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MWC: Alcatel Unveils New Cheap Phones That Don’t Look Cheap At All

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At the Mobile World Congress, Alcatel unveiled a bunch of new devices, including mid-range smartphones that are highly interesting given the combination of aesthetics and price point. The company announced three new phone series, the 5, 3, and 1.

For those who don't know Alcatel, it's a company known for releasing very cheap but passable smartphones, but in recent years, it's been trying to make them more appealing. That shows in some of the new models in the lineups.

Alcatel 5 Series

The 5 Series is the most expensive lineup of the three and perhaps the most intriguing. That said, the price won't reach as high as, say, an iPhone X or Galaxy S8, though it does have some pretty high-end-ish features. The Alcatel 5 has a 5.7-inch 1,440 x 720 display, is powered by a MediaTek chip, comes with a USB-C port, and runs Android Nougat. Its design adopts the bezel-less trend of 2017, and it's got two selfie cameras but only one rear shooter.

It looks rather classy for a phone that costs €229.99 — around $283.

Alcatel 3 Series

The middle ground of the new lineups includes three phones: the 3, 3X, and 3V, which differ primarily on the size of their display. Other than that, these phones have similar specs and designs. The 3V sports the largest display at 6 inches, which offers 2K resolution. They all sport quad-core MediaTek chips, with the 3X and 3V sporting dual camera systems.

Puzzling is the fact that only the 3 and 3V are running Android Oreo. The 3X is still on Nougat. What gives? Anyhow, they all look expensive, proving that cheap phones don't need to look anything like their price point. The 3, 3X, and 3V cost €150, €180, and €190, respectively — around $185, $222, and $234.

Alcatel 1 Series

Finally, the Alcatel 1 Series, which features the model 1X. It gets pretty weird, though. Most 1X models run Android Go, a stripped-down version of Google's mobile operating system that promises to be lightweight but just as useful as its latest OS. However, one model runs Android Oreo. Only some models have two SIM slots, and for some odd reason, select versions don't have a fingerprint sensor. Again, what gives? Pricing is €100 for the single SIM version and €110 for the dual one — about $123 and $135, respectively.

Thoughts about these new phones from Alcatel? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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