Reviews

Alcatel 3L Review: Utterly outstanding bang for your buck

The Aussie boss of Alcatel Sam Skontos is sure passionate about his products, and I don’t think he’ll hate me for saying he can exaggerate like the best of them when it comes to that passion.

Take this statement recently when announcing the Alcatel 3L “packing some serious punch in a device I believe is the best ‘bang for buck’ smartphone on the market today,”

Big call. But Sam, you’re right. Holy heck, this is brilliant.

No, it’s not a Samsung Galaxy S20, or an iPhone 11.

But at $199 – you’re going to be blown away by what it can do.

Now, under the hood it’s got a solid performance and a 4,000mAh battery, so there’s no issue running all your favourite apps, and lasting all day without searching for power.

We benchmarked it using Geekbench and these numbers aren’t something to write home about, but they’ll make sure Instagram, Facebook, your Email and even some of the less graphic intensive games you’re keen on will work AOK.

Google Assistant at the touch of a button

Perhaps easy to overlook (heck, I didn’t even mention it in my video) – on the left side of the device is a single button – think Samsung Bixby Button from a few years ago, but now not uncommon on Android Smartphones.

One press and Google is at your service. Nifty, works well, and again – just $199.

It’s all about the camera.

Let’s be real though, all people care about these days are cameras.

The Alcatel 3L has a triple lens camera system. Single standard lens, a Wide Angle Lens and a Macro Lens.

First and foremost, standard images are excellent.

My only criticism is I found a real need to tap and choose exposure as in bright light the phone would get confused, but that’s aok, it does it well in the end.

Selfies – portrait mode is available:

Using the standard rear lens, The Alcatel 3L does a cracking daylight shot:

And the wide Angle is great, just not quite as much HDR processing possible:

Up against some relative competition, here’s the Alcatel 3L compared with the $499 Samsung Galaxy A31, and the iPhone SE ($749)

Importantly, the rear cameras of course have Portrait mode also;

Here’s that shot compared to the same on the Galaxy A31 and iPhone SE:

While low light performance wasn’t amazing compared to the higher end S20 or iPhone 11, it did punch well for it’s price in our testing.

The final lens on the back is macro – giving you the potential to take close up shots of anything from flowers to bees.

Trust me, it wasn’t possible to capture those water droplets on this tiny flower using the iPhone SE.

Overall

Wow. Seriously impressive.

The Alcatel 3L isn’t the best smartphone on the market. But at $199 you’ll struggle to find better value.

The 6.22 inch screen is bright, and the viewing angles excellent, a real step up on previous phones from Alcatel.

Performance is all you’ll need plus you’re getting a brilliant camera all in all.

Hard to fault at the price, a great first phone, a great phone for those who just need the basics but don’t mind a bit of Instagram sharing.

The Alcatel 3L is at Vodafone from May 20.

Alcatel 3L Review: Utterly outstanding bang for your buck
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