MWC 2018: TCL announces updated Alcatel 5, 3, and 1 series with 18:9 displays

With these devices, TCL is showing off its simple, organic design philosophy with a large display experience so that customers can enjoy more screen in a smaller form factor.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Image: TCL Communications

Last year was the year of 18:9 displays for flagship smartphones, and we are now seeing high screen-to-body ratios come to the mid-level and entry level class of smartphones.

Alcatel will be the first brand to deliver 18:9 displays across each series in its portfolio. One reason it is able to make this move is through its relationship with its parent company, TCL, and TCL's television technology. These new Alcatel phones will also include facial recognition and enhanced camera options.

Read also: Google Android Go: Nokia, ZTE and Alcatel unveil first super-cheap smartphones

It is also great to hear Alcatel commit to security updates. While it will not roll out Android security updates as fast as we see on Google Pixel devices, Alcatel is publicly committing to update at least on a quarterly basis.

Alcatel 5

The Alcatel 5 has a 5.7 inch FullView 18:9 display, brushed metallic unibody, and dual-front facing cameras. Full specifications include:

  • Processor: MediaTek MTK6750 octa-core
  • Display: 5.7 inch 1440X720 pixels resolution IPS
  • Operating system: Android 7 Nougat
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB internal with microSD card slot
  • Cameras: 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera. Front 13-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel wide-angle camera
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • Wireless connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, FM, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, Glonass
  • Dimensions: 152.35 x 71.1 x 8.45mm

Alcatel is including a suite of photo editing tools called Social Mode. The tools include the ability to review captured photos on part of the display while having the camera viewfinder available in the other part of the display, create collages, and capture four photos in a row in a photo booth form.

In addition to the traditional rear fingerprint scanner, facial recognition is present on the Alcatel 5. Alcatel states it takes less than half a second for Face Key to work.

The Alcatel 5 is now available in select markets in Metallic Black and Metallic Gold for EUR229.99.

Alcatel 3

Image: TCL Communications

The Alcatel 3 series includes the FullView 18:9 display, fingerprint sensor, and Face Key technology. These devices have 2.5D curved edge glass and curved backs.

The Alcatel 3V has a 6-inch 2160x1080 display, the 3X has a 5.7 inch 1440x720 display, and the Alcatel 3 has a 5.5 inch 1440x720 display.

The 3V and 3X have dual rear cameras. All three have microSD expansion cards, too.

Now available in select markets, the Alcatel 3V comes in Spectrum Black, Spectrum Blue, and Spectrum Gold for EUR189.99. The Alcatel 3X will be available in select markets next month for EUR179.99, and it will come in Metallic Black, Metallic Blue, Metallic Gold, Spectrum Black, Spectrum Blue, and Spectrum Gold. The Alcatel 3 will be available in select markets next month in Spectrum Black, Spectrum Blue and Spectrum Gold for EUR149.99.

Alcatel 1

The lowest cost Alcatel model is the 1 series with the 1X also including the 18:9 display. Some variants of the 1X will have Face Key and a fingerprint sensor, too, while all will come with the new image editing experience.

Available in select markets in April with single-SIM and dual-SIM options (depending on market), at 99.99 and 109.99 respectively, the 1X will feature black and blue color options in Suede, as well as gold and rose color options in a satiny finish.

Previous and related coverage

Cricket Alcatel Idol 5 review: Solid mid-ranger with modern features for $200

The Alcatel Idol 5 is a great phone for $200 with standard 3.5mm and USB Type-C ports, NFC, and attractive design with the option for a basic VR experience.

CES: Alcatel standardizing on 18:9 displays, BlackBerry Motion coming to US next week

TCL made a couple of announcements this morning regarding its Alcatel and BlackBerry product offerings for 2018. More details on new devices will be announced at MWC.

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