A New Alcatel Handset
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As you might surmise from its title, the Alcatel 1x is an enhanced version of the Alcatel 1 handset I reviewed earlier on this site Adopting the familiar candy bar appearance, this Alcatel 1x smartphone is available in either Pebble Blue or, as in the case of my review unit, Pebble Black. According to the information supplied to me, this particular smartphone is currently available from Carphone Warehouse SIM-free listed at the bargain level price of £99.99.
With dimensions of 148.4 x 68.8 x 8.3 mm (H x W x D) and weighing 128g (including the non-removable battery), the Alcatel 1x sat comfortable in my hand without the annoying slippage that I have encountered with some other handsets that have come my way recently. Dominating the front of this smartphone is its IPS LCD capacitive touch-screen. With a viewing area of 5.5 inches, this screen has a screen-to-body ratio of ~77.5%. Capable of displaying 16M colours with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels at 18:9 ratio, the screen will require a regular cleansing session to remove the finger smears that tend to quickly build up through normal usage of the handset.
As usual Alcatel has made use of the unit’s outside edges of the handset to position various controls and connection options that are available to the user. Located on the right side is the usual arrangement of volume rocker and on/off power button. A 5 second depress of the power button will be followed by a 35 second process as various housekeeping tasks are carried out and you arrive at the Lock screen which gives entry to the Home page.
A pop=out tray on the opposite side of the handset allows for the insertion of either a single NANO-SIM card or, on some models, there is also an option to pair this SIM card with a second unit or micro-SD card to increase storage space by as much as 128 GB. Sitting on the top edge of this handset is a 3.5mm socket for attaching a set of ear buds or headphone, when a private listening session is on the agenda. Conveniently placed on the bottom edge of this product is a micro USB port that can be used to charge the smartphone’s internal battery rated at 2460mAh with a promise of delivering 26 hours of talk time at 2G level. Running my usual continuous video playing test, with content stored on a flash drive and connected via a USB-to-Go lead, I was able to get 5⅜ hours of playback before low battery power messages began to appear. Battery charging time can take up to 3.5 hours after a heavy session of use.
The Alcatel 1x features the usual arrangement of front and rear mounted cameras. The front-mounted Selfie camera is a 5MP unit that is interpolated to 8MP. Among its features are fixed focus, LED flash and the ability to capture 720@30fps video. The main camera, mounted on the rear, combines a 13MP and 2MP units with their own flash feature. This camera can capture video at 1080p@30fps Depending upon which camera is being used, you can access features such as HDR, Social Square, Instant Collage, Photo Booth and One-Handed mode. While not comparing to some of the eye-watering price models currently available, image quality produced by this product’s cameras is fine for a sub-£100 unit. The rear of the handset also features the unit’s fingerprint reader facility.
Beating at the heart of the Alcatel 1x is a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex A53 processor working in conjunction with a PowerVR GE8100 GPU with access to 2 GB of RAM. Additional storage space can become available through the insertion of a microSD memory card as mentioned earlier.
The Alcatel 1x comes with the Android 8.1 (Oreo) operating system. This combination features sensors for the fingerprint reader, accelerometer and proximity along with FM radio, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS with A-GPS plus WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and WiFi direct. Speed might be a tad on the slow side but overall performance is reasonable.
If you are looking for a smartphone that can combine reasonable performance with a SIM free price at under £100 then the Alcatel 1x might suit your needs.
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