MWC 2017: Alcatel A5 LED, A3, U5, PLUS 12 hands-on

Alcatel at MWC 2017

GSMArena team, 27 February 2017.

Introduction

TCL might have the BlackBerry KEYone for showboating purposes, but it will be its Alcatel-branded phones that will sell in heaps. The company brought three of those to MWC this year, plus a Windows 10 2-in-1, and we got a chance to play around with all of them.

None of phones will challenge the G6s and S8s of this world, but that's not what they're meant to do. Budget-conscious buyers need smartphones too, and various segments of this market is where the Alcatel A5 LED, A3, and U5 will compete. That said, the A5 LED has a a unique feature of its own - an LED-illuminated back cover.

Alcatel at MWC 2017

The PLUS 12, meanwhile, is another iteration on the 2-in-1 concept by Alcatel. The company seems to like MWC for announcing this type of product - last year it was the Plus 10, and now this.

Alcatel A5 LED at a glance

  • Display: 5.2-inch IPS LCD of 720 x 1,280px resolution;
  • Chipset: MT6753 chipset; octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Mali-T720 GPU;
  • Memory: 2GB RAM; 16GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot;
  • Camera: 8MP rear camera; dual LED, dual tone flash; 1080p video;
  • Selfie cam: 5MP front camera; 84° angle of view; single LED flash;
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow;
  • Battery: 2,800mAh capacity;
  • Connectivity: nanoSIM slot; Cat. 4 LTE support; Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.2; GPS; FM radio;
  • Misc: snap-on back covers, default one has an array of LEDs for displaying notifications and music visualizations.

Alcatel A3 at a glance

  • Display: 5-inch IPS LCD of 720 x 1,280px resolution;
  • Chipset: MT6737 chipset; quad-core 1.25 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Mali-T720 GPU;
  • Memory: 1.5GB RAM; 16GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot;
  • Camera: 13MP rear camera; f/2.0 aperture; single LED flash; 720p video;
  • Selfie cam: 5MP front camera; 84° angle of view; 720p video;
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow;
  • Battery: 2,460mAh capacity;
  • Connectivity: nanoSIM slot, optional dual-SIM; Cat. 4 LTE support; Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.2; GPS; FM radio;
  • Misc: Back-mounted fingerprint sensor

Alcatel U5 at a glance

  • Display: 5-inch LCD of 480 x 845px resolution;
  • Chipset: MT6737M chipset; quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Mali-T720 GPU;
  • Memory: 1GB RAM; 8GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot;
  • Camera: 5MP rear camera; single LED flash; 720p video;
  • Selfie cam: 2MP front camera; single LED flash;
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow;
  • Battery: 2,050mAh capacity;
  • Connectivity: microSIM slot, optional dual-SIM; Cat. 4 LTE support; Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.2; GPS; FM radio;
  • Misc: Back-mounted fingerprint sensor

Alcatel PLUS 12 at a glance

  • Display: 11.6-inch IPS LCD of 1,920 x 1,080px resolution;
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core 1.1 GHz base frequency, 2.4GHz burst;
  • Memory: 4GB RAM; 64GB storage (32GB eMMC+32GB micro SD embedded); microSD card slot;
  • Camera: 5MP front-facing camera; 1080p video;
  • OS: Windows 10 Home RS2;
  • Battery: 26.8Wh capacity;
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.2; USB-C, micro HDMI, 3.5mm jack;
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor;
  • Keyboard: Cat. 4 LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Qualcomm MDM9207 chipset, 128MB RAM, 2,580mAh battery, full-size USB-A port, touchpad;
  • Total weight: 990g.

We'll share a few first impressions over the following pages, but if you want to jump to a specific device, hit up the quick links below.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Has the A3 got a notification light like the Pixie has?

  • AnonD-632062

What's with that horrible bezel on the A3 ? :O Did something go wrong in the production stage???

  • AnonD-634681

I work in a phone store & the alcatel pop 4 & pixi 4 4" suck, literally people walk in, buy it, come back half hour later like na, would rather spend £800. I mean 1GB ram is alright for my nan, but anyone else, forget about it