Alcatel 3V smartphone 

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The Alcatel 3V 5099D is a 4G LTE smartphone with a 6 inch screen which is competitively priced and offers a range of features comparable to those of the premium brands.

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The 3V phone has a 6 inch full view 18:9 display with 2160 x 1080 resolution. While it is probably as large a phone as one can hold, the curved edge of its back enables it to sit comfortably in one’s hand and, despite it being a fairly polished surface that gets fingerprint smears all over it, does not appear very slippery. The back of the review unit is finished in a metallic blue colour which Alcatel describes as Spectrum Blue although other colours are available.

The layout of the phone is conventional with the 3.5mm headphone socket at the top and the microphones and the micro USB connector on the lower edge. The power button and the drawer for two nano SIMs and a microSD card are on the right while the volume rocker switch is on the opposite edge. Below the dual camera on the rear is the fingerprint scanner.

This 4G phone offers extensive range of connectivity with both 2.4 & 5GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 as well as Google Cast for sending entertainment from the phone to the TV or speakers. Both USB and Bluetooth tethering and using the phone as a WiFi hotspot are also available features.

The two lenses (12 MP f/2.2 and 2 MP f/2.4) of the auto focus dual rear cameras are mounted one above the other with the dual-LED Flash alongside.

One of the photographic features that the 3V offers is the ability to apply Bokeh photography effects where for example, when people or objects are a different distances from the camera, one can adjust where the point of sharp focus is so as to set the point of interest. Possibly of more general interest are the location details within the photo metadata which benefit from the GPS which include, as well as the “estimated location”, the actual coordinates.

The 5MP front camera is also used for the facial recognition unlock feature. Registration for facial recognition is a straightforward task that only takes a few seconds -- all one has to do is hold the phone in front of one’s face and position one’s face within the circle shown on the screen. However, when first set up the phone there is a warning that face recognition is not as secure as the either using a PIN or fingerprint recognition. In use, pressing the power button while holding the phone in a comfortable viewing position, it unlocks and comes alive.

Running on Android 8.0 (Oreo) the 3V behaves much as one would expect from a phone employing a quad-core 1.44GHz ARM Cortex-A53 with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM. However, with an added microSD card, it can support up to 128GB memory. The microUSB, rather than the modern type “C” reversible connector is used to charge the non-removable 3,000mAh battery which appears just about adequate for a day’s reasonable usage.

Having two SIM slots the phone can be used on two networks with the one of choice being used for data. When making a voice call, there is the option to choose network if previously it had not been set up to default to one specifically.

In the box, in addition to the phone there is the charger with a separate cable, ear buds – ideal for listening to the built-in FM radio -- and the “pin” tool used to open the SIM drawer. There was also the Quick Start guide which is a tiny multilingual leaflet which, in addition to pointing out that the phone has a 6 inch screen, just has diagrams showing the locations for the various controls etc. There is also a Safety and Warranty booklet.

Although the Alcatel 3V is full of features it is, after all, a budget phone that is available for £90 SIM-free pay-as-you-go or from £10 per month on contract from Tesco Mobile. Consequently, compromises have to be made such as there is no fast charge facility and it can’t be expected to have the performance of a premium product. Nevertheless, many will feel that if offers a sensible balance of cost vs performance.

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OverallAlcatel 3V smartphone rated 72 out of 100

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