Alcatel 3X 2020 Review Reverse Charging Phone

Friday, January 29, 2021

With Windows Phone officially "out of the race", Android and iPhone have free rein of the European phone market, although Android has the larger share, which is not surprising especially in a time where people are seeking freedom over restrictions! Infamously known as the "walled garden", iPhone's operating system (iOS) is the polar opposite of Android - a highly customizable operating system Apple users could only dream of!
Another reason for Android's ongoing dominance is choice. As of 2021, there is close to 30,000 Android phone models on the market, compared to just 29 iPhone models. The latest Android phone model, it's the Alcatel 3X (5061K) 2020 version, which is powered by Android 10. Like most Android phones, when setting up the Alcatel 3X 2020 you can easily copy the apps and data from your old phone, as well setup the security features, including fingerprint unlock, screen lock and face recognition unlock, although you can skip these during the initial setup, which is something you cannot do with iPhone.

During setup, you are also given the opportunity to customize the icon layout of the homescreen and also enable the launcher. All Android phones come with a stock launcher app built-in, including the Alcatel 3X 2020, which lets you further personalize the user interface of the phone such as the app drawer and perform other tasks like creating shortcuts and folders. Having a launcher is useful and, you can download third party launchers too (i.e. Launcher Pro, Nova Launcher), some of which come with widgets and cool effects to let you make your Android phone look like an iPhone.
That said, having a launcher app is not required to operate an Android phone so, you can disable the stock launcher. There are hundreds of launchers available from Google Play Store so, you can always experiment with them since the Alcatel 3X 2020 stock launcher doesn't get deleted when you download a new launcher. 
Getting a launcher that lets you hide bloatware software is particularly worth it because all newer Android phones comes with some bloatware, which is basically unwanted software apps that are pre-installed by the manufacturer. Most bloatware cannot be removed and can take up a lot storage space and system resources because bloatware runs hidden in the background, draining the battery.

The Alcatel 3X has some bloatware (not a lot), in the form of game apps like Dragon Mania and Disney Kingdoms that can be uninstalled, although the Super Cleaner app and Alcatel EnjoyNow app cannot be uninstalled unless you go through the process of rooting the phone, which likely voids the warranty.
Right out of the box, the Alcatel 3X 2020 comes with 64GB of internal storage, although 11GB is already taken up by the pre-installed apps/software such as app cloner and screen recorder, which can record at 480p and 720p resolutions. By default, the phone's internal storage is not enabled so, you have to enable developer options from the "About Phone" page and tap on "Build number" seven times. 

The Alcatel 3X 2020 also comes with other neat features that can be enabled or disabled. These include gestures (three to choose from: 3-finger screenshot, split screen gesture and quick launch camera gesture). One-handed mode (with four presets to choose: 3.5 inch, 4 inch, 4.5 inch and custom) and driving mode, which automatically rejects calls while driving, block notifications and enables voice control for incoming calls.
There is also a battery mode with four modes to choose from, including an "intelligent" mode which is set by default and works quite well at managing battery performance without affecting the phone's performance like normal saving mode, battery saver and super saving mode do. Selecting normal saving mode extends battery by an extra hour, while super saving mode extends battery life by an extra two hours. 
The Alcatel 3X 2020 has a talk time rating of 31 hours (in 4G/VoLTE), 40 hours (in 3G), 50 hours (in 2G), although taking into account moderate gaming and standard media consumption you can realistically expect around 10 hours of battery life. The Alcatel 3X 2020 standby time rating is 560 hours (in 4G/VoLTE), 690 hours (in 3G), 900 hours (in 2G), which roughly translates to 12 days when connected to 4G and 37 days when connected to 2G broadband.

The Alcatel 3X has a teardrop/waterdrop notch display designed to house the selfie camera, which is one of several types of selfie camera designs smartphones have adopted to hide the front facing (selfie) camera. There is also other designs like the hole punch/dot selfie camera, the pop up selfie camera, sliding selfie camera and under display selfie camera, which is the latest type of phone selfie camera design. The pop up selfie camera is the least popular because of the extra moving parts required to motorize the pop up camera.
The Alcatel 3X notch selfie camera basically has a cutout on the display that allows the screen to extend closer to the outer edges (almost eliminating the bezel) of the phone. This provides the Alcatel 3X 6.52-inch screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio, which is great for movies and mobile gaming. If you prefer phones with bezels, check out the Alcatel 1X 2019 and the Alcatel 3V, which has a 18:9 display with 1080p screen resolution. The Alcatel 3X only has a 720p IPS 2.5D screen but, it has a high contrast ratio between light and dark colors, which allows the image to pop in great detail. There is also good luminosity at 60% brightness level.
The Alcatel 3X 2020 version uses a Mediatek SoC (Helio P22 MT6762), 4GB of RAM and the same GPU graphics card (PowerVR GE8320) as the Alcatel 3V, which delivers a good mobile gameplay experience when choosing a moderate in-game resolution (i.e. smooth graphics) and medium frame rate. 

The Alcatel 3X 2020 is equipped with a 5000 mAh (non-removable) battery, which takes 3.5 hours to recharge via maximum 5V/2A input; hence no fast charging. A 10W European USB wall charger (2 pin plug) is included, along with a quality charging cable. The reverse charging function works great but, it requires an On-the-go (OTG) reverse charging cable, which is not included

Similarly to the TCL 10L smartphone, the Alcatel 3X has a quad camera setup that consists of a main shooter - a f/1.8 standard wide angle lens attached to a 16MP 1/2.8 inch PDAF camera sensor with 1.12µm pixel size. The second camera is a f/2.2 ultrawide/superwide angle lens attached to a 5MP  1/5.0 inch camera sensor with 1.12µm pixel size.
The third camera is a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens, which only supports still photography; hence no macro video recording. The quality of the macro is okay, although Portrait mode zoom is just as good as can be seen below.
portrait mode
There is also a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor camera for Portrait mode and blur effects. Continuous shooting mode is not supported in Portrait mode but the selfie camera does support Portrait mode. The 3X 2020 selfie camera has a f2.0 4P lens attached to an 8MP 1/4 inch camera sensor with 1.12μm pixel size.

The Alcatel 3X 2020 selfie camera has fixed focus but, it supports 1080P (30fps) video capture and playback. At the price point, the Alcatel 3X camera/video performance is adequate and comparable to similarly specced phones. The Alcatel 3X main camera can shoot natively 4:3 at 16MP, as well as shoot at 1:1 (12MP), 16:9 (12MP), full screen (9MP) and 8MP (4:3). The main camera can also record in 1080p (30fps) and 720p (60fps). The Alcatel 3X quad cameras and dual led flash are arranged inside a square housing with a very low profile bump.
Being made mostly of plastic, the Alcatel 3X 2020 phone is very lightweight, weighing just 188 grams. The frame and buttons are also made of plastic, as well as the back of the phone, which looks like glass and, it's just as slippery in the hand. To achive the glass like finish, the back of the phone has been coated with a high-gloss oleophobic finish. A transparent rubber case (weighs 18 grams) is included and definitely worth using to protect the phone. The dimensions of the Alcatel 3X 2020 are 17cm long, 8cm wide and 9mm thick.
On the left side of the Alcatel 3X 2020 phone, there is a customizable button and a SIM card tray slot that supports two combinations: a Nano SIM and a Nano SIM or a Nano SIM and a micro SD card. On the right side, there is a power button and volume rocker located next to each other and positioned towards the top of the phone. The finger print sensor is located on the rear top section of the phone, while the face recognition sensor is located on the top front of the phone. Both finger and face recognition work well with slightly more delay when unlocking with the face.
The bottom of the Alcatel 3X 2020 phone features a USB-C charging port and a grille mesh on one side (housing a mono speaker) and another grille mesh housing a microphone for calls. On top, there is an audio port (3.5mm jack) and a noise cancelling microphone, which does an adequate job of suppressing background noise picked up by the microphone during calls. The microphone quality is on par with the microphone of midrange true wireless earbuds.
The Alcatel 3X has a single mono speaker, which the vast majority of smartphones have, although some smartphones such as the Alcatel Idol 4 use stereo speakers. There is a reason why smartphones with stereo speakers are a rarity and that is because the stereo sound effect separation doesn't really work on such a small device.There is very little difference between a stereo smartphone and a mono smartphone. On larger devices such as bluetooth speakers though, having dual speakers works better like in the Alcatel 3T 10 audio station. You can buy the Alcatel 3X 2020 version from amazon.

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