The build included April 5, , Android security patches, for reference. TCL has made minor adjustments from stock Android, so you should not need too much acclimatising if you are familiar with Android. There are only a few third-party apps too, including OfficeSuite, Facebook and Netflix. TCL has also included some in-house apps, one of which it calls enjoy.
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The app contains tips and tricks for using the Alcatel 3 , along with special offers and coupons. You can set up multiple user accounts in the settings menu should you wish to do so. The device also supports Bluetooth 4. As a result, the device can only connect to 2. Correspondingly, the Alcatel 3 could only achieve slow transfer speeds in our Wi-Fi tests. Our review unit averaged Our review unit proved rather accurate outdoors, with it able to maintain a satellite fix with up to three metres accuracy during our tests.
The device could not find us when we tested it indoors, though. We also took the Alcatel 3 on a bike ride to compare its location accuracy against our reference bike computer, the Garmin Edge Our review unit could not track us as accurately as the Garmin did, with it deviating on straight sections. The Alcatel did a bit job when cornering, although it plotted a slightly wider route than the Garmin did. Overall, the Alcatel 3 should be accurate enough for all daily navigation tasks. TCL relies on the Google suite of telephony apps, which function just as they do on other devices that we have tested.
As the screenshot to the right demonstrates, the Phone app has tabs for favourites, call history and contacts, with a search bar, settings button and voice input sitting above them. The earpiece in our review unit gets moderately loud, which made it difficult to hear our call partner in noisy environments, like on a busy street. The headphones are slightly louder than the earpiece but deliver comparable sound quality. TCL equips the Alcatel 3 with dual rear-facing cameras.
By contrast, the secondary camera, which also has a 1. The camera takes passable selfies, but colours look pale. The default camera app also automatically applies a strong bokeh effect, which makes the edge of our face look blurry. Details and fine structures are recognisable, but these also look blurry upon looking closely. TCL includes several options in the default camera app, including beautification effects that essentially smooth out any imperfections.
There is no professional or manual mode, though. The main rear-facing camera takes good photos too, but they also have a rough grain to them even at low zoom levels. The 13 MP sensor reproduces colours more vividly than the front-facing camera does, albeit with poor delineation from each other. The same applies to object edges, which are camera frays.
These shortcomings occur when taking macro photos too, with blur and frayed object edges especially noticeable in the background even without zooming. The focused object looks sharper though, and a coarse-grain only sets in when we look closely. The 13 MP sensor picks out our test objects in low-light too, but they look overly pale and dark as scene 3 below demonstrates.
There are no totally black areas, but the camera cannot reproduce fine details and structures. The default camera app contains options for colour filters, AR modes, and a manual mode. The latter allows you to adjust ISO levels, shutter speed, brightness, exposure and white balance. TCL has incorporated Google Lens as well, which can retrieve information from the internet about the object in focus.
Our test videos offer a similar image quality to those of our sample pictures. The main camera compensates for changing lighting conditions quickly, while an image stabiliser accounts for small camera shakes.
The camera can record in p, p or p, but there are no slow-motion options. Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window.
Warehouse Mobile Alcatel 1 Black
The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device. We also subjected our review unit to camera tests under controlled lighting conditions, which revealed that the Alcatel 3 reproduces most colours too brightly compared to the ColorChecker Passport reference colours. Conversely, grey tones look too dark. Hardly any colours can be made out at 1 lux though.
Similarly, while our review unit does a good job of capturing our test chart in good lighting, it is almost unrecognisable at 1 lux. As the first image demonstrates, the main camera picks up fine details, colours and textures nicely.
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There is a distinct pallor in the lower corners of our test photo though. TCL does not sell any Alcatel 3 specific accessories though. The device comes with 24 months warranty.
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TCL preinstalls Google Gboard as the default keyboard app, which works just as well as it has on other devices that we have tested. The touchscreen in our review unit responds precisely to any touch and reproduces it onscreen without delay. The combination of a glossy display and smooth performance makes for a pleasant experience, with there being no hiccups during our tests. The accelerometer reacted precisely during our tests too and quickly rotated the orientation of the screen when we moved our review unit.
The Alcatel 3 has a fingerprint reader, which TCL has placed on the back of the device. The one in our review unit reliably recognised our registered fingerprints and worked without issue during our tests. As we mentioned earlier, the Alcatel 3 has a 5. However, all our comparison devices are a few percent more evenly lit. The panel in our review unit also flickers at This value is high, but it may still cause health issues like eye strain and headaches for those who are PWM sensitive. The display backlight flickers at There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.
The frequency of If PWM was detected, an average of minimum: 5 - maximum: Hz was measured. Our measurements show that the Alcatel 3 has an excellent contrast ratio of 2,, in part because of its 0.
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As a result, the display separates colours well, and black areas look vibrant. CalMAN analysis also shows that the Alcatel 3 under-represents green and red tones. TCL includes a reading mode, which adds a yellow tint to the display to reduce blue light exposure, but there are no other display options or modes. The intensity of the reading mode can be adjusted too. The Alcatel 3 is usable outdoors if you avoid direct sunlight. The display gets bright enough to keep it readable on sunny days, but the glossy screen picks up reflections easily.
The IPS panel also has stable viewing angles.
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As the photos below demonstrate, you should have no issues with reading the display from practically any angle. These specifications are comparable with those of our comparison devices and are powerful enough for most everyday applications. Our review unit always performed smoothly during our tests, even if it only finished in the midfield of our synthetic benchmark comparison tables. Similarly, the Alcatel 3 finished in the midfield of our browser benchmark comparison tables, where it trades blows with the Nokia 4. The preinstalled Chrome browser loaded websites quickly in everyday use, with scrolling always remaining smooth too.
Only media content occasionally took a moment to load. Around 24 GB of the 32 GB of internal storage was available when we first booted our review unit. The device achieved decent transfer speeds in the corresponding microSD benchmarks with our Toshiba Exceria Pro M reference card.
However, our review unit could only format expandable storage as external memory; it could not save any apps or data to our reference card. The Adreno dates back to and remains powerful enough for undemanding games. Arena of Valor and Asphalt 9: Legends ran smoothly at medium graphics, with the touchscreen keeping pace too. Hence, you should have no issues with performing drag-and-drop movements. We also encountered no issues with the accelerometer during our gaming tests.
Our tests certify that the Alcatel 3 remains comparatively cool even under load. Surface temperatures fluctuate between We also noticed no thermal throttling during our tests, either. TCL equips the Alcatel 3 with stereo speakers, which are not overly loud but deliver relatively balanced sound. Deeper sounds fall off at high volumes, but the speakers are good enough for reproducing speech.
We would recommend using external audio equipment like headphones or speakers when listing to music or watching videos though. These can be connected via Bluetooth 4. The latter grips jacks tightly and does not negatively affect the quality of audio reproduced. Our measurements certify that the Alcatel 3 consumes between 0. These values are on par with most of our comparison devices and well ahead of the Xiaomi Mi A3.
The included USB charger has a maximum power output of 5 W. Since the Alcatel 3 only consumes up to 4. TCL equips the Alcatel 3 with a 3, mAh battery, which lasted hours in our practical Wi-Fi battery life test. The included charger takes around three hours to fully recharge the Alcatel 3 , for reference. The Alcatel 3 is a rock-solid budget smartphone that excelled in daily use. The system always remained smooth during our tests, with simple apps loading quickly.
TCL has equipped the device with a bright and contrast-rich display that impressed us too. Moreover, the Alcatel 3 has excellent battery life and should remain accurate enough when navigating somewhere.