Alcatel is a brand well known for smartphones in the price segment of less than Rs. 10,000. Alcatel is a wholly owned subsidiary of TCL Corporations. Smartphones with Alcatel brand name are being manufactured and shipped since 2014. However, Alcatel has been into mobility business since 1998.
The company's latest product- Alcatel A3 10 is a 10-inch tablet that has been priced at Rs. 9,999. It dares to intrude a price segment that has been left aloof for quite some time now. Let's go ahead with the review and find out how well does the tablet fares against its inferior competitors.
Specifications: Not extraordinary but performs well!
Alcatel A3 10 boasts specifications that are subtle enough, although there are tablets in the sub10K price segment that have similar features to lure in consumers at the price point the Alcatel A3 10 retails.
The tablet sports 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of inbuilt storage. It offers the option to expand the storage to 128 GB via microSD card support. The device is powered by Quad Core processor, clocked at 1.1 GHz. It has a 5-megapixel primary camera and a 2-megapixel secondary camera. It does not offer flash for either of the cameras.
The tablet offers a big 10-inch WXGA display with a screen resolution of 1280x800 pixels. It has a pixel density of 149 PPI. The device has a 4,600 mAh battery unit. It has micro USB 2.0 port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack. It supports a single SIM.
Design: Bulky for a tablet!
The Alcatel A3 10 has a bulky design. It has an elongated screen with an average width. It does not feel light in hands, and is certainly prone to slipping out of hands; however, the rugged texture of the rear panel keeps it slipping out of palms every now and then. The entire body of the tablet constitutes of plastic material.
It comes in a single color which is Black. It has audio jack at the top edge along with micro USB 2.0 charging port, placed close to it. It sports lock/unlock toggle on the right side with volume rockers right below it. The SIM and microSD card slot are on the left side on the rear panel. The slots are covered by a small flap that remains attached to the body of the tablet through a flexible yet strong plastic cord.
The back panel sports the rear camera. The rear panel of the device has a rugged texture. The front panel is all black and glossy and the bezels around the display are substantially small as compared to other tablets. The front camera rests on top of front panel close to the right corner. The most intriguing feature of the design is the dual speaker set placed on top and bottom of the front panel. The speakers rest behind the long yet slim grills that impart an appealing look to the overall design.
Camera: Not much of a snapper
The 5-megapixel rear camera is slow and quality is average. Pictures clicked by it lack details.
It would be too much to expect decent low-light pictures from the 5-megapixel rear camera. Yet it captures pictures that are well exposed even indoors.
The front camera of the device is useable. A 2-megapixel camera is certainly outdated yet the quality of the pictures clicked by the device is more than decent. In its defense, tablets are never considered a replacement for a primary camera device, moreover, the bulky size and lack of stabilization tends to produce inferior quality pictures.
It records rather decent videos and what is the best part about its camera is the fact that it supports 720p videos and although the quality isn't great you still do not see any prominent lag.
Software and UI: Android Nougat with stock UI
Alcatel A3 10 runs Android Nougat 7.0 and uses stock Android UI. The UI has no special feature incorporated; however, it has some useful apps such as WPS Office pre-installed on the device. The UI is pretty light and operates smoothly.
Display: Questionable screen resolution!
The device has a 10-inch XWGA display and the quality is not too challenging for its competition if there is any. Video playback on the big display is well saturated and the contrast levels are ample enough. Users might enjoy watching videos on the device, however, the display is pixelated and Alcatel could have incorporated a display with more pixel density. The display lacks sharpness and users will take some time to get used to the pixelated display.
The daylight performance of the display is satisfactory.
Battery backup and speakers: Lasting battery backup!
The device houses a 4,600mAh battery which pulls the tablet through 12 hours of extensive usage. With minimal usage and the tablet as a stand by the device, you can get up to 36 hours of backup.
The front firing dual speakers make for a great acoustic experience and I was expecting a smooth playback. The volume on the speakers is loud and clear but with the volume notched up to its maximum limit, a slow hmm and a substantial vibration are noticed which generates from speakers itself.
It works well with the volume turned down to a notch less than the maximum limit.
Performance: Performs well for a 1.1 GHZ quad-core processor!
Alcatel A3 10 has 2GB RAM with 1.1GHz quad core processor. One would never expect the device to run high-end games and a mediocre performance from mid-sized games. It was rather surprising to notice that A3 10 managed to pull Asphalt 8 through and through although there was a noticeable lag. It ran mid-sized games pretty smoothly.
There was a bit of a delay while opening heavy apps but once the app was operative the lag diminished.
Conclusion: A decent performing tab with unsatisfactory display!
Alcatel has placed its tablet in a sparsely ventured price segment with few features that call out to consumers. You can get your hands on the tablet if you want a large display, however, the display quality suffers.
It has decent performing speakers and offers Android Nougat 7.0. There are several reasons for you to avoid buying the tablet if the quality is something you do not want to compromise with. Try getting your hands on a refurbished iPad Mini 2 if possible. Since tablets are never the primary mobile device you can always wait for a few months and choose from the best available tablets.