Alcatel is kicking off this year’s Mobile World Congress with a whole lot of phones. It’s introducing three series of phones today, within which there are a total of five models. All of them are below €230 (about $283 USD); one is the very first Android Go phone; And on top of all that, Alcatel is announcing two tablets running Android Oreo.
Just a quick primer on Alcatel: the company is known for making lower-end phones but has tried in recent years to make them stand out a bit more, so that people might actually seek them out. That’s not true of most of the models being introduced today, though there are some highlights that trickle down from higher-end phones, like dual cameras and 18:9 displays. Alcatel is also introducing a new design language for these phone scalled “Simganic,” which I just wanted to tell you because the name is funny.
Here’s the rundown:
This is the first entry in the new Alcatel 5 Series line, and it’s the most expensive phone the company is announcing today, though it’s far from being pricey or high-end. It has a 5.7-inch, 1440 x 720 display, an octa-core MediaTek processor, a USB-C port, Android Nougat, and a face recognition feature, but only a single camera. It launches this month for €229.99.
Alcatel 3, 3X, and 3V
These are all similar-looking phones, with similar specs, but they each come in a different size. The 3 has a 5.5-inch 1440 x 720 display; the 3X has a 5.7-inch 1440 x 720 display; and the 3V has a 6-inch 2K display. They all have quad-core MediaTek processors and facial recognition features (though in all cases, Alcatel isn’t using anything as fancy — and likely as reliable — as Apple’s Face ID). They also all charge over Micro USB.
There are some weird distinctions here. The 3X and 3V have dual rear cameras for offering a portrait mode, but the 3 doesn’t. And for some reason, only the 3 and 3V are running Android Oreo — the 3X is on Nougat. Why? I don’t know. Pricing is €150, €180, and €190 for the 3, 3X, and 3V; they launch between now and next month.
Alcatel’s first device in its new 1 Series of phones is the 1X, and it is a weird one. Despite being only one phone by name, there are multiple variants of it with some really big distinctions. Most models of the 1X run Android Go — Google’s stripped-down version of Android optimized for lower-end hardware. But one model runs full-on Android Oreo. Some models have dual SIM slots, some have one SIM slot. Oh, and for some reason, select versions of the phone don’t even come with a fingerprint sensor, so you’ll have to rely on Alcatel’s “Face Key” identification feature. Pricing is €100 for the single SIM version and €110 for the dual SIM version when the phone launches in April.
Alcatel 1T 7 and 1T 10
Alcatel is also launching two inexpensive tablets running 8.1 Oreo. The 1T 7 and 1T 10 are both low-end tablets running on quad-core MediaTek processors and 1GB of RAM. Like all of the phones above, it doesn’t have support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which has has been standard for years now. That’s even more important on a tablet, which is likely to live inside the home and will notice the absence of faster speeds even more. The main difference between the tablets is their displays: the 7 has a 7-inch 1024 x 600 display, and the 10 has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display. They’re supposed to launch in the spring for €70 and €100.
Congratulations on making it this far. As a reward, here is a gallery of beautiful photos of these new phones:
Correction February 24th, 2:20PM ET: The Alcatel 5 runs Android Nougat, not Oreo, as initially stated.