Everything you need to know about Alcatel’s 2017 smartphones

The Alcatel Flash is the first phone with a dual rear-facing and front-facing camera

While much attention is given to the likes of Apple and Samsung, they aren’t the only two companies around. In fact, phone manufacturer Alcatel is having quite a year so far.

The company launched a slate of new phones at MWC 2017, as well as a 2-in-1 Windows device, and they’re all unsurprisingly aimed at the budget market. Here’s everything we know about Alcatel’s 2017 smartphone lineup, as well as the details about the 2017 phones that have already been released.

Alcatel Flash

alcatel 2017 smartphones flash

Alcatel’s latest smartphone may not be all that impressive in the specs department, but it does have some very interesting things to offer — namely the fact that it’s the first phone to sport a dual rear-facing camera and dual front-facing camera.

The phone is somewhat of a surprise. It really just popped up on the Alcatel Saudi Arabia website without a press release or any rumors to speak of. Unfortunately, it seems as though the phone is currently only available in a few select markets, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Qatar.

Under the hood, the phone features a MediaTek Helio X20 chip, along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. When it comes to the aforementioned cameras, you’ll find a pair of 13-megapixel rear-facing cameras, and dual cameras on the front with 8-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors.

The phone also features a 3,100mAh battery and a 5.5-inch full HD display. It will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Alcatel A5

Alcatel’s 5.2-inch A5 essentially brings Motorola’s Moto Mods to budget devices, though perhaps not in the simplest fashion. The A5 offers sub-$50 replaceable backs, some of which are purely cosmetic, but others offer more uses. For example, there’s a speaker with a kickstand you can attach to the back of the A5, as well as a battery pack that doubles the phone’s battery life.

It’s very similar to Motorola’s Moto Mod launch, which offered a JBL speaker mod as well as a battery pack mod, and more. But Motorola’s mods were separate accessories that magnetically snapped to the phone.

The plastic backs for the A5 are literally the back of the smartphone — you can’t just take one off as you’ll have to replace it with something. Taking them off is like taking off the back of a phone with a removable battery.

The highlight Alcatel is touting is the LED, an accessory that covers the back of the A5 with colorful LEDs. Using various apps, you can light up the back of the A5 with different patterns and colors to match your mood. Or you can even use the camera to automatically pick three colors of your outfit or whatever you point at to change the phone’s wallpaper and app icon colors to match.

The LED back also lights up with the icon and matching color of select apps when you get a notification from them, like Facebook or Twitter. If you’re playing music, you can have the lights dance to your tunes.

The phone itself only has a 720-pixel resolution, and it’s powered by MediaTek’s 6753 with 2GB of RAM. It has a 2,800mAh battery that charges via the MicroUSB port, and you’ll only find 16GB of internal storage, though there’s support for a MicroSD card. The rear camera only has 8 megapixels with electronic image stabilization, and the front is packed with 5, though it uses a wide-angle lens.

Unfortunately, the A5 only runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It’s the only smartphone in this list that’s likely coming to the U.S. We don’t have any pricing or availability details yet.

Alcatel A3

The A3’s distinct feature is the fingerprint’s sensor ability to add various fingerprints to launch apps from the app screen — something a lot of smartphones can do these days. The 5-inch HD device is powered by MediaTek’s 6737 processor with 1.5GB of RAM.

Again, you’ll find 16GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot that allows for more, and a smaller 2,460mAh battery that charges via MicroUSB. It also runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The 13-megapixel rear camera is overshadowed by a 5-megapixel front camera that offers better features, such as the capability to capture a selfie with a tap on the fingerprint sensor (which is on the back.)

Alcatel U5

The 5-inch U5 is the runt of the litter of smartphones from Alcatel today. It has some of the selfie-camera functionality of the A3, but it’s powered by MediaTek 6737M processor with 1GB of RAM. It only has 8GB of internal storage with MicroSD card support, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and a 2,050mAh battery.

It has a 2 megapixel front camera and a 5 megapixel rear one.

Pricing and availability for the A3 and U5 were not disclosed yet, but they will not be coming to the U.S.

Alcatel Plus 12

If you’re in need of a low-cost, low-powered Windows 10 2-in-1, the Alcatel Plus 12 may be a decent tablet option that offers 4G LTE connectivity. It features a 11.6-inch 1080-pixel resolution display, and it’s powered by an Intel Celeron N3350.

You’ll find 4GB of RAM, as well as 64GB of internal storage with an embedded 32GB MicroSD card. There’s a 5-megapixel front camera, and the tablet has a 6,900mAh battery. It charges via a USB Type-C port, and there’s a fingerprint sensor that’s compatible with Windows Hello.

The tablet laptop hybrid features a detachable 4G LTE keyboard that also doubles as a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to 15 devices. It has a 2,850mAh battery, and a Qualcomm MDM9207 chipset.

There’s also the Alcatel Idol 5 and the Idol 5S, which are Alcatel’s higher tier phones.

Updated on 04-04-2017 by Christian de Looper: Added news of Alcatel Flash launch.

Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

The OnePlus 7 Pro will have four launch events to celebrate its release

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new pop-up front camera, too. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.
Smart Home

The Houzz app now lets you virtually tile your floor with augmented reality

Augmented reality is starting to be a real bonus to apps like Houzz's View in My Room 3D tool, which recently added the ability to measure how a tiled floor might look in your living space.

Michael Kors updates its Sofie smartwatch, but still uses a processor from 2016

Michael Kors announced an update to the Sofie smartwatch, now offering heart rate monitoring, GPS, and NFC support. There's only one problem — the device still offers the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.

The best Bluetooth headsets of 2019, from Sennheiser to Jabra

Quality headsets are rare. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets available, whether you need something modest, cheap, or loaded with features. We highlight the best Bluetooth headsets you can get for different situations.

Samsung begins retrieving all the Galaxy Fold review units

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

Common Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e problems and how to fix them

Samsung's new Galaxy S10 range is gorgeous and extremely powerful. But they're not perfect, and you may discover some issues with your new phone. Here are some of the most common Galaxy S10 problems and how to fix them.

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.