Alcatel 1C 3G. At $89 the lowest cost smartphone (Review)
5.0Overall Score
Price (RRP): $89 Manufacturer: Alcatel

How much is it? $89. Nah it can’t be! Meet Alcatel 1C 3G. The hero of the pre-paid set.

But it has a large 5.34” very modern 18:9 screen, capable camera (front and rear), 16GB storage, brushed aluminium body, fingerprint reader and a good all-day battery. Yes, it has.

Welcome to perhaps the most surprising smartphone of 2018. And it can be yours for 8.9% of those $1,000 flagships we all covet.

Alcatel 1cBut that is not why you buy an $89 phone. You give it to the kids (and can afford to lose it). Or to replace the expensive smartphone you dunked in the toilet until your contract runs out. Or money is too hard to come by, and you just need something reliable.

I am not claiming it is anything more than it is. A reliable, 3G smartphone for making calls, doing email and a little bit of web surfing. By the way, there is also a 4G version coming for I believe, $10 more – crazy price.

Review: Alcatel 1C Model 5009A 3G model

(4G model has similar specifications but a different model number).

Alcatel 1C global Website here.

It is exclusive to Telstra as a pre-paid, locked device. Website here

On top of the purchase price, you need to buy a monthly voice/data package ranging from $30-60. As this is a 3G device (very low data use) go for the cheapest Telstra package. MVNOs that resell Telstra may have better, cheaper, plans.

Because this is an $89 phone, we can only judge it against the Value Segment <$199 paradigm. On that basis, it is 5-out-5.

Alcatel 1C Model 5009A – Specifications and comments

The Telstra spec sheet is here. In case of any errors, please refer to it.

5.4-inch, 960 x 480, 201 ppi, 18:9, TFT LCD, 71% S-T-B-R

The screen is bright and crisp. Colours are a little muted. A semi-matte glass (not Gorilla Glass) covers it. It is a fingerprint magnet and not very readable in bright daylight. But hey it is in the new 18:9 format and that is rare on a phone of this cost.

MediaTek MT6580M, four core, 1.30 GHz, GPU: ARM Mali-400 MP2 400 MHz

OK, it is no powerhouse. There is often a momentary lag between tap and execute. But it is capable of running Android 7.0 and all apps. It is fine for basic games.

1GB RAM, 16GB storage (10GB free), MicroSD to 32GB (claimed 128GB)

This is fine for Android 7. At times 1GB RAM was exhausted, and we had to either close some apps or reboot.