To kick off MWC 2019, Alcatel is announcing some exciting new affordable devices, the Alcatel 3, 3L, 1S, and their 3T tablet. We also got a sneak peek at some of their exciting new screen prototypes!
Let’s run down the new phones and tablets.
“The Alcatel 3 represents the “Democratizing the latest smartphone innovations and designs.” The phone features TCL’s latest 5.9″ HD+ Super Full View Display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display has a slim mini notch that provides an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio. As the company puts it, the “Alcatel 3 offers an ideal experience for viewing photos, streaming content, gaming or browsing the web.” The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core chipset and comes with up to 4GB RAM for a smooth user experience. The phone comes with 64GB of built-in storage but also has a microSD expansion so you can store a ton of phones and videos. The phone also has a 3500mAh battery for all-day use.
Alcatel understands that the camera on current smartphones is a key aspect of what makes a phone a hero or a zero. The Alcatel 3 takes cameraphone photography seriously thanks to 13+5MP dual cameras with real-time bokeh. The dual cameras not only let the phone capture portrait-like shots but also allow users to do post-shot refocus. This lets users not only capture great pictures but also manipulate them once they are taken so images come out looking the way initially imagined when the photo was taken. And, as if that weren’t enough, the Alcatel 3 has AI Imaging Scene Detection that intelligently identifies up to 21 different scenarios in real-time and automatically provides the best settings, contrast, saturation, brightness, sharpness, and resolution for the situation. We’ve seen AI in smartphone cameras before and have not only been impressed with the results but have loved the way AI makes smartphone photography simple. And, as if that weren’t enough, the secondary camera on the Alcatel 3 is a Google Lens that lets users search and learn more about what they see. Of course, there is a front-facing camera. In this case, it has 8MP and will do a fine job whether taking selfies or having a video chat.
The Alcatel 3 also features Face Key for added security. As we have seen with other phones, Face Key uses the front-facing camera to provide instant access with a simple scan of a user’s face. For those wo don’t like using facial recognition for access to the phone, a fingerprint sensor on the back provides an extra layer of protection and launches customizable apps with a tap. The Alcatel 3 even lets users create AR emojis of themselves!
The Alcatel 3 will be available starting in Q2 for €159 (3+32GB version) and €189 (4+64GB version) and will come in gleaming Gradient Black Blue and Gradient Blue Purple.
The Alcatel 3L distinguishes itself with a Super Full View Display. The phone “provides an immersive display for sharing and keeping in touch, a dual camera that captures memories vividly and smooth performance to make life run easier.” Sporting a TCL-built 5.9″ HD+ Super Full View Display and slim mini notch, the phone has an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio and delivers a crisp, detailed viewing experience. This is, in part, accomplished thanks to the contoured 2.5D front glass and “spectrum engraving that highlights the device’s overall design.” The Alcatel 3L is zippy, thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core chipset and delivers great battery life with the aid of a long-lasting 3500mAh battery. That kind of performance and longevity is great in any phone, but it’s especially impressive when you consider just how inexpensive the Alcatel 3L is.
The Alcatel 3L has the same 13+5MP dual rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera that will be found in the Alcatel 3. In addition, it also has AI scene detection, bokeh blur, and refocus capabilities for a well-rounded and user-friendly smart photography photo experience. The phone will ship with Android 8.1 Oreo pre-installed but it will be upgradeable to Android 9.0 Pie in Q2 2019. Google Lens is onboard so, in combination with the Alcatel 3L camera software, means users can use the phone to find products online, copy and paste text, learn more about landmarks, add events to their calendar, look up movie posters, identify popular plants and animals and more in real-time. The Alcatel 3L will have a starting price of €139, and it will be available in Anthracite black and Metallic blue color options.
Alcatel 3T 10
The Alcatel 3T 10 is Alcatel’s new offering in their 10″ tablet space. Its combination of dual front speakers and a 10″ HD screen mean users will be immersed in a world of cinematic entertainment. The tablet’s long-lasting 4,080mAh battery means users can enjoy movies, music, and games on the go without having to worry too much about running out of juice. The tablet will ship with Android 9.0 Pie and, as one might expect, it has Google Assistant pre-installed and always accessible. Thanks to DSP voice recognition, the tablet will hear you from up to three meters away. That’s why Alcatel was able to equip the 3T with hands-free audio control so users can play movies or music, answer questions and more simply by speaking.
An optional, lightweight Audio Station accessory will be available for the Alcatel 3T 10. It can be connected to the tablet to, as the company explains, “achieve powerful, deep sound with up to seven hours of non-stop music on the go.” Moreover, when the Audio Station is connected to the Alcatel 3T 10, an on-screen hub will appear that provides a range of useful information at a glance. In addition, it delivers instant access to the tablet’s most used apps, photos, calendar, music and weather forecast. The Audio Station also expands the tablet’s connectivity with the inclusion of a 3.5mm auxiliary port, a Micro-USB and a microSD card reader. The Alcatel 3T 10 will be available later this year with a starting price of €179. The tablet will also be available bundled with the Audio Station with prices starting at €229
The Alcatel 1S is the final device Alcatel announced. It is the most budget-friendly offering yet it “packs a punch with premium features and software.” The Alcatel 1S will ship with Android 9.0 Pie and have an octa-core processor. The TCL-built 5.5-inch 18:9 HD+ Full View Display promises to provide plenty of screen-estate (Remember when a 5.5″ screen was considered huge?) Its 2.5D front glass provides a sleek contour and a comfortable grip in a phone that is small enough for even the tiniest of hands. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage but, thanks to the microSD expansion slot, users will be able to expand their storage significantly. The phone’s 3,060mAh battery is large enough to keep the phone going all day with power to spare.
And, while the Alcatel 1S is a budget device, it still has dual rear 13MP+2MP cameras with real-time bokeh and AI scene detection. We were surprised to discover that this inexpensive phone has a built-in rear fingerprint sensor and Face Key facial recognition software for protection and convenience.
The new Alcatel 1 Series smartphone will be available in Black, Blue, Rose, and Gold for a starting price of €109 when it arrives in Q2 2019.
Bonus: Concept Screen Phones!
Alcatel also had some concept prototypes on hand to show for future phone possibilities. The first was the 6.39″ full-screen CSoT that looks really similar to other flagships we’ve seen that sell for $1000 or so … but you know that Alcatel wouldn’t do that to us! They’ll bring it in at a shockingly affordable level, and that’s why we love them so much!
We don’t have a lot of details about it, obviously, but as you can see in the list of features, the 6.39″ display has 1080×2340 (404 ppi) resolution and it’s super-bright with 600 NITS. It also has a 1500:1 contrast ratio and an 85% NTSC color gamut.
But even more exciting was the DragonHinge folding screen prototype …
I suspect that we are going to see a lot of folding screens this week, or at least I hope so. I’m thrilled that Alcatel is getting into the folding screen space, though, because so far the folding screen phones we’ve seen have not been priced so that the average consumer could purchase one without hocking a lung. 😉
Look at the cool dot matrix clock on the outside screen of the concept; I also spy what looks like three camera lenses and an LED flash or possibly four camera lenses.
I know these are just prototypes, but I’m excited about what’s coming in the future! Alcatel says that we can expect to see designs based on these concepts making their way into working models as early as 2020.
Can you imagine a future where every phone’s screen unfolds into something larger (that you don’t have to squint at to see), and we can carry one device that functions both as a phone and tablet and the idea of doing so won’t seem like a novelty anymore? How about a future where a folding screen is much less than almost $2K, and all Android apps are scaled to properly fit? Or do you think folding screens are just a gimmick, or a solution looking for a problem? Leave your thoughts in the comments!