Alcatel U50 review explains the pros and cons of this starter phone. This device features an entry-level performance, smaller design, and 4G support.
Alcatel U50 smartphone was released in September 2017. Although it’s been a while, this device is still marketed as one of the budget options you can have. It features some basic specs and is coupled with an affordable price tag.
The phone comes with a 5-inch QVGA display. This is a size suitable for beginners. It comes with a 4G-supporting Snapdragon 210 processor, has a 5MP rear camera, and 1GB RAM.
An overall modest specification, Alcatel U50 also comes with an older Android 7. The battery capacity is 2,050mAh and it’s removable. A rare thing you would find today.
For a complete explanation, here’s the Alcatel U50 review. Let’s see if the phone is worth its cheap price and still offer decent functionalities.
Alcatel U50 specifications:
- Weight: 156g
- Dimensions: 141.5 x 71.8 x 9.95mm
- OS: Android 7
- Screen size: 5-inch
- Resolution: 854 x 480
- CPU: 1.1GHz Quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210
- RAM: 1GB
- Storage: 8GB
- Battery: 2,050mAh, Removable
- Rear camera: 5MP
- Front camera: 2MP
Alcatel U50 adopts a typical bar phone that looks like most smartphones. Its frame is smaller than average, though. The dimension is 141.5 x 71.8mm in height and width. As for the thickness, this phone is bulky at 9.95mm. Many smartphones are obsessed with getting thinner, Alcatel U50 is not one of them.
Due to its small size, Alcatel U50 is very lightweight. It weighs 156g, which is also attributed to the choice of material. Alcatel U50 uses plastic on the front and back. Plastics are cost-saving and relatively durable. On the downside, there’s no denying plastic makes the phone looks far from glamorous.
The back cover has a rough texture. It can help improve grip when you are holding the device. This area houses the camera, the logo, and the speaker. The lack of a fingerprint reader shows you will miss the security feature with Alcatel U50.
The front part of the phone also looks old-school. Alcatel U50 comes with a rectangular display surrounded by wide bezels. There’s the front camera and another speaker at the top. Further, you can spot the physical buttons on the bottom. It’s a design choice almost all phones have abandoned today.
Read also: Alcatel U50 User Manual
The display on Alcatel U50 is an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. The size is 5-inch. It is understandably a small size for a phone in this day and age. For a starter phone, 5-inch seems acceptable. It does come with many limitations, though.
The first being its size. If you are accustomed to big screens, you’d find 5-inch too narrow and limiting. There’s not enough comfortable space for viewing the phone’s interface. It will be hard as well for multitasking and video streaming.
The second hurdle comes from the display quality. Alcatel U50’s display features a QVGA low-res screen. It’s not a high definition screen and therefore, is not sharp nor it displays details well. Brightness is poor and the screen is very hard to navigate outdoors.
You will spot plenty of imperfect-looking icons, images, and videos. Things aren’t just looking crisp. Texts can be blurred on their edges, therefore making it hard to read.
If there’s any plus point about the display, it’s the fact that it is scratch-resistant. There’s a protective layer on the screen called Dragontrail Glass. With it, the display is more durable and resistant to minor damages.
Alcatel U50 has a 5MP single rear camera. The phone itself was released when dual-cameras hadn’t yet become common. Therefore it’s not surprising to find the sole shooter on the back. The camera comes with the assistance of an LED flash. As for the front camera, Alcatel U50 provides a 2MP shooter.
In short, we call the camera setup on this phone basic. It is a modest spec fitting for an entry-level phone. Don’t hope for impressive picture results, let alone a pro-level photo quality. Social media is where you set the top of the bar.
Users can take decent photos best in a naturally well-lit environment. The camera starts to deliver photos with noises when it’s dimmer. For video, you can only take 720p videos for the highest quality setting. Results are shaky too since there’s no image stabilization technology.
The 2MP front-facing camera is also a passable selfie shooter. Pictures come out with low-quality, especially in low-lights. We think it’s a camera better for video calls rather than for selfies.
To conclude, Alcatel U50’s cameras are a matter of practicality. It comes with basic features and average photos as a result.
There’s only 8GB of internal storage on this phone. Around 5GB is available for users, as the rest of it is for the system. As you might have expected, users would be able to install a few apps here. If you like downloading streaming data offline, the storage will fill up easily.
There’s an expandable storage option. You can install an SD card, with a maximum capacity of 32GB. Basically, it’s also the lowest external storage space available on the market. Alcatel U50 clearly isn’t a heavy-duty phone when it comes to storage.
Alcatel U50 relies on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 chipset. It is coupled with 1GB RAM. This combo is what’s responsible to Alcatel U50’s daily operations. As for the software, this phone runs on Android 7 Nougat, which at the time of release, it’s the recent version of the Google OS.
This phone is not a speed-focused device. We actually have a low expectation for it. The Snapdragon 210 CPU itself is designed for phones with low spec. Alcatel U50 is certainly one of them. Instead, it focuses on being energy efficient and bringing in the 4G support.
Launching an app is not split-second fast like in a flagship phone. In fact, the delayed launch is something common in Alcatel U50. You’ll need a lot of patience operating this device. Waiting for a web page to load can take some time, so does when you launch a data or graphics-heavy app like social media.
Alcatel U50’s limited RAM is also something that holds the performance back. Especially when you open many apps in the background. The performance will struggle and you’ll notice the phone is getting slower.
Today, Android 7 Nougat is considered terribly outdated. Although this phone comes with a non-modified version of it, it still lacks in so many ways. Compared to newer Androids, this phone is missing performance, security, and optimization updates.
If your bar is low, the UI is decent for daily use. It is not confusing. There will be some features you’d miss, like being able to stack two apps on one screen. This phone also doesn’t have a fingerprint reader. Therefore, you may feel less secure without it.
Alcatel U50 is equipped with some basic sensors, such as the Proximity Sensor. There’s also an Accelerometer and Ambient Light sensor for the screen. It has no hearing aid support, however. Instead, it comes with Mono audio and vibration alerts.
Alcatel U50 runs on an LTE network and supports WI-Fi too. Additional features are also present, like Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. Maximum download using mobile data clocks up to 150Mbps at maximum. For upload, this phone’s LTE can go up to 50Mbps.
The call quality is decent, although the speaker is not the best quality. Browsing the internet could be faster if only the performance can keep up to the LTE speed. The phone’s Bluetooth version is the older one, version 4.1. It’s also similar to the USB type which is MicroUSB 2.0.
You can use Alcatel U50 to help you with navigation, as the phone is equipped with GPS. For music, a 3.5mm headphone jack is available. What you won’t find here is the NFC feature, which doesn’t come as a surprise to us. It’s very rare that a budget phone has this feature.
The 2,050mAh battery looks like it’s enough to power a small phone like an Alcatel U50. The phone’s nature, which demands low power, can easily make the battery last a day. The phone itself claims a talk time of 12 hours and a standby time of 300 hours. Of course, real-life performance will depend on how someone uses the phone.
The charging is done through the MicroUSB port. There’s no fast-charging feature on Alcatel U50. It is something we’re not surprised about. As for the battery type, it’s a removable lithium-ion cell.
Is the Alcatel U50 a good phone?
In this Alcatel U50 review, we conclude this phone as passable. You can have a better option for a starter phone. At $99.99, it is also too expensive, considering the features you get. The QVGA display is too low-res, and the Android is outdated.
Alcatel U50 can be a good option if there are no other phones available. Or, you just need a simple smartphone immediately and don’t mind the price, as well as its feature limitations. It is quite reliable as a basic communication device, after all. You can call, chat, and browse the internet without much problem.
Alcatel U50 Pros
- Compact size
- Support 4G
- Scratch-resistant display
Alcatel U50 Cons
- Basic performance
- Poor camera
- Low-res display
- Outdated Android