There have been a lot of coverage on affordable mid-range Android phones, but when it comes down to it, nothing beats Android Go phones when it comes to affordability. Of course, these phones are configured with very minimal hardware requirements, so that’s not telling much. Still, for some markets and consumers that just need a basic Android phone, Android GO edition phones might be the way to go, and TCL just expanded their options with the addition of the Alcatel 1 (2021) and the Alcatel 1L Pro.
The Alcatel 1 name has actually been around since 2018, so there might be some confusion if you forget to slap the “2021” on it. This year’s model pretty much continues the theme of packing the essentials without burdening users with extraneous features or hidden costs. In this case, that translates to a 1.28GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6739 from 2017, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage that you can expand with a 32GB micro SD card.
Cameras are where phones are at these days but not the Alcatel 1 (2021). With a single 5MP fixed-focus camera and a 2MP FF front-facing camera, it really just offers the basics so you don’t get left behind too much. The phone’s 5-inch 960×480 screen is going to feel a tad cramped for video binging, though. Available in Volcano Black and AI Aqua, the phone will launch in Europe and Latin America in August for 59 EUR, roughly $70.
As its name might imply, the Alcatel 1L Pro spices things up a bit, mostly by carrying an octa-core Unisoc SC9863A processor and 2GB of RAM and at least 32GB of expandable storage. The 6.1-inch display now maxes out at 1560×720, just enough for HD videos and gaming. You’ll probably end up micro-managing your usage, though, as the 3,000 mAh battery isn’t going to last a day with continuous use, especially when 4G is involved.
The phone also steps up the camera game a bit with a 13MP AF camera that is assisted by a 2MP depth sensor. The front camera also goes up to 5MP but still has fixed-focus only. Launching in September, the Alcatel 1L Pro will be available in Latin America and EMEA markets for 2,699 MXN, roughly $140.