Best Alcatel phone: all the top Android phones Alcatel sells, ranked

Pick up a budget bargain from Alcatel

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You may not be all that familiar with Alcatel – the French brand owned by Finnish firm Nokia and licensed by Chinese outfit TCL Corp (keep up at the back) – but while the name doesn't attract many headlines, it is attached to some rather decent smartphone devices.

Here we'll guide you through all the best devices Alcatel currently sells. The firm has 33 phones on its books at the moment, so we're going to split them up by family and mention the best from each group – the ones to look out for when making your purchases.

Alcatel 5

Alcatel 5

1. Alcatel 5

A budget flagship

Specifications
Weight: 144g
Dimensions: 152.3 x 71.1 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 7.1
Screen size: 5.7 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1440 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT6750
RAM: 2/3GB
Storage: 16/32/GB
Battery: 3000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/2.2
Front camera: 13MP f/2.0 + 5MP
Reasons to buy
+Good screen and nicely designed+Excellent value for the money
Reasons to avoid
-So-so battery life overall

The Alcatel 5 is one of the newer members of the Alcatel range, and tries to marry a low price with respectable specs and build – a trick it manages to pull off reasonably well. It's not the most impressive phone in the world, but it's certainly very good value for the price.

Inside the phone a Mediatek MT6750 processor is paired with 2-3GB of RAM and 16-32GB of storage (expandable via microSD card). There's a 5.7-inch, 720 x 1440 pixel screen here, as well as a single-lens 12MP rear camera that will usually get good results in good lighting.

The design and build, as well as that 5.7-inch screen, are the highlights here – the rest of the package, including the camera and the battery performance, are just about on par but nothing more. The real standout is the price, because you can pick it up for not much at all.

Alcatel A7 XL

Alcatel A7 XL

2. Alcatel A7 XL

Big screen, low price

Specifications
Weight: 175g
Dimensions: 159.6 x 81.5 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 7.1
Screen size: 6 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT6750S
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Battery: 4000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 2MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+Decent internal specs+Premium metal trim
Reasons to avoid
-Looks a little dated

Alcatel specialises down at the lower-end of the market, but if you want something a little more mid-range, the 6-inch Alcatel A7 XL could be for you – the Mediatek MT6750S processor and 3GB of RAM should be enough to carry you through most tasks easily.

The metal trim on the bodywork and the dual-lens rear camera give you just a little taste of premium, but this is very much a middle-of-the-road phone. We do like the hefty 4000mAh battery though, which should be enough to carry you through a day's use no problem.

You'll also find plenty of other phones with an "A" moniker in the Alcatel range, depending on your region. The next best after this one is the 5.5-inch Alcatel A7 (no XL), which goes all in on the plastic case and has a smaller screen, but won't cost you quite as much to buy.

Alcatel Idol 5S

Alcatel Idol 5S

3. Alcatel Idol 5S

Approaching the mid-range

Specifications
Weight: 147g
Dimensions: 148.6 x 72 x 7.5mm
OS: Android 7.1
Screen size: 5.2 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT6757 Helio P20
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB
Battery: 2850mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/2.0
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+More specs for more money+Attractive design stylings
Reasons to avoid
-Only a single-lens rear camera

Alcatel prides itself on value-for-money across all its devices, but the Idol 5S gives you more value and costs a bit more money than many of the other handsets here. It has a dash of premium in the design department, though you only get a 5.2-inch display.

Under the hood the Mediatek MT6757 Helio P20 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are very solidly mid-range, while the 12 MP f/2.0 rear camera isn't dual-lens but will do most jobs well. It's one of the better Alcatel offerings if you've got a bit more to spend.

As is typical with Alcatel, available models and prices will vary by region: you might also come across the standard Alcatel Idol 5, which is actually very similar, and the older Idol 4 phones. If you can choose between all of them, then the Idol 5S is the pick of the bunch.

Alcatel 3V

Alcatel 3V

4. Alcatel 3V

Excellent price for what you get

Specifications
Weight: 155g
Dimensions: 162 x 76 x 8.1mm
OS: Android 8.0
Screen size: 6.0 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT8735A
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 16/32GB
Battery: 3000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/2.2 + 2MP f/2.4
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+For those on a tight budget+Generous 6-inch, 18:9 screen
Reasons to avoid
-Plenty of top and bottom bezel

Considering just how cheaply you can pick up this phone, it's perhaps surprising that you get so much for your money... not least the 6-inch, 1080 x 2160 pixel resolution display, which makes use of an elongated 18:9 aspect ratio screen (but doesn't have a notch).

Under the hood everything is kept running with a quad-core Mediatek MT8735A processor, 2GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of storage (expandable via storage card, if needed). There is a dual-lens, 12MP+2MP snapper around the back, capable of some interesting bokeh effects.

Also in this kind of price range we've got the 5.7-inch Alcatel 3X and the 5.5-inch Alcatel 3, both of which you can typically pick up for a lower price than the Alcatel 3V. In fact the 3V and the 3X are very similar in a lot of respects, aside from the screen size and resolution.

Alcatel 1X

Alcatel 1X

5. Alcatel 1X

Super low-budget handset

Specifications
Weight: 151g
Dimensions: 147.5 x 70.6 x 9.1mm
OS: Android 8.1
Screen size: 5.3 inches
Resolution: 480 x 960 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT6739
RAM: 1/2GB
Storage: 16GB
Battery: 2460mAh
Rear camera: 13MP or 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+At the very, very inexpensive end+Android Go customisations
Reasons to avoid
-You'll come across a lot of lag

Another of the phones Alcatel has launched in 2018, the 5.3-inch Alcatel 1X supports Android Go – the specially tweaked version of Android launched for basic handsets. The specs here are very average, but you can also pick up the phone for a rock-bottom price.

Inside there's a Mediatek MT6739 processor, 1-2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space (so you probably want to make use of that microSD card. There's a single 13MP or 8MP snapper on the back, depending on which part of the world you're picking this up in.

In some parts of the world, you might also come across the 5-inch Alcatel 1 (without the X) – basically it's an even cheaper phone with slightly less powerful specs (and only 8GB of storage). If you've got a head-to-head choice between the two, go for the Alcatel 1X.

Alcatel U5 HD

Alcatel U5 HD

6. Alcatel U5 HD

One of the cheapest phones

Specifications
Weight: 129g
Dimensions: 141.8 x 71.4 x 9mm
OS: Android 7.0
Screen size: 5 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels
CPU: Mediatek MT6737
RAM: 1GB
Storage: 8GB
Battery: 2050mAh
Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+You won't pay much at all+Connects to 4G LTE networks
Reasons to avoid
-The bare minimum in terms of specs

You're only really going to be buying the Alcatel U5 HD for one reason: its price. In that regard, it's actually quite impressive – it's not very easy to get yourself a smartphone and part with so little cash as you can with the Alcatel U5 HD, launched at the end of 2017.

Of course you shouldn't expect much in terms of specs at this price point. There's a small 5-inch screen, a Mediatek MT6737 CPU, just 1GB of RAM, and a mere 8GB of storage – though fortunately the phone does have a microSD card slot for adding some extra room.

You'll find other U5 and U3 phones being sold by Alcatel, but they really are bargain basement – the HD one is the one to go for, if it's available where you live. It can connect to 4G LTE networks, and is fine if you just need the basics and not much more from a phone.