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review with features, price and specifications

26 mayo, 2021

The step of the economic lines is highly contested, especially since the phones of manufacturers hardly known in the West and from distant lands began to proliferate. But these phones are still important to manufacturers, and long-time brands continue their bet on cheap phones, ideal for those looking for a phone to call and maybe something else, and which they can get, hopefully, “free” through an operator.

It is in this line where the latest Alcatel 1X is embedded, a smartphone that comes to our hands in its version without Android Go but with Oreo, and that tries to demonstrate what a phone that moves, at the moment, in the range of 100 euros is capable of. An impulsive purchase price for many users and that we are now putting to the test. Will you accompany us during your analysis?

Alcatel 1X, technical characteristics

Alcatel 1X

Screen

5.3 inch IPS LCD
HD + and 18: 9

Processor

1.3GHz MediaTek MT6739
PowerVR GE8100

RAM

2GB

Storage

16 GB
MicroSD up to 32GB

Rear camera

13 megapixels f / 2.0
FullHD video at 30fps

Frontal camera

5 megapixels
HD video at 30fps

Drums

2,460 mAh

Connectivity

Dual SIM 4G
WiFi n
GPS
microUSB 2.0

System

Android 8.1 Oreo

Dimensions and weight

147.5 x 70.6 x 9.1 mm
151 grams

Price

103.01 euros at Amazon

Design: the resistance and feel of plastic

Alcatel 1X review

Metal has already touched the cheapest lines on the market, and glass will not take long to do so, as the mobile world seems to be irretrievably banishing plastic, despite the fact that there are still some members of the resistance. Like this Alcatel 1X that we have in our hands today, and that continues to bet on a plastic material that also has a rubbery feel, and whose grip takes us back to other times in the evolution of smartphones. Neither better nor worse, different.

This Alcatel 1X is not a particularly bulky phone, since the Chinese manufacturer, TCL, has mounted a 5.3-inch panel with an 18: 9 aspect, which places us virtually in the world of phones of less than five inches to the old way. A phone whose thickness reveals its low price, 9.1 millimeters, but with a weight of 151 grams more than acceptable for the proposed dimensions. A phone with many curves and that is abundant in terms of ergonomics.

Alcatel 1X

Galaxy J2 Pro

Huawei Y3 2018

bq Aquaris VS

Screen

5.3 inch
18: 9 HD +

5.0 inch
16: 9 qHD

5.0 inch
16: 9 qHD

5.2 inch
16: 9 HD

Front percentage

69.6%

68.9%

64.6%

68.9%

Dimensions

147.5 x 70.6 x 9.1 mm

143.8 x 72.3 x 8.4 mm

145.1 x 73.7 x 9.5 mm

148.1 x 73 x 8.4 mm

Weight

151 grams

153 grams

175 grams

165 grams

Alcatel 1X review

The back, for example, has a smooth curve at the edges that joins the back of the phone itself, offering a smooth transition and a fairly comfortable grip. Perhaps the only downside in this regard is the passage from the case to the screen, where we find a jump showing us that design can always be improved. Or at least, the coupling process, because in terms of design we are facing a fairly classic phone in every way.

Cleaning, both back and front, and a plastic material whose only downside is the jump to the screen

We have a completely tactile front, without a trace of physical or haptic buttons and not very well used despite the 18: 9. 70% scraped in terms of the surface used by the screen, and thick side frames, as are the upper ones, with the front camera and the speaker for calls, and the lower one. In the back, camera crowns top, with a circular design and the flash just below, and it is only marked an inch below the camera itself. The rest of the phone is completely clean and we only have the CE and company marking on the bottom, although quite soft on the blue body.

And what do we have for the sides and the rest of the sides? Tray for the SIM and microSD on the left, volume and power buttons on the right, headphone jack on the top, an always debatable decision, and microUSB charging port on the bottom. As we said, a quite classic design even in the selection of materials, sober but elegant and with some gray point as the transition from the frame to the screen. Otherwise, a phone that is easy on the eye and, above all, in hand. Also in the cleaning section, by the way.

Display: Design for, Performance Against

Alcatel 1X review

As we have commented in the design section, Alcatel has embedded an 18: 9 panel in the configuration of its 1X. It is appreciated because the new diagonals are still not often seen by the lower lines of the manufacturers’ catalogs, and here we have the 18: 9 represented with a screen 5.3-inch IPS LCD with qHD + resolution, which translates to 960 x 480 pixels per inch. 203 pixels of density that, although sufficient, falter in other ways. Let us begin.

We operate in the low lines of the market, so we have to be aware that nothing will shine in its design and guts. The screen, for example, does not. We have a correct display despite its 203 pixels per inch density, low compared to the market average, and we find the Achilles heel of its brilliance. It is not enough outdoors, nor does it adapt to the environment quickly.

The brightness is the weakest point of the Alcatel 1X screen, sufficient but not excessive indoors, unusable on the street

We are in front of a telephone whose use indoors is correct, but whose experience plummets when we go out. Even with the maximum brightness, we will have problems to have a sufficient visualization even when we are away from direct sun. It is the price of the cuts, and the screen of this Alcatel 1X has suffered the consequences. No complaints regarding the color display, although we could talk about the viewing angles for a while.

The Alcatel 1X does not react very well to relatively normal angles, nothing to take the tilt of the phone to the extreme. A turn of 30 degrees is enough for the contrast to begin to fade and the colors to “wash out”, so that the blacks turn somewhat gray and we lose the good visualization that the phone does offer from the front. The software does not put much of its part to improve these aspects either, since we can only toggle between automatic and manual brightness, and between display mode and a night mode that tints the screen a soft orange to, in theory, offer more rest to the eyes.

Good for fingerprints, bad for viewing angles that do not have to be aggressive to tarnish the screen

The screen settings of this Alcatel 1X show us that the phone has Miravision software to improve the quality of the images we see in it, and that we can tweak to customize the contrast, saturation or cricket, and we even have advanced adjustments with sliders for sharpness and color temperature. If we wish, we also have default modes to choose from Standard, Vivid and User mode or custom mode.

By last, the phone behaves well when it comes to dirt and fingerprints, on the average of what we have been able to analyze in this economic range of the market. Too bad we don’t have that extra brightness necessary in certain situations, or some kind of double-tap setting to turn on the screen, as it would have improved the average score of a panel that suffers from being too basic.

Performance: modesty blurs power

Alcatel 1X review

We operate in an economic range so we are not surprised to find a chip in the same line, or with a memory package that is beginning to be little used even in this category. For the Alcatel 1X we have a MediaTek brain, specifically an MT6739 quad-core Cortex A53 and running at 1.3GHz, with an accompanying PowerVR GE8100 GPU. In the memory section, 2GB for RAM and 16GB for internal storage, although we can expand the latter with a microSD with an additional 32GB at most.

The system shows brief frame drops, a symptom of a bad fit

We are facing an economic range equipment and we obtain an economic range performance, although sometimes it is even somewhat short due, we believe, to a Joy Launcher layer that does not seem to let the phone be as fluid as it should. In terms of day-to-day handling, the phone behaves well, with some frame drop at specific moments but without apparent jams, although the system takes time to recover when we abandon a heavier application of the account. And it does not have to be a very demanding game, just leave Facebook to the desktop to notice that the initial response time is somewhat long.

The same thing happens with the handling of the applications. Taking into account that the processor greatly limits the experience and that the memory is neither abundant nor the fastest desirable, that the apps take time to be fluid is even defensible. But if we get into more or less simple gardens such as multitasking, we will once again have the feeling that the phone slows down on tasks that should be smoother, and we miss not the commitment to a Snapdragon, but to a somewhat more powerful MediaTek. And even the inclusion of at least 1GB of additional RAM to keep apps open for longer in the background and eliminate closures and delays.

The Alcatel 1X Benchmarks

We leave you the benchmarks so you can see the real performance of this Alcatel 1X against synthetic tests, the most common with which we usually test each phone that falls into our hands.

Alcatel 1X
Sony Xperia L1
LG X Cam
Energy Phone Pro 3

Processor

MediaTek MT6739
MediaTek MT6737
MediaTek MT6753
MediaTek MT6750

RAM

2GB
2GB
2GB
3GB

AnTuTu

38,496
38,336
34,559
42,471

Geekbench Single / Multi

588 / 1,622
661 / 1,826
544 / 1,693
593 / 2,543

3DMark

3,394
6,639
6,768
9,745

PCMark (Work 2.0)

3,042
3,250
3,061

However, games are the ones that make this phone suffer the most. Both ‘casual’ titles and other more aggressive ones make an Alcatel 1X sweat that it finds in its processor, and mainly in its GPU, its greatest weakness. Lags, drops in fluency and some undue freezing in more games …