While you do get “mobile phones” below $50, it’s not every day that you get a decent smartphone with a 5.34” display running Android Oreo 8.1 at such a price.
It is easily amongst the cheapest smartphones in the market right now. The device runs on a MediaTek MT6739 processor and also surprisingly has a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage capacity.
Let’s deep dive into the specifications on our Alcatel TCL LX (a502dl) review.
Alcatel TCL LX Specs
5.83 x 2.74 x 0.37 inches (148.1 x 69.6 x 9.4mm)
480 x 960 pixels (201 PPI)
Android Oreo (Version 8.1)
Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53
16GB (microSD extendable)
Supported SIM types
Lithium Polymer 2460 mAh
Alcatel TCL LX Specs
Design and Build
Now for this price I expected a cheap plastic build and feels like a toy rather than a smartphone but oh boy, was I surprised.
The device doesn’t feel cheap, but it doesn’t feel premium either. I’ve handled more expensive budget Chinese phones that feel flimsy and unstable.
Yes, the device is made of plastic and it weighs 5.36oz (152g) with dimensions set at 5.83 x 2.74 x 0.37 inches (148.1 x 69.6 x 9.4mm). Personally, the device is on the heavy side of the spectrum for me because it only has a 5.34” screen, and smartphones with much bigger screens only weigh a little more.
With dimension set at as above, the device has a screen-to-body ratio of 75% which isn’t too bad. You really can’t expect anything more at this price.
It’s simple and elegant with ample space on the front panel except for the selfie camera and speaker. It isn’t jammed with buttons and sensors.
On the other hand, the rear panel is quite rough reducing the chances of the phone slipping through your hands. If it does, I doubt the build can withstand any major force as such.
At different prices, there are different things to prioritize. Expensive phone such as flagship devices prioritizes their aesthetics and looks while at this price comfort and usability should be the main goal. I think Alcatel hits the bulls’ eye with this one.
The charging port is located on the bottom right in the middle of the dual speakers. The 3.5mm headphone is moved to the top of the device.
The most common aspect ratio for smartphones is 16:9. But what I like about Alcatel LX is that the 5.34” display has an 18:9 aspect ratio. This means a widescreen where images, apps, and display content aren’t packed tight. You don’t have to strain your eyes to read the text.
It also makes it easier to use the keyboard. A bigger screen is always better.
While the aspect ratio is commendable, it’s unfortunately not the same for the quality. The display only has a 960 x 480 pixels resolution with a PPI of 201. The display doesn’t support HD and only goes up to a maximum of 480p.
So, it’s not the sharpest display. It’s also not that bright. But it gets the job done for the price.
Even though the display features an IPS panel, the viewing angles are not the best.
So, to sum up, the display size is such a steal at this price, but the display quality is poor when compared to today’s standards. But for the price, I still think its good value for money.
Core – Hardware and Software
At the core, you’ll find a MediaTek MT6739 processor paired with a 2GB RAM.
The SoC is the perfect match for this device as it is specifically made for budget Android devices. The quad-core processor is based on 28nm architecture has 4 Cortex-A53 chips that clock around 1. 5GHz.The inbuilt graphics card is a PowerVR GE9100 clocking at 570 MHz.
For this range of budget processors, the MT6739 does a decent job. Under the Geekbench 4.4 benchmark, the SoC scores 632 points on average for the Single-Core score and 1896 for the Multi-Core Score.
The processor is more than enough to run daily tasks such as emails, text, calls, and web surfing. You can also browse your favorite social media apps but there might be minor lags when trying to load heavy content such as long Facebook or IGTV videos.
Gaming is a big no because the inbuilt GPU is quite poor and can only support basic games. Anyway, I’m quite confident that no one is going to purchase such a budget phone to game on.
The minor lags turn into quite evident ones when you try multitasking. Applications take longer to load, the display freezes when switching between application, and the device takes quite a while to respond.
This is because even though the device ships with a 2GB RAM, 50 percent of it is reserved by the system. It would have made sense to feature Android Go because of the limited RAM capacity but Alcatel ships the TCL LX with stock Android Oreo 8.1. This version of Android is quite heavy with features such as screen in screen, but the limited RAM capacity doesn’t let you unlock its full potential.
The battery is quite disappointing at 2400mAH.Due to the large screen ratio, the battery drains quite fast and especially if you use it on max brightness outside.
Alcatel states the battery lasts around 15 hours of talk time.
All in all, I think the Alcatel TCL LX is a good bang for your buck. The build is decent, and the device feels comfortable to hold. The screen has a good aspect ratio, but the quality is a tad bit disappointing but again we have to focus on the price.
The chipset used is also decent enough to get your daily tasks done. It would have been better to see Android Go on this device due to the limited RAM capacity but Android 8.1 isn’t too bad either. Just make sure you won’t be overloading the processor and RAM with too many applications at the same time.