Alcatel 3V review: is it really worth a chance?

We got our hands on the new Alcatel 3V, a good terminal that aims to satisfy a large clientele by positioning itself in the low-end of the mobile market, where it offers an attractive design and excellent 18 display: 9 - a format now considered essential for these devices. The performances are heavily penalized by the choice of the CPU, far from discrete, and by a disappointing optimization of the software based on Android 8.0 Oreo.

Password: 2K

Following the latest trends, Alcatel 3V features a 6.0 "IPS LCD screen with 18: 9 aspect ratio, the first made by TCL.

The choice of the Chinese house to opt for the resolution 2K (2160 × 1080) might seem rather unusual, considering the price range for which the device is intended, but it was definitely spot on: the FullView display gives us sharp images, bright and well-calibrated colors and a good level of brightness.

The generous 2K display extends over most of the front frame, but without exaggerating, limiting itself to thin the side edges and rounded in the four corners to give us a pleasant glance.

Moving to the rear, we cannot ignore the eccentric glossy body, very pleasant in its Blue color, but also particularly sensitive to fingerprints and scratches. Recall that the device is built entirely in plastic, a material that considerably lightens (155 g) this large phone (161 x 76 x 7.99 mm), but which does not give it great resistance to shocks and scratches.

Embedded in the rear body we find the double camera flanked by the LED flash and the fingerprint reader. The sensor isn't exactly lightning-fast, but it still does a great job of quickly unlocking the phone and represents, in any case, a more efficient security system than the disappointing facial recognition (Face Key).

Hardware that stumbles, more than once

We come to the first, real pain points of this device: performance.

Alcatel 3V mount a chipset MediaTek MT8735A, that is a 1.45GHz quad-core processor now considered unsuitable for this category of device. Thanks to the RAM memory of only 2GB - and, as we will see, insufficient software optimization - it is no coincidence that the smartphone tends to tire easily in the simultaneous management of multiple applications (not particularly numerous), as well as in the download of heavy files and in the use of apps and games a bit more demanding in terms of performance.

As a direct consequence, the device stumbles into annoying lags and slowdowns that tend to increase in parallel with the filling of the 16GB made available by the ROM memory. However, it will be possible - and strongly recommended - to expand the internal storage by inserting a card microSD into the appropriate slot dual SIM (Nano).

A bit of disappointment also with regard to autonomy. The battery from 3.000mAh will allow you to get to the end of the day with moderate use of Alcatel 3V, while intensive use will (naturally) reduce the estimated duration. However, we have noticed that, in some situations, the percentage of charge tends to run out very quickly, a problem probably due to the high consumption of the 2K display. As if that weren't enough, the phone will prompt at least 4 hours of power for a full charge.

The situation improves considerably on the connectivity front. We have not encountered any type of problem related to the telephone panel; on the contrary, the device enjoys excellent signal reception, which guarantees the usual use of basic functions and smooth navigation in 4G. While the internal speaker performs its duty during voice calls, the hands-free speaker instead reveals a poor sound quality, a defect that also significantly compromises the multimedia experience.

It's not all Or (e) or what glitters

The operating system of Alcatel 3V is based on Android 8.0 Oreo, available since the launch of the smartphone and enriched by a series of additional features

By vaguely recalling the stock version of Android, the UI appears clean and intuitive, just enough to allow us to immediately familiarize ourselves with the Alcatel system. The latter offers us an advanced feature pool that includes the App cloning - very useful, for example, for the simultaneous use of two different social accounts - and the one-handed mode. We also find the Func screen, where we can select the shortcuts to add to the lock screen (Camera, Flashlight, etc.).

Just like on the majority of 18: 9 smartphones, the navigation bar is retractable and, in this regard, the Alcatel 3V software will offer a deep customization system capable of satisfying any type of user. Also present it Smart manager, with which we can manage energy savings, storage space and monitor the RAM memory of the device. And it is this last tool that makes us notice one of the few, worrying defects related to the software.

The tool has in fact detected a disproportionate consumption of RAM memory by the same Android operating system, which comes to occupy almost 800MB out of a total of 2GB, to which another 113MB of the UI must be added. From these data we can deduce that the software has not been optimized to the best and that it has itself become an obstacle for a terminal already heavily penalized by the internal hardware.

Photographic sector: why Yes, why No

In this slalom between strengths and weaknesses, the camera of Alcatel 3V it is placed in a rather singular position. "Fluctuating", we could say.

The dual rear camera consists of a 12 megapixel sensor - interpolated to 16MP - with focal aperture f / 2.2 and a second sensor from 2MP with f / 2.4. Thanks to the latter, the smartphone can take advantage of some additional features such as optical zoom and the popular bokeh effect that highlights the framed objects in the foreground - with not entirely satisfactory results. The quality of the photos taken during the day is quite high, with good color saturation and equally good sharpness; much less convincing the photos at night, which present some graphic artifacts too many.

In both cases, Alcatel 3V it will require a very steady hand to deliver precise and well-defined shots. The device, in fact, takes a second or two during the processing of the photo just performed, drastically slowing down the shutter speed and providing, most of the time, completely blurred shots; again, the problem would go back to the CPU.

The photographic sector returns to slightly improve with theautofocus, almost always perfect, except for those moments of low reactivity due to the usual limitations of the hardware. It then returns downhill with theHDR, the use of which does nothing but "spoil" the actual quality of our shots by excessively increasing the brightness.

The front camera features a 5 megapixel sensor which reaches a 8MP via digital interpolation. Due to the aforementioned slow shooting, selfies immortalized with Alcatel 3V they will almost always appear wavy and, at best, not very detailed, but they will have a small advantage: the LED flash positioned on the front frame, which will be very useful in low light conditions.

Turn a blind eye

The ideal user of Alcatel 3V he is used to using the smartphone for simple surfing on the internet or for the daily use of social networks, but above all for the most important function of all: telephone calls. The user who should distance himself from it is instead the one who seeks a good level of performance, not necessarily high, but which can at least support the simultaneous use of different apps.

Put simply, the Alcatel 3V is certainly a great phone, but as a smartphone it has a few too many limitations. This is primarily due to a choice of hardware components - first of all, that of processor - and an integration of software not exactly optimal. To improve the situation we think the remarkable 18 display: 9 with resolution 2K - a real surprise for this price range - the elegant design and the few but very useful advanced features included in the operating system.


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