- Chic design
- Good workmanship
- Decent main cameras
- Either dual SIM or memory expansion
- Slow work pace
- Lousy super wide-angle camera
- Weak display
- Slow WiFi
D.he TCL brand Alcatel is mainly for its affordable Smartphones known. This is no different with the Alcatel 3L (2020): The smartphone has a low entry price of 150 euros, but still offers a lot of technology and a modern design on paper. So is the Alcatel the perfect mobile phone for bargain hunters with modest demands? The practice test!
Inexpensive doesn’t have to be cheap
Even if the Alcatel 3L (2020) is not expensive: Nothing seems cheap here. The case is neatly made and makes a robust impression, the keys could only have a slightly lower pressure point. The plastic back is nice and handy, but like the display, it remembers every fingerprint and smudge – if you have a glasses cleaning cloth in your pocket, you have a clear advantage here. TCL has given the Alcatel a modern and simple design that exudes a certain elegance for a device in this price range. The edges around the display are narrow, at the top there is a small notch with the front camera, the triple camera on the back does not protrude that far. The smartphone is still not completely flat on the tabletop and tilts a bit. The color gradients of the test device in “Chameleon Blue” are also stylish to look at.
Does the camera of the Alcatel 3L (2020) convince?
Unusual for an entry-level smartphone: there is a triple camera construction on the back of the Alcatel 3L (2020). The main camera has a massive 48 megapixels and is flanked by a macro camera with 2 megapixels and a super wide-angle camera with 5 megapixels. Thanks to scene recognition, the device should always automatically select the best settings for recordings with the main camera. For an entry-level device, the main camera does a decent job with sufficient sharpness, but little brightness and imprecise colors. The super wide-angle camera is clearly at entry level and takes photos with visible noise and few details. The front camera captures handsome self-portraits with 8 megapixels and sufficient sharpness. The conclusion of the camera test: There is still a lot of room for more expensive mid-range devices, but the main cameras on the front and rear are okay for the price.
Tempo for everyday life okay
Biggest weakness of the Alcatel 3L (2020): The display
The battery of the Alcatel 3L (2020) has a capacity of 4,000 mAh and is charged via a micro-USB port (USB 2.0). There is a headphone jack at the head of the smartphone, and a button for the Google Assistant is on the left. The display measures 6.22 inches with a resolution of 1520×720 pixels (HD +) and has a modern 19: 9 format. The screen could use a little more sharpness and significantly more brightness – even at the maximum setting, it is quite dark. With the low contrast and the pale colors, the display does not win a flower pot either.
Current Android, little security
Android 10 is preinstalled on the Alcatel 3L (2020). At the time of the test (August 27, 2020) the “latest” security patch was from May 5, 2020 – TCL is not really on the ball with the updates. The smartphone can handle LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 and WLAN, the latter only in the slow n standard in the overcrowded 2.4 gigahertz frequency band. The device lacks NFC, for example for contactless payment.
Alcatel 3L (2020) in the practical test: conclusion
The Alcatel 3L (2020) does a lot of things right for an entry-level device: The mobile phone doesn’t look cheap, the speed is sufficient for most applications and the main cameras do a decent job of the occasional snapshot. There are also extras such as dual SIM or expandable memory, a fingerprint sensor and a Google Assistant button. The smartphone shows major weaknesses in the display, the super wide-angle camera, the lame WLAN and the old security updates.
Alcatel 3L (2020): price, release, colors
The Alcatel 3L (2020) has already appeared in stores. It costs from 133 euros (as of August 27, 2020) and is available in black (Dark Chrome) and blue-purple-black (Chameleon Blue).
Test level: average grade 2.20
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