Alcatel launches its affordable 18:9 Android range at MWC 2018

Alex Kidman 25 February 2018 NEWS

At MWC 2018, Alcatel's all about full screen experiences that won't break the bank.

Alcatel's market positioning has long been one that trades on the affordability of its handsets, and at MWC 2018 today, it has affirmed that position while launching a range of handsets that all feature 18:9 displays. Alcatel had tipped its hand in that direction at CES 2018, but here in Barcelona, it's formally launched the new handset range.

For the new handsets, Alcatel's embracing a new design aesthetic that it's calling SIMGANIC, a portmanteau of organic and simplicity, meant to lead to more natural interactions with the new devices.

The flagship of the new Alcatel range will be the Alcatel 5. It's a 5.7-inch Android device with an 18:9 display, unibody design and facial unlocking features, dubbed "Face Key". Alcatel's claim is that Face Key scans more than 100 data points across your face for recognition purposes, allowing for an unlock process that should take less than half a second.

If facial unlocking makes you nervous, the Alcatel 5 also features a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that will also double as a smartphone camera shutter button or launch individual apps depending on the fingerprint detected.

The Alcatel 5 will be available in Australia in Metallic Black and Metallic Gold finishes in mid to late 2018 for "under $200" according to Alcatel representatives.

The Alcatel 3 series will be a touch less expensive, available in Australia for under $200, although it will also feature the same "Face Key" unlocking and app launching via fingerprint sensor features. There's some variance across the different 3 series devices, with the Alcatel 3V featuring a 6-inch 2K (2160 x 1080) display while the Alcatel 3X offers a 5.7-inch (1440 x 720) screen. Finally, the straight Alcatel 3 offers a 5.5-inch (1440 x 720) display.

There's also camera variance across the 3 series. All of the new phones feature 5MP front-facing cameras. The 3V comes with a pair of sensors at the rear, with one 12MP sensor paired with a 2MP depth sensor for bokeh effects, while the 3X has a 13MP primary and 5MP wide angle lens at the rear.

Of the Alcatel 3 series phones, only the Alcatel 3V is confirmed for Australia at this time, with expected availability in the 3rd quarter of 2018 in either Spectrum Black or Spectrum Blue finishes for $199.

Finally, the budget range Alcatel 1 series is Alcatel's entry level series. In Australia, we'll see the Alcatel 1X, with an 18:9 screen for a promised price point under $100, with the inclusion of the lower specification Android Oreo Go edition. That's a variant of Android 8 ("Oreo") designed for very low cost handsets to optimise performance and minimise storage needs. Alcatel Australia representatives couldn't entirely say when the Alcatel 1X would hit Australia, due to ongoing discussions with potential carrier partners.

Alcatel also announced new Android tablets in 7-inch and 10-inch sizes under the Alcatel 1T branding. There's no sign of Australian pricing for those but local representatives said they were keen to bring them to the local market if feasible.

We're reporting live from Barcelona at MWC 2018, so stay tuned for our impressions of Alcatel's entire 2018 Android range.

Alcatel 5 Specifications

Product Name
Alcatel 5
Display Size
5.7 inches
Resolution
1440 x 720
PPI
282
Processor
MT6750 Octa-Core1.5GHz & 1.0GHz
RAM
3GB or 2GB (varies by model)
Storage
16GB/32GB
Operating System
Android 7
Front camera
13MP+5MP
Rear camera
12MP
Battery
3,000mAh
Dimensions
152.3 x 71.1 x 8.4mm
Weight
144g
Price
Under $300

Alcatel 3V Specifications

Product Name
Alcatel 3V
Display Size
6.0 inches
Resolution
2160 x 1080
PPI
402
Processor
MT8735A Quad-Core 1.45GHz
RAM
2GB
Storage
16GB/32GB
Operating System
Android 8
Front camera
5MP
Rear camera
12MP+2MP
Battery
3,000mAh
Dimensions
162 x 76 x 8.05mm
Weight
155g
Price
Under $199

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