The Alcatel A3 is the latest budget friendly smartphone from the makers of the excellent Idol 4, release last year.
Ditching the silly ‘Pop’ and ‘Pixie’ names for something more acceptable to anyone over the age of 13, the Alcatel A3 packs a lot in for not very much money.
It has a 5″ display with front facing speakers. A microUSB port is located on the bottom, volume rockers and power button on the right-hand side and an aux port on the top.
The A3 is a plastic phone but at least Alcatel have put a nice-looking pattern on the removable back plate to give it a more premium look.
Alcatel have packed in 16GB of internal memory and allowed the A4 to support microSD cards up to a massive 128 GB in size, so lots of room for music, video and games to keep you entertained on the go.
As well as the 13 megapixel camera, the back also has a fingerprint scanner, making the A3 the lowest cost mobile reviewed to have a fingerprint scanner included.
Expecting the worst from a budget fingerprint scanner, it was a pleasant surprise to find it works rather well. It’s not as fast as on high end mobiles such as the OnePlus 5, but it’s still quick and more convenient than using a pattern or PIN to unlock your phone.
Alcatel may not have the fastest scanner, but they have added a splash of innovation. The scanner can store up to 5 fingerprints and each one can trigger a different action on top of the basic unlock, such as activating the camera, turning on the torch or starting a new message.
The front and rear camera offer good performance for the price, acceptable photos and video along with the ability to take really nice time-lapse videos.
Video quality is decent, perfectly fine for video calls, and the A3 even has a real-time Snapchat like filter app should you fancy virtually dressing up as a pirate or snow beast.
Alcatel are one of a handful of mobile manufacturers to move the speaker from the bottom to the front, so the sound is directed to you rather out to the side.
These would be great when gaming, unfortunately this proves to be the A3s weak spot. While it’s fine for a bit of basic gaming it visibly struggles with more demanding games such as Asphalt8; It’s playable, but doesn’t have a great frame rate. At least the 5″ IPS HD display looks great and allows you to use on screen controls without your hands getting in the way of the action.
Considering the low price, you get a decent mobile, and while it might not be a gaming powerhouse it does manage to deliver a well-rounded experience with the bonus of a fingerprint scanner, not something you usually find on budget friendly devices.