Alcatel is previewing three new lines of smartphones at CES 2018 this week, and will officially launch at Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona. These include the Alcatel 1X, 3V and 5. These are going to be priced at under $100, under $200 and under $300 respectively. All three are designed mostly the same, although they do have different finishes, but do sport a fingerprint reader on the back and a 18:9 aspect ratio display.
Starting off with the Alcatel 1X, this is the “entry level” model of the three being previewed this week in Las Vegas. It’s going to be priced at under $100 (official pricing won’t be out until next month at MWC). These devices do not have any specs announced, but we do know that it sports a 18:9 aspect ratio display, and it actually looks pretty good. The backside is actually a hybrid of the OnePlus One’s Sandstone and the Nexus 5X’s soft-touch back. It really feels good in the hand. Which is a bit surprising considering its the cheapest model, but feels the best in hand of the three. Considering the Alcatel 3V sports a glass back, and the Alcatel 5 is more of a plastic/faux metal back.
All three of these smartphones do sport fingerprint sensors on the back, beneath the camera. Though, surprisingly, the Alcatel 3V does sport a dual-camera setup while the Alcatel 5 and 1X do not. A bit surprising since it’s the middle of the three and not the highest-end model. Another interesting difference between the three is the fact that the Alcatel 1X and 3V both sport micro USB ports, and the Alcatel 5 sports a USB-C port. Alcatel did say that there was no technological reason why this was the case, but they felt it was a better decision for consumers to use micro USB for the two lower-end models and stick with USB-C for the higher-end model.
Now Alcatel did mention to us that the three devices are not running on final software right now, and what was running on these three were Android Nougat. Alcatel did say that all three devices will be sporting Android Oreo once it is officially announced next month in Barcelona. But through the quick hands on time that we had with the devices (mind you, they were not connected to the internet, so there wasn’t a lot of things we could do with the software), all three felt pretty smooth, software-wise.
As mentioned, the Alcatel 1X, 3V and 5 are all new series for Alcatel. The company is looking to bring the success of its Idol smartphones to the cheaper price range of phones, which is becoming a pretty popular range these days, with many flagship smartphones nearing that $1000 price, the sub $300 range is gaining a lot of attention recently. But first impressions on this new range from Alcatel is pretty positive. Of course, these were not final, so there will likely be some polish on these before they are made official at Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona.