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Alcatel's 1C and 1X hands-on: Budget as budget gets

Alcatel has introduced two new entry-level phones — the Alcatel 1C and Alcatel 1X — for emerging markets.

Published onJanuary 8, 2019

CES 2019 is in full swing, and Alcatel has announced a few refreshes to existing devices for the new year.

Alcatel 1C

The first device in the CES lineup is the Alcatel 1C. This phone was made for emerging markets and will be sold at an ultra-low cost, at a suggested retail value of under 70 Euros. It brings a Spreadtrum SC7731E processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage, making it one of the most affordable devices we’ve seen in 2019. The Alcatel 1C runs on Android Go (based on 8.1 Oreo), a lightweight version of the platform tailored to devices with 1GB of RAM or less.

The phone is made of a polycarbonate material with a micro-textured lattice design, and features a microUSB cable on the bottom with a headphone jack up top. The 1C features a single 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP front shooter, so while it probably won’t take great photos, they’ll get the job done for those that just need a cheap camera. It comes with a 2,000mAh battery, which seems pretty small for a modern smartphone, but the 4.95-inch 720p display probably won’t use up too much energy.

The spec that makes this phone truly budget is the fact that it can only operate on up to 3G networks. It’s strange to see a device with no 4G support in 2019, but Alcatel tells me it made this move to save on cost. This device would probably make a better media player than a smartphone, but it’s nice to have to option if you wanted to use it as an emergency pay-as you go phone.

The Alcatel 1C will come in volcano black, enamel blue, and blush pink.

Alcatel 1X

The second device in the lineup is the Alcatel 1X. This is a step up from the 1C in specs, coming with a MediaTek MT6739WW processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. This device is running with the full version of Android 8.1 Oreo, and comes with a single 5MP shooter on the front and two cameras on the rear. The primary shooter is 13MP (interpolated to 16MP with software) while the secondary shooter is 2MP. The second camera enables things like bokeh mode in the camera app, a feature usually reserved for more expensive devices.

The 1X features a 5.5-inch 720p display and a 3,000mAh battery, so it should last quite a bit longer than the 1C. With 4G capabilities enabled in this device as well, this is a phone you might actually use as your primary phone. This device will be available for under 120 Euros beginning in Q1 of 2019, and will come in pebble black and pebble blue.

What do you think about these new devices? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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