Alcatel expands entry-level with three phones from $179

If you don’t feel you need a thousand dollar phone and would prefer something to identify with “value”, Alcatel has three models on the way.

Even though quite a few phones can carry a big price, these aren’t the only options. You might normally look to the best and brightest, and those are surely the phones getting the most advertising, but if you’re looking to spend less than a grand, there are choices.

That’s what the budget and mid-range aims to serve, with phones well under that thousand-dollar budget, yet still offering what many would consider “value” in this day and age.

In the smartphone world, value usually means you get to see aspects of the trickle down effect alongside wallet-friendly prices, as lower price smartphones get the sort of features once reserved for high-end devices, at least to a certain point.

That point appears to be big screens, dual cameras, and a degree of biometric security, as Alcatel’s budget-focused 1 and 3 phones look to deliver 5.5 and 5.9 inch screens, two rear cameras, and a way of logging in that is personalised to your face or finger.

Announced earlier in the year at Mobile World Congress, the phones now look ready for release in Australia.

At the lowest end, there’s the Alcatel 1x, which will get a $179 price point at Amazon and Officeworks in July, arriving with a 5.5 inch full-view HD+ screen, a 3000mAh battery, a facial login system, and 16GB storage.

This one seems to be the bare minimum for a budget phone, and runs the slightly older Android 8 “Oreo” version of Google’s operating system, though it does come with a combination of 13 megapixels and 2 megapixels on that rear camera, with the second lower camera handling soft-focus backgrounds in portrait shots. You won’t skip out on selfies, either, with a 5 megapixel selfie camera here, too.

The Alcatel 1s is next from that point, and will up the storage to 32GB, give 60 more mAh of battery juice (3060mAh), and switch out the facial security for a fingerprint sensor. You’ll still get the 5.5 inch HD+ screen, and for some reason, you’ll get a more up-to-date version of Android in 9.0 “Pie”, but it will cost $20 more at $199.

The cameras are the same, though, with the dual 13+2 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixels of selfies,

Amazon will get the Alcatel 1s, and like the Alcatel 1x, it should be unlocked and ready for use with any phone provider.

Finally, there’s one that costs a little more and offers a little more.

This one is the Alcatel 3, a $279 phone with a bigger and longer 5.9 inch HD+ full-view screen, sporting 32GB storage, a slightly more capable dual camera system at 13+5 megapixels and then an upgrade to 8 megapixels on the front, plus both types of security: facial security and fingerprint login.

The battery on the Alcatel 3 is also a little meatier, sitting at 3500mAh, though for some reason Alcatel has gone back a step in this phone, with Android 8.0 “Oreo” supported.

We’ve asked when these 8.0 “Oreo” phones — the Alcatel 1x and Alcatel 3 — will be upgraded to version 9.0 “Pie” will happen, because with version 10 just around the corner in a few months, it’s a little surprising to see a couple of new phones sporting such an old operating system.

However, that may not matter to folks looking for a bargain, which appears to be where Alcatel is pitching these phones.

“In 2018 we sold close to one million devices in Australia, and this year we’re taking it to another level with flagship-style features yet won’t break the bank,” said Alcatel’s Sam Skontos.

The Alcatel 1x and Alcatel 3 will hit Officeworks and Amazon from July for $179 and $279 respectively, while the Alcatel 1s will be available at Amazon only for $199 in the same month.

Alcatel 3 (2019)