In 2018 TCL launched the Alcatel 3x, a simple terminal with a very reasonable price that sought to bring users with a lower budget some of the features of the most expensive mobiles. Given its success, it was clear that this year we would have a renewal of the device. What we did not expect is that it would be so radical. The new Alcatel 3x arrives with a new glass design, a screen of no less than 6.52 inches, triple rear camera and much more power under the hood .
To all this is added a huge 4,000 mAh battery, Android 9 Pie, a fingerprint reader on the back and 64 GB of internal storage. All this with a price that starts at, attention, 160 euros. Sounds good right? Well, to know if the change has been as radical as it seems, I have had the opportunity to spend a few weeks testing the new Alcatel 3x . Here I tell you how it has changed and what this new model offers.
TECHNICAL DATA OF THE NEW ALCATEL 3x
|6.52 inches, HD + resolution of 720 x 1,600 pixels, 2.5D glass, 20: 9 aspect ratio
16 MP main, f / 1.8 aperture and 1.12 µm pixels
· 118º ultra wide angle of 8 MP, f / 2.2 aperture, 1.12 µm pixels
5 MP sensor, f / 2.4 aperture, 1.12 µm pixels
Autofocus, 1080p 30fps video, real-time bokeh, AI scene detection
|Camera for selfies
|8 MP, f / 2.0 aperture, 1.12 µm pixels, 80.6º, 1080p video
|Micro SD up to 128GB
|Processor and RAM
|MT6763V (Octa-core, 4 x A53 2 GHz + 4 x A53 1.5 GHz), 4 GB RAM
|Android 9 Pie
|4G LTE Cat.4, WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB Type C, 3.5mm Jack, NFC
|Dual Nano SIM
|Metal and glass on the front and back, colors: black, green and pink
|164.8 x 75.8 x 8.39mm, 178 grams
The glass becomes the protagonist
The new Alcatel 3X sports a completely renewed design. We now have 2.5D glass on both the front and the back . Thus, on the back it shows off a glossy finish that contrasts with the brushed metal frames.
The triple camera is located in the upper left part, with a vertical distribution. Under it we have the LED flash and in the central area of the back the fingerprint reader . Finally, at the bottom we see the Alcatel logo.
In the right frame (looking at the mobile from the front) we have the power and volume buttons. The tray for the cards is placed on the opposite side, as well as a special button to call the Google Assistant . This one sports a silver color and has a bit of texture to make it easy to find.
If we go to the upper frame we have a 3.5 mm jack connector for the headphones . And at the bottom we find the connector for charging the device, which is a Type C USB.
The incorporation of the glass and the increase in size have made the feeling that the mobile transmits when you pick it up is that of a terminal with a much higher price. The design change has really suited the new Alcatel 3x .
Large Super Full View 20: 9 display
Last year's Alcatel 3x was a fairly compact mobile, with a 5.7-inch screen. This year, however, TCL has decided to provide the terminal with a much larger screen.
Specifically, it is a 6.52-inch Super Full View screen . It has HD + resolution of 720 × 1,600 pixels, with a 20: 9 format . This is because the front camera has been placed in a teardrop-shaped notch in the middle of the screen. Without a doubt a much more current design.
The screen offers correct color reproduction, good viewing angles and fairly pure blacks. Perhaps it lacks some maximum brightness, but the truth is that we are facing a screen that looks quite good and whose automatic brightness control works correctly.
Three sensors to cover all types of photography
If in design and screen the Alcatel 3x goes up a notch, the camera could not be left behind. The new Alcatel 3x adds one more sensor compared to last year's model to have a very versatile triple camera . And it is not just that it has one more sensor, it is that the main sensor has improved a lot in brightness .
The rear camera of the Alcatel 3x is made up of a 16-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor . The main sensor offers an f / 1.8 aperture, 1.12 µm pixels, and AI scene detection. For its part, the wide angle offers a field of view of 118º, aperture f / 2.4 and pixels of 1.12 µm. Finally we have a depth sensor with aperture f / 2.4 that will help in Portrait mode.
The photographic set is completed by a front camera with an 8 megapixel sensor , f / 2.0 aperture, 1.12 µm pixels and an 80.6º field of view and 1080p video recording.
Easy to use but very complete Camera app
Before we see how the Alcatel 3x's triple system performs, let's take a quick look at its Camera app. It is still an easy-to-use application, although it has undergone some changes compared to last year's model.
Taking the mobile horizontally, in the part to the right we have the shutter button, the button to switch to video mode, the camera switch, the Google Lens and quick access to the Gallery. On these buttons we have direct access to the most common modes: Automatic, Portrait and Wide angle . We also have a More button that will give us access to the rest of the options.
By clicking on this button, the rest of the modes appear. Among them we have the AR Emoji, the Manual, the Panoramic or the Trace of light. By the way, their arrangement is fully configurable by the user .
Also from here we can access the Camera Settings, clicking on the gear wheel in the lower corner. The settings offered by the terminal are the usual ones, such as video resolution, image size or scene detection, among others.
A small button bar that we have on the left side of the screen completes the interface of the Camera application. From here we can access the flash, the timer, the HDR and the image format.
And now that we have reviewed the technical characteristics of the camera, let's see what result they offer.
That said, I can tell you that the image quality of the main camera has improved a lot compared to last year's model . The increase in brightness of the sensor is very noticeable in all conditions. Now we have photos with higher definition, sharper and with colors closer to reality.
The scene recognition system works quite well too, although as usual it tends to oversaturate slightly . This is generally not too much of a problem, as we get more striking photos.
The HDR system also works correctly , helping us to save some complicated situation. We can leave it in automatic and it will come into play when it detects areas of light and shadows, or for example a very pronounced backlight.
Through the wide-angle sensor we can capture a different point of view of the scene. Of course, it offers a lower quality than the main sensor. We have a little more noise and less definition, but, as you can see, if the light conditions are good we will get a very interesting image .
As for the Portrait mode, it offers quite an interesting blur . The cut, as you can see in the image, is not bad for a terminal of this price. We only have a small flaw in the shirt area, but even in the hair it does it really well.
The front camera also performs quite well, especially when we have good light. Despite not having a sensor with a lot of resolution, its f / 2.0 aperture allows us to take more than decent selfies to upload them to our social networks.
I leave you a gallery of photos made with the Alcatel 3x so that you can see for yourself the quality offered by its triple camera system and its front camera.
Photo gallery made with the new Alcatel 3x
Improved performance and Android 9 Pie
If we look under the hood of the Alcatel 3x we find improvements in practically all technical sections. On the one hand we have a more current processor, the MT6763V , which has eight cores, four running at 2.0 GHz and another four at 1.5 GHz.
RAM and storage have also been improved, going from 3 and 32 GB of the previous generation to the current 4 and 64 GB . All these changes represent a considerable performance increase over last year's model.
Not only the tests confirm it, in daily use the terminal feels “lighter” . Multitasking works faster and we can open games with a significant graphic load.
On the other hand, the new Alcatel 3x arrives with Android 9 Pie installed as standard . The manufacturer has included its usual customization layer, which the truth is that it is not too intrusive. We have some Alcatel's own applications, but this year it does not come with third-party games and apps that hardly interest anyone.
Autonomy and connectivity
If we have a mobile with a much larger screen we will need a larger battery. So the Alcatel 3x is equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery . A very interesting figure that allows you to spend the whole day without worrying about having to charge your mobile.
And if we talk about connectivity, we have what is expected in a terminal with a reduced price. The Alcatel 3x is equipped with 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and 4G LTE. Of course, we have a USB Type C connector to charge the battery , something that has pleasantly surprised me in such an inexpensive terminal. I liked that the terminal maintains the 3.5 mm connection for headphones and FM radio, something unusual today.
Conclusions and price
Alcatel mobiles have been offering the features of the highest-end mobiles to users with tight budgets for several years. But this year with the new Alcatel 3x they have been exceeded .
The new model has been completely redesigned to meet the demands of 2019 . It now has a glass body and a much larger screen with a minimal teardrop notch.
In addition, the power has improved compared to last year's version. Now we have a better processor, more RAM, more storage, and a bigger battery. So the performance jump over the 2018 model is very big.
And of course we have a camera that receives a new sensor. In addition, although it maintains the resolution, the improvement of the main sensor is more than evident as soon as we take the first photos . In short, we have a very versatile camera with which we can take more than decent photos in most situations.
If we add to all the comments that the Alcatel 3x has a price of 160 euros , it is difficult not to recommend this device to users looking for an inexpensive terminal.