Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Alcatel hits with three punches for budget phones on Vodafone

If you don’t need mobile payments, but would prefer a big battery and some sizeable camera smarts, you might find it in what Alcatel is launching this week.

There’s no shortage of phone choices, but if you’re hunting for a phone and keen to keep the pricing down, 2020 seems to have your name on it.

While the high-end is always catered for with big screens and feature sets, and the mid-range tends to sit in the middle, this year, people looking to spend less than $400 in the budget will clearly have options, as the year has shown.

We’ve heard from Oppo and Realme thus far, not to mention local player Aspera, and now Alcatel’s announcements from earlier in the year are arriving in Australia.

Built for budgets, all three coming from Alcatel sport big screens, ranging from 5.5 inches to 6.22, with Android 10 found on-board, and either one, two, or three cameras depending on how much you want to spend.

At the lowest price point, Alcatel has the 1B, a fairly basic phone sporting 16GB storage and 2GB RAM, with a single 8 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel camera up front. At $99, the Alcatel 1B isn’t intended to be the best of the best, but given the price, gets phone prices well and truly down to the levels button-based phones once sat in.

Just beyond this, Alcatel’s 1V ups the screen size to 6.22 inches, increasing the storage to 32GB, adding a fingerprint sensor for a secure login, and using two cameras on the back, a 13 megapixel standard camera and a 5 megapixel for the background in portrait shots. At $149, it’s a little higher priced, but not so much that it will throw people out.

But at $199, Alcatel’s 3L aims to grab people looking for a few cameras for under a few hundred. It’s a marginally more impressive phone with twice the RAM (4GB) and twice the storage (64GB), plus a 4000mAh battery and three cameras, running a 48 megapixel as the main camera, that 5 megapixel portrait background camera, and a 2 megapixel macro camera for close-ups.

“Australians are looking at their budgets and technology needs more than ever before, so it is only appropriate that we answer the call with our new range for 2020,” said Sam Skontos, Vice President and Managing Director at Alcatel Mobile in Australia.

“To be able to introduce such great options at three critical sub-$200 prices shows the impact that our manufacturing capabilities can have in ensuring Australians have access to the latest technology without breaking the bank,” he said.

There are some catches to Alcatel’s new range of budget smartphones, such as the lack of NFC across the range. That might just be another acronym or initialism, but it means there’s no Google Pay support in either the Alcatel 1B, Alcatel 1V, or Alcatel 3L, with that feature missing in action, a shame given it’s beginning to trickle into budget phones, too.

The other catch is that at launch and at these prices, the phones appear locked to Vodafone, arriving at those prices with a Vodafone SIM pack of various amounts depending on the phone: $40 SIM pack for the $199 Alcatel 3L, $30 SIM pack for the $149 Vodafone 1V, and a $10 Vodafone SIM pack for the $99 Alcatel 1B.

It means that if you’re thinking of grabbing one of these budget-priced phones for someone, you may want to factor in the network they’ll likely be locked to.

Once you’ve done that, however, you’ll find all three available from Vodafone stores by late May.

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