To quote MKBHD, cheap phones are getting good. Each year we are seeing manufacturers start to offer more for much less. This not only translates to cheaper flagship phones, but better budget phones. The latest example of this is the Alcatel 3V, which is redefining what you can get at $150.
At this price point, the Alcatel 3V is only $50 more than some Android Go devices. Unlike those offerings, Alcatel is providing significantly more value with a spec sheet that will surprise you. They even managed to include a flagship feature that should be unheard of at a mere $150.
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
- CPU: Mediatek MT8735A
- CPU Clock Speed: 1.45 GHz
- GPU: Mali-T720MP2
- RAM: 2 GB
- Display: 6" 2160 x 1080 18:9 IPS LCD
- Storage: 16 GB
- Rear Camera: 12 MP + 2 MP
- Front Camera: 5 MP
- Battery: 3,000 mAh
- Material: Metal
- I/O: 3.5 mm headphone jack, micro USB
The first thing you will notice with this device is the display. Alcatel 3V doesn't have a screen typically found on phones at this price point. The 3V has a 6" 18:9 display with a 1080p resolution. Not only does this resolution improve usability (with its smaller bezels), it makes media consumption enjoyable. With a good pair of headphones, you'll enjoy your favorite videos without compromise, forgetting this phone is 1/5th the price of most flagship devices.
Alcatel 3V supports not one, but two different biometrics technologies to unlock your device. Mounted on the rear of the phone is a fingerprint scanner. Placed in the middle of the back cover (right below the dual cameras), users should easily be able to access the scanner without stretching.
Additionally, there is support for facial recognition. Known as Face Key, the 3V uses the front-facing camera to scan your face, dividing it into over a hundred different data points to determine your identity.
While this technology is relatively insecure, it does offer two advantages over a traditional fingerprint scanner. The first is the ability to unlock your device when your hands are tied up, or when it's cold outside and you're wearing gloves. Second, it is very fast, unlocking your device in half a second when in a well-lit area.
Besides the 12 MP rear camera that's paired with a 2 MP depth camera, the 3V includes a number of software features to assist you as your share your journey with its camera.
Social Mode is a set of photo editing tools that let you both alter and share the photos you take. Social Square will enable you to immediately review a picture you take using half of your display while keeping the viewfinder active for another image. Not only does this keep you active for the next photo, but it gives you much more real estate to properly evaluate the image you capture.
Another feature called Instant Collage lets you combine several photographs into pre-set arrangements to create a collage. And Photo Booth takes four pictures in a row, emulating the photo booths found at amusement parks.
As I mentioned throughout this article, the Alcatel 3V will retail at $150. Amazon will begin sales on May 29th, with Best Buy and Walmart following shortly afterward. You can pre-order on Amazon using the link below. The Spectrum Black version will be the only color available, and the model available to US customers will be the GSM unlocked version only. Therefore, it will only work on T-Mobile & AT&T networks.
Alcatel is offering impressive value at such a bargain price. Not only are you getting dual cameras, but an 18:9 edge-to-edge display and a metal premium finish that rivals those found in phones at a much higher cost. What do you think about the 3V? Let us know in the comments below.