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Alcatel 3 -- 2019 

The Alcatel 3 (2019) is aimed at the competitive middle ground where buyers are looking for a feature phone in a very price-conscious market.

Into a package that is 150 x 70 x 8mm thick and weighing 145g the makers have fitted a 5.9inch edge-to-edge full-view notched 19.5:9 aspect ratio display giving HD+ (720 x 1560) resolution. Although the review unit had a blue/purple finish it is also available in black/blue. The screen is made of 2.5D Dragontail toughened glass and the phone has a solid feel and fits comfortably into one’s hand.

The phone is conventional in layout with the volume up/down and power controls on the right hand side and the SIM drawer on the left. As well as the nanoSIM it can take a microSD card of up to 128GB to increase the memory. By the way, although the specification on alcatelmobile.com says that this is a dual-SIM phone, only single SIM units are being offered on the UK market.

A 3.5mm headphone socket is on the top with power connector and microphones on the lower edge. I was surprised, however, to find that, on a phone branded “2019”, that it still used a micro USB connector rather than the more modern reversible USB-C connector. On the rear of the phone are the 14 and 5MP autofocus dual cameras and their associated flash together with the fingerprint sensor.

As supplied the phone’s batteries showed 50% charge so it was put on charge before setting it up. When this was started I noted that, as the phone initially came with Android 8.1, it made sense to upgrade it V9.0. I expected this to take quite a few minutes, but even though I did not note the exact time, it took over half an hour.

It is claimed that the 3,500mAh battery provides a talk time of 28 hours (2G), 21 hours (3G) or 18 hours (4G) with standby time, in all cases being around 900 hours with charging time being about 4hrs 20 minutes.

When setting up the phone one is taken through all the usual options such as security including PIN, fingerprint and facial recognition. It was a simple matter to set up the first two. However, when starting to set up facial recognition, it was brought to one’s attention that this is less secure than other means. Hence, I saw no point in proceeding with it as using the fingerprint sensor was so easy.

In addition to the rear camera referred to above there is the 8MP front camera. With both of them one can use the Auto setting or, alternatively, there is a choice of Portrait, Pano, Manual, Filter. Slo-Mo, Time Lapse etc. While most of these were straightforward to use and seemed quite effective, there was also “AR Emoji” – augmented reality Emojis -- where the choice includes male, female and panda Emojis which can, using the inbuilt facial recognition, to a certain extent mimic the facial expression of the subject in the camera view. I suspect that this setting will only really be of interest to the younger generation.

The process power required for normal use and for the generation of these emojis is well within the capability of the Snapdragon SDM439 8-core processor running at 1.8GHz together with its 32GB ROM and 3GB RAM.

In addition to the choices available to assist one obtaining the best photo there is a wide range of post-shot processing features to enable the users who are so inclined to “tweak” the images “in the camera” as they gain experience. NFC as well as hotspot & tethering are features are included within the other options offered by the phone such as file manager, calculator, compass, sound recorder and FM radio.

Overall, the Alcatel 3 (2019) has a satisfactory performance and a reasonable range of features. It is available on Amazon at £128.15 which is a price that should appeal especially to the younger market for whom the AR Emojis will have a particular appeal.

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Features11
Performance11
Value11
Ease of use11
Design11
OverallAlcatel 3 -- 2019 rated 68 out of 100

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