Price: Rs 12,999
Specifications: 5.2-inch IPS LCD (1280 x 720 pixels; 282ppi),MT6753 octa core, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable, dedicated microSD slot), dual SIM with 4G, 8MP f2.0 primary camera, 5MP front camera with LED flash, WiFi n, BT4.2, FM, 2,800mAh battery,
Pros: Dazzling LED cover is a unique proposition, LED notifications can be customized, dual SIM with dedicated micro SD
Cons: Not the best performance or memory/storage for the price, only 720p screen, slow fingerprint reader, older6.0, slow cameras
If you’re a little bored with the way your phone looks, you’re not alone. More so in the budget and mid-range segment, theis filled with me-too designs. That’s a big reason why aftermarket cases/accessories are such big business. Alcatel’s newest offering has, quite literally, a party trick in the form of a bundled LED cover (they call it Lightup +) that houses 35 RGB LEDs. This is a snap-on back cover that replaces the standard plastic back. It does add a little bit of thickness to the phone but its not overbearing or very noticable.
The LEDs can light up in different patterns, react to music, be set to inform you about notifications/calls and you can even set individual light shows for important contacts (or groups of contacts). The LEDs are bright without being too distracting but they’re also quite visible from across the room. In particular, we liked the flames effect — if youthe phone with the LEDs facing a wall, it actually does look like firelight.
Alcatel is calling the A5 a modular smartphone, which is a bit of a stretch, truth be told. What the phone does have is the ability toout the plain back cover with different ‘mods’. Once you remove the back cover (the battery is not user replaceable, by the way), you’ll see the contact points while the mods have pogo pins.
The box includes the plain back cover and the Lightup+ (LED) mod. During the initial launch offer, the Rs 3,999 Power+ (battery) mod is included as well. If you’re, you may still be able to snag that offer. The Power+ mod is interesting because it’s an add-on 3,100mAh battery that brings the total battery capacity up to 5,900mAh without adding too much bulk. A lot of people could do with extra battery life and this is a more elegant solution as opposed to carrying around a battery pack. On days that you know you’re going to be on the road with heavy phone use, you can snap on the battery cover. And when you want to glam it up for a dinner or party, you can use the.
We have seen the same phone with a speaker mod (showcased at MWC 2017) but it’s not clear whether that will launch as well. Theoretically, Alcatel can also launch additional mods but there are no promises yet. As for the rest of the phone, it’s fairly unremarkable for the price. The screen has nice colour but it’s only a 720p screen while phones that cost well under Rs 10k have 1080p screens now. Performance is nothing to write home about, the fingerprint scanner is slower than we’re used to, camera results are noisy, battery life is inconsistent and it’s running an older version of Android.
To substantiate this, we put it head-to-head with Redmi Note 4, a direct competitor. The Redmi benchmarks at more than double the score of the Alcatel and offers extras like call recording, a full HD screen, IR universal remote, way better battery life, higher RAM, four times the storage, more softwareand a better camera at a cheaper price.
The Alcatel becomes a fair deal if you really like the multi-colour glowing LEDs (check out ET’schannel for a video) and if you get the extended battery case bundle at the same price. Otherwise, you could do a lot better for the price. Apart from the Redmi Note 4, we would also recommendK8 Plus (double the storage, more performance, dual camera, FHD screen for Rs 11k), 10.or G (four times the storage, more performance, better dual camera, FHD screen for Rs 13k) orQ6 (double storage, 5.5-inch FullVision display with slim bezels for just Rs 1,000 more than the Alcatel).