The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictThe Alcatel 3V might seem like an amazing deal on the outside due to its trendy design and a decent display, but its sluggish performance and poor camera quality leave much to be desired.
- Trendy design
- Good display with decent colors, viewing angles, and brightness
- Low price point
- Slow performance
- Middling battery life
- Hit-or-miss camera quality
- No fast charging
Alcatel might not be a familiar name to most, but the company has been quietly releasing new phones and filling in their lineup in the budget and mid-range smartphone market. The Alcatel 3V falls into their budget category. Though these days budget phones potentially provide surprising bang for the buck.
There’s not much in the phone’s design that stands out. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, when compared with other budget phones, the 3V is one of the better-looking models. The glossy, plastic back and rim give it a more premium appearance.
Still, it doesn’t come without its downsides. The back attracts fingerprints and is also very slippery, making it prone to drops. Some reviewers found build quality unsatisfying as it would flex and creak under moderate pressure.
It’s also fairly large measuring in at 6.37-by-2.9-by-0.3 inches. Despite the size, the all-plastic body gives it a light weight of 155 grams.
Gracing the front of the 3V is the 6-inch 1080-by-2160 IPS display, offering a little over 400ppi. Reviewers were impressed on overall sharpness and clarity -- especially considering the price tag. They also note that while it can’t compare to flagship phones, it also offered decent enough contrast, color accuracy, and brightness.
The biggest flaw of the screen is the lack of Gorilla Glass protection. You’ll want to put this phone in a case to protect it from falls.
While the outside of the phone might look nice, the internal specs are another story. It comes equipped with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.
The 3V under-performs when compared to other similarly priced phones. Reviewers noticed significant delays when opening apps -- to where they would think their taps didn’t register. It slowed down more when they had multiple apps open.
If you’re a mobile gamer, you’ll want to look elsewhere. While it played most current games, critics noticed dropped frame rates and very long loading times.
Despite the lack of performance, battery life was mediocre. The 3,000mAh battery lasted around a day of moderate usage -- though they could push it to two days when used very minimally. There’s no wireless charging or fast charging though. So, you’ll want to top it off every night to avoid any issues the next day.
A dual-lens camera at this price might tempt you to buy the 3V. Unfortunately, reviewers found it to be one of the worst cameras they’ve tested in a while.
Not only was it slow, it also didn’t take good pictures -- even in good lighting situations. Most of their pictures had muddy colors and some amount of blur --whether from motion or low shutter speeds. This was worse for them in low-light situations as images became too noisy and too dark.
Overall, most of their pictures came out poorly. In the right lighting situations, they could take decent pictures. Still, good pictures took too much time to set up. This takes away the main benefit of a smartphone camera -- being able to take a picture quickly.
While it might be cheap, critics have a hard time recommending the Alcatel 3V. Digital Trends states, “... the Alcatel 3V gives a lot of phone - but if the user experience is frustratingly slow, what’s the point?” Tom’s Guide adds, “... the Alcatel 3V suffers from terrible performance and paltry battery life... these cheap phones don’t offer a premium experience.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Andrew Williams, Stuff
The Alcatel 3V could have been a 5-star phone. Loads of people would jump at the chance to get a screen this big and sharp for such a low price. But Alcatel hasn’t followed the Motorola Moto mantra of getting the basics right, though. The Alcatel 3V feels too slow, making it no fun to use.
- Dan Cohen, Gear Diary
So when a phone like the Alcatel 3V comes along and is under $150, it is worth checking out. No, this phone doesn’t have the solid, refined build of my iPhone X, and it doesn’t have the degree of power of Apple’s flagship but, for under $150, Alcatel’s offering is worth consideration. It has solid c...
- What Mobile
The Alcatel 3V is one of those phones that you won’t go wrong with if you get it. It works very well – or as well as you’d expect for less than £100. Its phablet sizing and lightweight work in its favour, but the look and feel of the device are altogether obviously cheap.
- Karan Sharma, Gizbot
The phone looks premium though it comes with a plastic back panel. The good part about the phone is that it comes with an LED flash on both the cameras, which not a lot of manufacturers offer on their smartphones. The display resolution is pretty good. If you don't rely and don't use the face unlock...
- Caitlin McGarry, Tom's Guide
Don't buy this phone. Alcatel's 3V has a solid, bright, 18:9 display, but the device's awful performance, terrible battery life and uneven cameras make this handset more trouble than it's worth, especially when compared to more-capable inexpensive handsets like the Honor 7X and Moto G6.
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Alcatel 3V user manual here.
Alcatel backs up the 3V with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your 3V has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Alcatel support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Alcatel's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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Manuals / User Guides
- Alcatel 3V Manual (PDF)
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