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TCL Serves Up Two New Budget-First Alcatel Handsets At MWC 2021

00 Alcatel MWC 2021 Alcatel 1 Alcatel 1L Pro announcements
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Alcatel is a budget-minded brand that’s been around for a while, and one that’s made by TCL, by the way. And today, TCL announced — alongside a plethora of other unveilings at MWC 2021 — two new Alcatel handsets.

Specifically, that’s two new gadgets for the Alcatel 1 Series smartphone family. Today, the Alcatel 1L Pro and Alcatel 1 (2021) join the Alcatel 1L launched earlier this year at CES 2021. Rounding out the line-up with some alternatives for those who want or need something just a bit different.

The central goal for these new handsets, in keeping with Alcatel’s overarching goals for the industry, is to offer reliable smartphone performance. And “endless entertainment.” All without raising the price too high or losing features.

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Alcatel brings two new phones at MWC 2021 to suit your budget needs

Now, the Alcatel 1 and Alcatel 1L Pro may be in the same device family. But they bear very little resemblance to one another. And, similarly, Alcatel says via its MWC 2021 announcement that they will suit a different audience.

The Alcatel 1, for instance, is designed with reliability in mind. As well as with the goal of delivering all of the Android smartphone essentials. And to that end, it’s powered by the Go edition variant of Android 11 out-of-the-box. Driving that experience, TCL built the Alcatel 1 around a budget-minded quad-core chipset from MediaTek. That features a clock of 1.28GHz and is backed by just 1GB RAM. With 16GB of storage, expandable up to 32GB.

That should, paired with an optimized version of Android, equate to a stable experience. With plenty of room left over for apps, games, and media. TCL also says that the built-in Smart Manager helps with that too. The tool intelligently analyzes and manages apps, memory optimization, and battery saving. The 2,000mAh capacity battery offers a claimed 8-hours of talk time.

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In terms of cameras, this isn’t going to be the most high-resolution experience. The Alcatel 1 comes with a 5-megapixel snapper at the back. That features face tracking and other features. The former feature helps keep things in focus during shooting.

Around the front, embedded above the 5-inch, 18:9 ratio FWVGA+ resolution display panel — with blue-light-killing Eye Comfort mode — TCL embedded a 2-megapixel selfie snapper. Like many affordability-first handsets, that’s embedded in a thick bezel rather than in the display.

In this case, however, the display bezel is curved for a more comfortable, hand-fitting grip. And a carved texture at the back, coupled with that, should make dropping this phone less likely. As an added bonus, that texture adds a color-shifting “moving light effect” and is fingerprint-resistant as well.

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The Alcatel 1L Pro takes things up a notch or two

The final Alcatel device revealed for MWC 2021 is the Alcatel 1L Pro. And, unlike the Alcatel 1, this phone is geared toward “all-around performance and AI photography.”

And to that end, the TCL-built handset comes with a 13-megapixel AI-enhanced camera and a 2-megapixel fixed-focus depth sensor. Those are third-inch and fifth-inch sensors, more specifically. The company indicates that will not only improve shots significantly over the Alcatel 1. It will also allow “professional-looking” blur, AI Scene detection across 12 options for better saturation and color accuracy, and more.

Around the front of the Alcatel 1L Pro, the company is using a 5-megapixel fixed-focus sensor. That’s embedded in a water-droplet style notch, cutting down on the bezel size and enabling even more features.

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Aside from having HDR-ready cameras at the front and back, the front camera features Face Beauty features and Face Unlock. So users will be able to unlock the phone quickly at a glance. Or to use the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Whichever option users choose, this phone will be more secure than other 1-series Alcatel handsets.

Looking past the cameras, Alcatel 1L Pro is also running Android 11 Go Edition. That’s already 20-percent faster on average than the Go Edition of Android 10. With data savings and privacy enhancements added. But Alcatel 1L Pro is a different beast than the Alcatel 1 or 1L even without that.

Not least of all, that’s because the Alcatel 1L Pro packs an octa-core processor instead of a quad-core SoC. And that’s been backed up with twice as much RAM as the Alcatel 1 too. For storage, that’s been doubled as well, with support for up to 128GB via microSD over top of the included 32GB of internal storage.

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That means that there should be more than enough room for just about any user in need of a budget-friendly handset. And there should be enough memory, especially with Android 11 Go, to accomplish even heftier multi-tasking. Another hardware aspect included on this Alcatel is a dedicated Google Assistant button. That too is likely enabled by the increase in RAM size for Go Edition devices.

Finally, Alcatel is giving users a massive 6.1-inch HD+ display panel at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. With the water-drop notch, referred to by the company as the “Mini-Notch,” that’s an 84-percent screen-to-body ratio. And that’s coupled, around the back, with an “S-shaped gradient” texture and finish. Giving the gadget a bit more style than it might otherwise have, and likely a bit more grip too.

The full specs for both devices were revealed at MWC 2021

Now, differentiating between handsets in the lower reaches of the budget range can be a challenge. Thankfully, Alcatel has provided a full-fledged specs sheet to help set the two apart. Below, you’ll find a table of just that.

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Alcatel 1Alcatel 1L Pro
DesignDimensions: 137.6 x 65.7 x 9.9mm
Weight: 134g
Side keys: 3 (volume up, volume down, power key)
Finish: spectrum texture
Dimensions: 156.4 x 74.8 x 9.7mm
Weight: 190g
Side keys: Power, Volume, Google Assistant
Finish: Plastic, 2D glass
PerformanceOS: Android 11 (Go edition)
CPU: MT6739 Quad-core 1.28GHz
GPU: IMG GE8100 @ 450 MHz
Memory: 1GB RAM+16GB ROM
End-user memory: 12GB
Expandable storage: Up to 32GB
OS: Android 11 (Go edition)
CPU: SC9863A (Octa-Core, 8 x A55, 4 x 1.6GHz+4 x 1.2GHz)
GPU: IMG8322 550MHz
Memory: 2GB RAM+32GB ROM
End-user memory: 25GB
Expandable storage: Up to 128GB micro SD card
Security: Face key, Fingerprint sensor
DisplayDisplay size: 5”
Resolution: FWVGA+ (480 x 960)
Aspect ratio: 18:9
Screen-to-body: 71.78% (VA/BD), 78% (VA/TP)
Technology: Capacitive screen, 2 touch-points
Display size: 6.1”, V-notch
Resolution:  HD+ (720 x 1560)
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
Screen-to-body: 78.3% (VA/BD), 84% (VA/TP)
Technology: IPS, Capacitive screen, 2 touch-points
BatteryBattery: 2000mAh (typical)
Charge: 5V550mA, Micro USB
Talk time: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Standby time: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Charging time: 3.85hrs
Battery: 3000mAh (typical)
Charge: 5V1A, Micro USB
Talk time: Up to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Standby time: 20 days
Charging time: 3.5h
Rear Camera5MP FF
Sensor size: 1/5
Sensor pixel size: 1.12um
Lens aperture: f/2.4
Lens (FOV): 76°
# elements: 3P
Video playback & video capture: [email protected]
Features: Face Tracking
13MP AF + 2MP FF (Depth)
Sensor size: 1/3 inch + 1/5 inch
Sensor pixel size: 1.12um+1.75um
Lens aperture: F/2.2 + F/2.4
Lens (Wide angle/ FOV): 79°+85°
Camera flash: Single tone
EIS: Yes
# elements: 5P+3P
Flash type: Flash light
Video playback & video capture: [email protected]
Features: Bokeh, HDR, Panorama, AI Scene Detection, Audio Note
Front Camera2MP FF
Sensor size: 1/5
Sensor pixel size: 1.75μm
Lens aperture: f/2.8
Lens (FOV): 61°
# elements: 2P
Video playback & video capture: [email protected]
Features: Face Tracking
5MP FF
Sensor size: 1/5 inch
Sensor pixel size: 1.12µm
Lens aperture: F/2.2
Lens (FOV): 75°
# elements: 3P
Video playback & video capture: [email protected]
Features: HDR, Face beauty, Audio Note
MultimediaAudio Codec: WAV, MP3, AAC, AMR, MIDI, Vorbis, AAC+, FLAC
Video Codec: H.263,H.264 AVC,H.265 HEVC,MPEG-2,MPEG2,VP8,VP9. (Follow the latest CDD requirement)
Dynamic range: 90 dB
Audio jack: 3.5mm audio jack
Audio Codec: MP3, AAC, AMR, AMR WB, PCM/ADPCM, Opus,
Flac, Vorbis, MID, AAC LC, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2 playback;
Video Codec: [email protected], H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG-4
(SP/ASP)/DIVX4/DIVX5/DIVX6/XVID, VP8, VP9, MPEG-2 playback;
Dynamic range: >95dB
Audio jack: 3.5mm audio jack
Features: HD voice, Radio
SensorsGPS, Accelerometer (G sensor),
Proximity sensor (by software)
GPS, Accelerometer (G sensor), Fingerprint sensor
Proximity sensor, Light sensor
Connectivity2G: 850/900/1800/1900
3G: B1/2/5/8
4G: B1/3/7/8/20
2G data: GPRS/EDGE
3G data: HSPA+ (42M bit/s DL, 11Mbit/s UL)
4G data: Cat 4 (150Mbit/s DL, 50Mbit/s UL)
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n ,Wi-Fi direct
SIM Card: Dual SIM (2 Nano SIM +1 TF Card)
Bluetooth 4.2
2G Bands: 850/900/1800/1900
3G Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
4G Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/28(full)/66
2G data: GPRS/EDGE
3G data: HSPA+ (21M bit/s DL, 5.76Mbit/s UL)
4G data: Cat 4 (150Mbit/s DL, 50Mbit/s UL)
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n ,Wi-Fi direct
SIM Card: Single SIM (1 Nano SIM +1 microSD)
USB OTG; Bluetooth 4.2
Pack-inStandard: 5V550mA EUP wired charger, Quick guide, PSI,  LCD sticker, Battery

Optional: WH15+ /WH15 Headset, 5V 550mAh MOU Charger, PET Film w/o Alcatel Logo (Default by MEA), hotline leaflet(LATAM default), 5V 1A India charger with BIS approval, T-shell

Standard: 5V1A charger, USB cable, Quick guide, PSI, LCD sticker, SIM card pin

Optional: WH15, PET Film (default for MEA), Gel Skin soft case (default for MEA)

Pricing and availability

In terms of pricing and availability, the two Alcatel phones announced in conjunction with MWC 2021 won’t necessarily be coming to the US. Or at the very least, not right away. They also won’t be arriving this month or next in any region.

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TCL indicates that the Alcatel 1 will ship in August. It will be sold, to start, in Europe and Latin America in either a Volcano Black or AI Aqua color configuration starting from just €59 — roughly $70.

Conversely, the Alcatel 1L Pro will be sold with a starting price of 2699 MXN — approximately $131. For availability, TCL says the Alcatel 1L Pro will be sold in September across Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

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18 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Twilight Blue Back Left4065F
191 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Twilight Blue Front4065F
03 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Macau Alcatel 1 AI Aqua Back Right 20210521
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08 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Macau Alcatel 1 Volcano Black Back Left 20210525
09 1 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Macau Alcatel 1 Volcano Black Front 20210508
12 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Power Gray Back Right4065F
15 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Power Gray Front Right4065F
18 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Twilight Blue Back Left4065F
191 Alcatel MWC 2021 announcements Alcatel 1L ProJakarta Mini Twilight Blue Front4065F