Computer and Tech

Alcatel A5 LED

The Alcatel A5 LED is a price range telephone with a flashing LED again plate that’s designed to draw discount seekers with a love of disco lighting.

To date, it’s obtainable in Europe and Australia and can price you £169/AU$299 (round $220). On paper, the Alcatel A5 LED is nearly precisely what you’d count on for that form of cash.

The pricing implies that it’s going head-to-head with the price range crowd, taking over telephones just like the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus and our present price range decide, the Moto G5. It’s going to take greater than some LEDs to beat that form of stiff competitors.

Chinese language producer TCL Communications, additionally maker of the BlackBerry KeyOne, has been churning out price range and mid-range telephones underneath the Alcatel model for years now, so that you would possibly count on them to be getting good at it.

Sadly, the A5 LED is a blended bag with some severe issues. The cynical amongst you would possibly low cost the sunshine present as a gimmicky distraction to the weaknesses of this telephone. Let’s discover out for those who’re proper to take action.

Alcatel A5 LED worth and launch date

  • Begins at £169/AU$299
  • Cheaper as PAYG
  • Not obtainable in US but

The official worth of the Alcatel A5 LED within the UK is £169, however you’ll be able to already get it a bit cheaper at Argos, the place it’s presently listed at £140, or you’ll be able to snap it up on pay-as-you-go at Vodafone or Giffgaff for simply £99 and a £10 service bundle.

In the event you’re in Australia, you’ll must pay AU$299 to get an unlocked Alcatel A5 LED.

The telephone is about to be launched within the US in some unspecified time in the future, the place we think about it should price someplace round $220 based mostly on the UK worth, although we wouldn’t be shocked if it got here in underneath the $200 mark.

LED Lightshow like a Lego disco dancefloor

  • LED again lights up in time to music
  • Mild Present app presents varied lighting routines

If this was simply the Alcatel A5, minus the LED again, then there could be little cause to think about it. However slap an array of coloured lights on the again and it turns into the Alcatel A5 LED – the perfect telephone for occasion individuals who’ve blown their price range on partying.

You’d be forgiven for considering that the choice to slap an alternate LED again into the field got here late on when the producer realized how really boring this telephone is, as a result of whenever you first unpackage it, there’s a slim, black plastic again on there with a delicate brushed steel sample.

Dig deeper and also you’ll discover the chunky LED again plate. Snap it into place, fireplace up the particular Mild Present app, and really feel your cynicism wash away because it bathes you in a rainbow of superb flashing glare and dazzle. Put it face down and it seems identical to a disco dance ground for Lego individuals.

There’s a stunning array of choices within the complete Mild Present app. You possibly can have the LEDs gentle up for incoming calls and notifications, after all, however you may also sync the sunshine present to your video games or music, select from ten pre-made gentle reveals, or make your personal.

There’s additionally a ColorCatcher app that means that you can snap a photograph of one thing and generate a theme based mostly on the colours. These themes lengthen to the LED again, although we are able to’t see many individuals wanting the LEDs to gentle up consistently after they’re utilizing their telephone.

It’s enjoyable, however in the end it’s a foolish gimmick, albeit a foolish gimmick that the makers have actually dedicated to. In the event you ever longed for an LED array on the again of your telephone, the Alcatel A5 LED goes to please you. The query is – has anybody ever longed for an LED array on the again of their telephone?

Design and show

  • Chunky plastic design
  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD is simply 720p
  • No fingerprint sensor

The Alcatel A5 LED is a chunky, sturdy-feeling, plastic telephone. The entrance is all-glass with a speaker for calls on the high, flanked by the front-facing digicam and flash, and the usual Android capacitive contact buttons on the backside.

There's a completely seen spherical image for the house button, with the again and multitasking buttons simply lighting up when used.

On the proper backbone, there’s a calmly textured energy button with a quantity rocker above it. Up high we’ve a normal three.5mm headphone port, and the underside edge hosts the principle speaker, microphone, and micro USB port.

Flip over to the again and also you’ll see the digicam and flash within the high left nook. The Alcatel A5 LED comes with a slim, darkish plastic again with a brushed steel impact, or you’ll be able to change within the thicker, grille-patterned, partially translucent cowl that homes an array of four x 9 multi-colored LEDs.

Switching covers, or certainly becoming the SIM or microSD card requires you to prise off the again, which extends across the body. There’s a small slot to stay your nail into, however the covers are fairly powerful to take away.

The LED cowl seems fairly good at relaxation, nevertheless it’s certain to seize the eye of your pals, colleagues, and random passers-by the minute it lights up. The final response was a bemused smile, however my youngsters (who’re eight and 5 years previous) actually cherished it.

Sadly, the LED cowl renders NFC ineffective, so that you’ll want to modify to the slim again if you wish to use that.

In the end, it’s a uninteresting, however inoffensive design and the one omission that rankled is the entire lack of a fingerprint scanner, which means you’ll must depend on an old style PIN or sample to guard your telephone from prying eyes.

Disappointing when you think about that the Moto G5 has a pleasant indented fingerprint sensor on the entrance.

Your telephone’s show is among the most essential options, since you’ll in all probability be looking at it for hours and hours every single day. The Alcatel A5 LED has a 5.2-inch IPS LCD. It’s a good sufficient measurement, and you’ll crank the brightness up pretty excessive, however for those who aren’t dead-on when viewing it, then it goes uninteresting rapidly.

Colours are fairly good and there’s a MiraVision calibration device within the settings, so you’ll be able to high quality tune it to suit your preferences.

We’re dissatisfied by the 720 x 1280 decision, contemplating the Moto G5 has a smaller display screen, however manages to be 1080p. The display screen isn’t the worst factor concerning the Alcatel A5 LED, however we might have most popular a 1080p decision in a display screen this measurement.

Interface and reliability

  • Runs Android 6.Zero Marshmallow
  • Patchy Alcatel interface provides little
  • Enormous selection of themes

It’s a disgrace that the Alcatel A5 LED doesn’t ship with the most recent taste of Android and there’s no telling when, or even when, it should get up to date.

What you do get out of the field is Android 6.Zero Marshmallow with an Alcatel interface excessive. Components of the interface, like the house screens, notification shade, and the settings menus, really feel like inventory, however there are a number of further choices.

You possibly can select from all kinds of various themes on your Alcatel A5 LED and alter the icons to match your most popular colour scheme. The ColorCatcher app even lets you snap a photograph and create a theme based mostly on the colours in it, although each time we tried it the outcomes might solely be described as garish.

We’re glad to search out all the same old Google apps are on board, however there’s a little bit of bloat right here that you just’re unlikely to make use of.

The worst factor about Alcatel’s interface is that it appears to sluggish the telephone down. Switching between apps is laggy and stuttering is incessantly an issue. A number of occasions we loaded an app and it simply sat stubbornly on a clean display screen till we stop out, closed the app, and relaunched it.

We will’t make sure, however we’re assuming that the interface is in charge, as a result of, as you’ll see within the subsequent couple of sections, the A5 LED is able to performing effectively. Hopefully that is one thing that may be mounted with a software program replace.

Films, music and gaming

  • Single speaker is kind of loud
  • Video games run easily
  • Display screen isn’t sharp sufficient

Sound comes through the one speaker on the underside fringe of the Alcatel A5 LED, which is annoyingly straightforward to cowl, particularly when gaming. It is a drawback with a variety of telephones, so we are able to’t choose the Alcatel A5 LED too harshly, and there’s a three.5mm jack for headphones.

You will have the same old assortment of Google Play apps for motion pictures and music and there’s additionally an Alcatel Onetouch Music app that may present up any MP3s you load onto your telephone. The speaker goes fairly loud, however will get tinny. In the event you’re into music you’ll be utilizing headphones.

In the event you like to look at motion pictures in your telephone, then the Alcatel A5 LED isn’t for you. The display screen is kind of huge, nevertheless it’s simply not sharp sufficient and it’s not straightforward on the eyes for those who spend a very long time looking at it.

There’s no evening mode or blue gentle filter right here, which isn’t too stunning for a price range telephone, however we did discover the display screen harm our eyes when studying in mattress at evening. The often dependable Chrome internet browser can be extremely sluggish to load and refresh on this telephone.

After the stuttering efficiency on the house screens and leaping between apps, we had been shocked to search out that the Alcatel A5 LED is completely able to operating demanding video games.

We fired up Asphalt eight, and although it took some time to load, as soon as it did it ran easily, even with the graphics and results maxed out. We additionally performed Sonic Sprint 2 and encountered no issues.

One huge drawback, notably for those who intend on putting in a variety of video games or like to hold a giant MP3 assortment, is the dearth of storage. There was simply 6.53GB free out of the field, out of the 16GB complete, which isn’t sufficient.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to set up a microSD card, however we might have most popular to see at the very least 32GB of on board space for storing.

Benchmarks and efficiency

  • Sluggish navigation and sluggish loading
  • Spectacular benchmark scores

The Alcatel A5 LED is one thing of a thriller within the efficiency division. Operating Geekbench four 3 times, we received a median single core rating of 622 and a median multi-core rating of two,622. That’s good for a price range telephone.

To place that in perspective, the Moto G5 scored a median of two,377, the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus scored 2,073, and the Moto G4 Play managed simply 1,300.

Why then does the Alcatel A5 LED stutter and lag? Why do apps freeze up? And why is the browser so agonizingly sluggish?

One thing has clearly gone a bit incorrect right here. Positive, the 2GB of RAM is a bit stingy, however the octa-core MediaTek MT6753 chipset is clocked at 1.3GHz and paired with a Mali-T720MP3 GPU that may clearly deal with video games.

Battery life

  • Every day charging is a necessity
  • Charging is sluggish

The Alcatel A5 LED is provided with a 2,800mAh battery, which sounds affordable in concept, contemplating the show is simply 720p. In apply, in all probability partly due to the LED again, the battery life tends in direction of the decrease finish of common.

Our 90-minute HD video check sapped 28% of the Alcatel A5 LED’s battery. The identical check claimed 22% of the Moto G5’s battery life.

Unsurprisingly, gaming chews by means of the ability quick. Enjoying Asphalt eight for simply 10 minutes noticed remaining energy drop by 5%. With gentle use, we received by means of the day with change, however for those who’re taking a variety of photographs and gaming, then count on to need to plug in earlier than evening falls.

The Alcatel A5 LED additionally lacks any quick charging functionality, not like the Moto G5, which expenses up a helpful quantity in simply 20 minutes. Going from 32% on the Alcatel A5 LED as much as 100% took greater than 2 hours, so charging in a single day is likely to be your greatest wager.

Digital camera

  • Low gentle efficiency could be very poor
  • Digital camera app is sluggish to load and sluggish to make use of

You’ll discover an 8MP primary digicam on the Alcatel A5 LED, with a dual-LED flash and autofocus. The digicam app could be very easy – there’s no professional mode right here, nevertheless it’s additionally very sluggish to load. It lags a lot when taking a photograph that you just’ll end up by chance taking double photographs incessantly.

Due to the small f/2.Zero aperture, the low gentle efficiency of this digicam could be very poor. In the event you snap a shot indoors or at evening, be ready for noise and a speedy lack of element. The flash could be very brilliant, so it should illuminate scenes, however you’ll inevitably get a whiteout impact on gentle colours and flesh tones.

There may be an HDR choice, however you’ll want regular fingers or a tripod, as a result of it takes a very long time to seize and course of. It’s doable to get first rate outcomes, outdoor in good gentle, however off-the-cuff you’re going to finish up with a variety of blurry photographs.

You possibly can faucet on topics to focus, however your chosen space will even dictate the brightness of your picture, as there’s no separate brightness management. In case your scene isn’t uniformly lit, then tapping within the incorrect place may cause severe publicity issues.

The 5MP front-facing digicam has its personal flash and performs about in addition to you’d count on, which is to say not very effectively. As soon as once more, the noise is overwhelming in low gentle circumstances.

We’d have given the digicam a go due to the price range price ticket on the Alcatel A5 LED, nevertheless it’s such an essential side of your telephone and the Moto G vary has actually raised the bar on what you’ll be able to count on these days. This digicam is considerably worse than the cameras within the Moto G5, Moto G4, and even the Moto G (2015).

Digital camera samples


The Alcatel A5 LED is a simple Android telephone with an affordable set of specs at a reasonably low worth.

However the one differentiating function is the LED again cowl. Take that away and you’ve got a under common price range Android telephone.

Who’s this for?

In the event you’re on a good price range and also you need one thing just a little bit completely different, then the eye-catching LEDs would possibly simply reel you in. Alcatel appears to be courting the youth with a concentrate on flashy aesthetics, however the model fails to masks a severe lack of substance – the lights are on, however no person is residence.

Must you purchase it?

No, we are able to’t advocate that you just purchase the Alcatel A5 LED, as a result of there are superior alternate options. Even when Alcatel kinds out the dodgy efficiency with a software program replace, this telephone is mediocre all through. You would need to be deeply in love with the LED again to make this telephone price contemplating.

The next three choices can all be had for the same worth, however for a high price range telephone you needn’t look past the Moto G5.

Moto G5

At £170/AU$299 (round $220), precisely the identical beginning worth because the Alcatel A5 LED, the Moto G5 beats it on each entrance. It has a sharper display screen, a steel physique, a slick fingerprint sensor, higher battery life, a far superior digicam, and the listing goes on.

The Moto G5 sports activities a more recent model of Android that’s cleaner and nearer Google’s imaginative and prescient of the platform. Regardless of the Alcatel A5 LED scoring higher in benchmarks, the Moto G5 is far smoother in on a regular basis use. LED again apart, this can be a walkover for the Moto G5.

Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

The Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus was barely costlier on launch, however it may well now be had for £170 (round $220/AU$280) at Amazon. It’s fairly just like the Alcatel A5 LED in some respects. There’s additionally a 5-inch 720p show and a 2,700mAh battery.

However there are issues that elevate the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus. It boasts 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and most significantly has a a lot better primary digicam than the Alcatel A5 LED. You’ll discover a 16MP primary shooter backed up by an 8MP selfie cam on the Wileyfox. It has a good fingerprint scanner, too.

Moto G4 Play

At round $150/£130/AU$250, the Moto G4 Play is one thing to have a look at in case your price range is significantly constrained. It’s the closest of our opponents to the Alcatel A5 LED, for those who’re simply trying on the spec sheets. It has a 5.Zero-inch 720p display screen, runs Android 6.Zero, and has 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage.

The cameras are 8MP and 5MP, identical to the A5 LED, and the battery can be rated at 2,800mAh. The one huge distinction is the low-end Snapdragon 410 quad-core chipset within the Moto G4 Play which scored so woefully in our benchmark check.

First reviewed: August 2017

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