between apps or the home and app drawer is slower, swiping through screens or apps is a bit jittery and jumpy and opening the Play store and installing an app takes a little bit longer. However, I emphasise the difference is small.I could find nothing this phone couldn't do that anyone except a power user would want, in fact, it offers much more than most people will expect or need and performance for the price is very usable Click To Tweet
Going back to my Galaxy S9+ after this however was a big jump, the S9+ felt quick as a whippet, lag free and smooth as ice compared to the 3V but then it does cost about six times as much. To conclude, I could find nothing this phone couldn’t do that anyone except a power user would want, in fact, I think this phone offers much more than most people will expect or need and performance for the price is very very usable.
It is incredible value!
The Alcatel 3V is now available in spectrum blue for £129.99 SIM-free from Carphone Warehouse