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Alcatel SMARTFLIP Review: Simple Flip Phone with Smartphone Twists

Alcatel SMARTFLIP review dissects what the phone offers to customers who want sophisticated technology with the old school simplicity of a flip phone.

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Review

Alcatel SMARTFLIP is one of the options for a feature phone available today. SMARTFLIP offers an alternative in this smartphone-filled market.

As a feature phone, the phone caters users needs in basic communication. But there’s a twist as SMARTFLIP also adopts some of smartphone’s features.

In fact, Alcatel advertises SMARTFLIP as some kind of hybrid. It packs several smartphone features in a body of a flip phone. One of the features we can’t wait to review is the Google Smart Assistant.

There are also other features that keep you ahead of today’s demand for efficient communication. Keep reading this Alcatel SMARTFLIP review to find out more.

Key Specs

Alcatel SMARTFLIP specifications:

  • Weight: 4.16oz
  • Dimensions: 4.13 x 2.08 x 0.75in
  • OS: KaiOS 2.5
  • Screen size: 2.8-inch (internal), 1.44-inch (external)
  • Resolution: 320 x 240
  • CPU: 1.1 Ghz Quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery: 1350mAh, Removable
  • Rear camera: 2MP

Design

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Design

Design-wise, SMARTFLIP looks way trendier than the old school kind of flip phones. Following today’s trend, the design focuses on being neat and minimal. It’s pleasing to the eye and looks beautiful.

Viewed from the side, the body looks slim instead of chunky. The phone comes in an elegant matte black color. No other color choice is available.

The form factor allows the phone to be comfortable to hold. It’s also easy to put the phone inside a pocket or slip it in a small purse.

For material, Alcatel uses plastic for the SMARTFLIP’s body. You can have peace of mind with it because plastic is more likely to survive from light falls.

Keys such as the Power key and the Volume keys are stacked neatly on the right side. When closed, the phone shows off its external screen with a camera above it.

Meanwhile, the back cover houses only a loudspeaker and the Alcatel logo. Alcatel also keeps the design tidy by not putting too many details, not even textures, on the phone’s exterior. We personally like it because it gives the phone that sleek and modern look.

What we love the most from SMARTFLIP’s design is the keypad. Each key is big enough and gives that satisfying effect at every press.

Letters and numbers are printed in white. Big and easy to read, these letters stand out whether the environment is too bright or too dark.

Read also: Kyocera DuraXV LTE Review

Display

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Open

Alcatel SMARTFLIP is armed with two displays, a main 2.8” QVGA internal display, and 1.44” external display. Both are full-color LCD, even the external screen.

They differ in resolution, though. The main display features a 320×240 pixels LCD screen, while the second screen is less sharp at 128×128 pixels.

Browsing through the main display is actually pleasant. For a phone in its category, the colors are quite punchy. Objects on the screen appear vibrant.

The screen also has a reasonable viewing angle. At 142 ppi, the phone does still struggle to display smooth edges on texts. But it’s as good as it gets with a feature phone’s display.

Disregarding the display quality, the Home screen on Alcatel SMARTFLIP resembles slightly that of a smartphone. There are the clock and several Home screen apps. You can’t customize these apps, though.

Moving to the external display, this second screen shows the essentials functions such as the clock and battery level. When a call comes in, the icons are replaced with an incoming call alert. It will display the name and the number of the caller. You can decide whether to pick up or not without having to flip the phone open.

Read also: Alcatel SMARTFLIP User Manual

Camera

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Front View

Alcatel equips SMARTFLIP with bare minimum camera setup. It almost seems like the camera is merely a formality. The 2-MP rear shooter is all this phone gets. It also comes without any flash and auto-focus to capture better photos. No front-facing camera as well for taking a selfie.

This setup is not surprising, of course. And people never buy a feature phone expecting a smartphone-level camera. We think many users would not mind SMARFLIP’s camera. As long as it can take pictures when it’s needed, it’s enough. Typical feature phone users rarely take a picture anyway.

As you might have guessed, the image results are often blurry. You have to get the right amount of light to get a picture that’s passable. During low-light situations, you’re most likely to get dark results.

The camera on Alcatel SMARTFLIP is not what you call reliable. But you have to understand, if taking pictures is something you like to do or you need to do, SMARFLIP is not the phone for you.

The same goes for video recording. SMARTFLIP allows users to record 320p video at 30fps. This recording spec is average at best for a feature phone, and you have to be very steady to produce a good recording. All in all, SMARTFLIP is for people who put these photography-related features on the bottom of the priority list.

Storage

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Side

Alcatel SMARTFLIP is not what we call generous when it comes to memory. The ROM on SMARTFLIP is a measly 4 GB. After subtracting with what the system uses, you will be left with 2 GB. As a phone where you can download apps and games, this capacity won’t be enough.

For this reason, SMARTFLIP provides SD card support. But as always, it means you will buy your own SD card separately. For capacity, at most, you would be able to attach a 32 GB card. Although this capacity may seem far from impressive, we thought it’s adequate for a feature phone.

Performance

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Images

Performance is the area where Alcatel SMARTFLIP really shines. It’s like Alcatel advertise, this phone blends the simplicity of a basic phone with all the modern functionalities of a smartphone. It’s almost a smartphone, but without the unnecessary bits that can only provide distractions.

We can notice it as soon as we see the Home screen. You’ll see shortcuts for Google Maps and YouTube. Streaming videos is made possible on a flip phone by SMARTFLIP. Things can’t get better than this especially the phone also has 4G support. These apps are preloaded already so no additional download is required.

Navigating through SMARTFLIP’s KaiOS menu encounters no problems. Surprisingly, this phone uses the same 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 201 as the predecessor. But this one is much more fluid in terms of the user interface. SMARTFLIP’s RAM, at 512 MB, is also not an upgrade.

The answer possibly lies in the software. KaiOS is currently the third-largest operating system in the world. Its development is supported by Google, that’s why we see YouTube and Google Maps apps on the Home screen.

Since the software regularly releases updates, the phone is able to continue keeping up with today’s demand in technology, including smartphone level user experience.

KaiOS has its own app store with categories of apps ranging from communication, social media, to mobile games. But don’t expect to have millions of choices just like at Apple App Store or Android’s Google Play Store.

You can download popular apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. But beyond what’s popular, the choice is limited.

Google’s influence is evident on the Google Assistant feature, which Alcatel put as one of the highlights of SMARTFLIP.

The smart assistant can receive instructions just like in a smartphone, such as making a Google search and making a phone call using the voice command. Activating the Assistant is as easy as by pressing and holding the OK key on the keypad.

SMARTFLIP also emphasizes an easy-to-use phone experience. The phone offers accessibility for all. It caters to people with impairment by providing Hearing Aid support and large, easy-to-read, tactile keys. There is a Real Time Text (RTT) support as well.

To conclude Alcatel SMARTFLIP review for performance, this phone delivers what it’s created for.

In addition to basic communication, you can actually manage your work-related activities such as replying to emails, setting up an event on the calendar, and do a quick Google search with voice commands. Although technically a flip-phone, it does a lot of things smartphone does.

Connectivity

Alcatel SMARTFLIP Back Cover

Another plus point of Alcatel SMARTFLIP is its network potential. Calls on SMARTFLIP offer HD voice. The phone runs on 4G LTE wireless technology, which gives it the ability to deliver top-quality communication. When used for browsing the internet, pages load fast until the browser can’t handle it anymore.

Wi-Fi offers another alternative aside from 4G. Data transfer between devices can be done through either Bluetooth or MicroUSB data cable. There’s a location service on SMARTFLIP, where you can take advantage the most by using the pre-installed Google Maps app. For a flip phone, Alcatel SMARTFLIP has everything users need.

Battery

Alcatel SMARTFLIP is equipped with a 1350mAh removable, Li-Ion battery. The manufacturer claims that the phone can last for 24 hours on regular use. But in reality, you can even stretch that to a couple of days if you rarely use the device. This is the beauty of basic phones. They don’t need a lot of energy to function.

The battery can handle up to 6.8 hours worth of conversation on a single day. This number goes higher when you choose using 2G or 3G instead of 4G. Being put into standby, the phone can reach up to 320 hours on 4G.

Wrap-up

The final conclusion for this Alcatel SMARTFLIP review is that it’s a pretty cool feature phone. There are a handful of choices out there, but SMARTFLIP stands out for several reasons.

One of them is KaiOS and its smartphone-like apps. Then there is the Google Assistant that lets you do things by just giving voice commands. The accessibility features are also useful for a certain group of people.

We think the price is reasonable at $59.99 (AT&T). For a bargain, consider the ones sold by Cricket Wireless at $49.99. The downside of this phone lies in the camera. If it is a priority for you, you might want to consider another phone. But other than that, you have a phone that can stream videos at 50 bucks.

If you have owned SMARTFLIP, give us your thoughts about the phone. It will help others decide whether or not this phone is right for them. Don’t hesitate to write on the comment below.

Pros:

  • Google Assistant
  • Slim body and large keypad
  • Accessibility features (Voice Command, HAC, RTT)
  • Good battery
  • Has an operating system

Cons:

  • Inferior camera
  • Small storage space

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