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Alcatel 1B (2020) Review: Modest Specs and Android Go

Read this Alcatel 1B review if you are looking for a starter phone. Coming with an overall modest setup, this phone may be your fuss-free choice.

Alcatel 1B 2020 Review

Alcatel 1B smartphone was released in May 2020. It’s a quite new release, but this phone is trying to go against the current. When every year, smartphones are getting fancier, Alcatel 1B chooses to be more practical instead.

The phone’s exterior shies away from the full-screen with a notch style of design. It comes with a rectangular display. The screen size is only 5.5-inch.

It lacks some latest features. Alcatel 1B is not equipped with a fingerprint sensor. The camera is a single shooter on the back, with the only 5MP in resolution. It’s a very modest setup overall.

Alcatel 1B is a phone focusing on what matters. Packing all the essentials, it may be good for people who don’t need a fancy device. Read more about the phone in this Alcatel 1B review.

Key Specs

Alcatel 1B specifications:

  • Weight: 168g
  • Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.6 x 9.9mm
  • OS: Android 10 (Go edition)
  • Screen size: 5.5-inch
  • Resolution: 1520 x 725
  • CPU: 1.3GHz Quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 215
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Battery: 3,000mAh, Non-removable
  • Rear camera: 5MP
  • Front camera: 2MP

Design

Alcatel 1B
Alcatel 1B (2020)

Alcatel 1B’s design can look either outdated or nostalgic, depending on how you would look at it. It has a compact size for a smartphone, with a dimension of 146.1 x 71.6 x 9.9mm. Weighing 168g, Alcatel 1B is also not burdensome to carry.

This phone is, as expected, built upon plastic material both on its back and frame. It explains why Alcatel 1B can remain light throughout. The back cover has a pine green color, which in our opinion looks distinguished. It makes the phone stand out and appears a bit more elegant.

The elegance stops once you flip the phone to its front, though. Alcatel 1B features a front part design consisting of a rectangular screen with thick bezels around it. It’s a design that looks boring, to be honest. The front camera lies in the top right corner. You can also see the speaker on the top.

Sturdiness measures at low to average, in our opinion. The phone feels like it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s cheap. Overall, is an unexciting yet practical design choice they offer to the customer. It’s easy to hold and operate, but not necessarily eye candy.

Read also: Alcatel 1B (2020) User Manual

Display

Alcatel 1B Display

This phone comes with a 5.5-inch display which is considered small today. Not aiming to be a gigantic viewing canvas, Alcatel 1B also offers average display quality. Its resolution is only 1520 x 725 which accounts for an HD+ quality.

Being a relatively small phone, it might need some time to get familiar with Alcatel 1B’s screen. This is a phone which can be a frustration for someone who get used to bigger screens. The space feels too limited. Moreover, the edges are distracting with their black space.

An HD+ display largely won’t give you pixel-related problems. It’s a decent resolution giving bright and accurate color output. Obviously, it would lack sharpness and details better phones offer. However, for everyday use, this resolution will prove to be enough. At least, texts and icons are easy to distinguish.

As we have expected, there’s no additional coating like Gorilla Glass or some waterproof features. Another modest installment by Alcatel 1B, you should not hope a lot from the phone’s display.

Camera

Alcatel 1B Camera

Still continuing offering the bare minimum, Alcatel 1B gives its buyers a single camera on the back. This 5MP shooter is going to be your on-the-go camera every day. For selfies, try to get a decent snap with a 2MP camera on the front.

This setup further indicates how Alcatel 1B is not for pro smartphone users. The rear camera is there for a practical reason which is taking pictures. There are fewer regards and concerns toward the picture quality. Although, the results from the camera are not too bad.

Pictures taken with the camera are at least usable. This is not a phone where you can expect perfection. Be prepared with off-ish white balance, over-exposure, and noises for night photography. Speaking of the latter, you can use the LED flash to improve the camera output at night. Due to the low resolution, you will get lack details when the photo is zoomed.

The 2MP front camera is not better, especially there’s no assisting LED flash here. Video calling using this camera usually results in blurry videos, even though your connection may be fast. It’s another limitation from Alcatel 1B you need to accept if you decide to own this phone.

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Storage

Equipped with 16GB of storage space, the internal memory of this phone is not a lot. That capacity accounts for 10 to 25 apps, especially since the available space is much lower than 16GB. When you have this phone, buying an SD card will be inevitable.

The expandable storage slot on Alcatel 1B allows you to add up to 128GB of storage space. It’s more than enough to store a range of files, especially multimedia ones. This external storage is another additional expense, though. Because it is not included with the phone purchase.

Performance

Alcatel 1B Side

Alcatel 1B runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 and 2GB RAM. The Snapdragon 215 this phone uses is only one level above Qualcomm’s lowest CPU for smartphones, the Snapdragon 210. As a result, you can guess Alcatel 1B’s performance lies somewhere around the bottom.

This CPU has a 2GHz clock rate and processes tasks on four cores. We’re glad the phone has 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB, therefore it’s not too slow that it can be frustrating.

In general, you’ll do okay with the setup above on the daily basis. One thing to keep in mind is to limit phone usage on basic tasks only. Among these tasks are phone calls, texting, and occasional apps. Even during some light apps scrolling or screen switching, you can safely expect some noticeable lags.

The low performance also means Alcatel 1B is a big no for gaming. Some 3D games don’t even appear on the Google Play app. Although, for streaming, the phone fares better. Just don’t be surprised with lags on frame rates when you stream movies in HD quality.

To match the entry-level hardware, it’s a good decision by Alcatel 1B to use a light version of Android 10. It’s called Android 10 Go. In this Go edition, Android removed unnecessary features that a low-specs phone won’t need. As a result, you got more internal storage space and less bloatware.

This version also translates into an easier user interface. Even a beginner would navigate Alcatel 1B with not much difficulty. The Google Play app store in this version automatically selects the lighter version of apps. At the same time, Android Go also improves launch time.

Some important features are available, like Google Assistant. You can do tasks with voice commands on Alcatel 1B. What this phone missed is AI-related features like fingerprints or face unlocks. If you look for a phone with extra security, this Alcatel 1B won’t be the answer.

That sums up our Alcatel 1B review for performance. An intentionally low-performance device, Alcatel 1B is for beginner users and not for experienced ones.

Connectivity

Alcatel 1B supports a wide array of networks including the latest 4G, and older bands like 2G and 3G. At this price, a 5G support is merely a dream, that’s why we weren’t surprised. This phone gives an average call quality, and we don’t see any options like HD voice.

You’ll have the choice to use Wi-Fi if you feel the mobile network is too slow. This phone uses the standard type of 802. Wi-Fi antennas are a common thing among smartphones. Nothing special about it. It is quite reliable for everyday browsing.

Alcatel 1B uses the old version of Bluetooth, the v4.2. Therefore, the phone lacks the ability to connect with devices located more than 10 meters. It also doesn’t have the ability to pair with multiple devices at once.

Further, Alcatel 1B is also equipped with GPS for location finding. The port it uses is the old Micro USB. The phone also still provides a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery

You will rely on a 3,000mAh battery day-to-day with Alcatel 1B. This capacity allows for 38 hours of talk time. When you put the phone on standby, you can leave it without charging for 18 days. This paper performance doesn’t sound bad, although real-life performance will be different.

In general, waking hours for this phone is one day before the next charge. As long as you aren’t using the phone aggressively, it will get you through one full day. Charging is done via the Micro USB port at the bottom of the device. We are not surprised that no fast charging is available.

Is the Alcatel 1B a good phone?

Alcatel 1B is a phone for beginners, more than anything. The fact that it has a light Android version supports this verdict. Furthermore, this device employs modest specs overall, starting from the smaller display to the choice of CPU.

This phone is being sold at $110 (full price.) It’s too expensive for a low specs gadget. However, an installment plan with a rate of $5/month is available if you’d like it cheaper.

Our Alcatel 1B review is generally mixed. It’s a decent phone for the right buyers, and we imagine they’re not a lot of them. For most people, though, you can get a better phone, even with a cheaper price tag. 

Alcatel 1B Pros

  • Compact size
  • HD+ screen
  • Lighter Android version

Alcatel 1B Cons

  • Overall modest specs
  • Poor camera
  • Full price is too expensive