Hands on: Alcatel 3X review

A budget phone with a wide-angle camera

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Alcatel 3X doesn't feel very comfortable in the hand, but it has some great features like the rest of the Alcatel 3 range that we've never before seen on affordable phones.


  • Useful wide-angle rear camera
  • Face unlock tech


  • Strange feel in the hand

Alcatel's latest range of handsets all come with 18:9 displays. Whether it's the cheapest Alcatel 1X or the most expensive Alcatel 5, all of the phones unveiled at MWC 2018 feature the new display ratio.

That includes the Alcatel 3X, which sits in the mid-range alongside the Alcatel 3 and Alcatel 3V.

It can all get a little confusing here, so we've put together this hands on review of the Alcatel 3X to give you the lowdown on the handset from Alcatel.

Alcatel 3X price and release date

Exact release details for the UK, US and Australia have yet to be revealed for the Alcatel 3X, but we know it's set to come out in European markets at some point in April and will cost €179.99 (about $220, £160, AU$280).

Design and display

As with the rest of Alcatel's new phones, the Alcatel 3X features an 18:9 aspect ratio on its display, so it can fit more screen in to the same size body we'd usually expect from one of these handsets.

That body is 153 x 72 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 144g, which is a good size but doesn't become garguantuan in the hand. That's especially good considering the phone features a 5.7-inch display.

It has resolution of 1440 x 720, so don't expect video quality to blow you away like it can do on the Alctatel 3V. That phone features a 2K display, which is stunning for the price, so if you want to watch lots of video content you may want to opt for that phone.

That said, the Alcatel 3X still has an attractive, sharp and bright display so you won't lose out too much.

The design is a little strange on the rear of the phone. The handset has a matt finish, and what it calls radial detailing that means it gives a slightly scratchy feel on your fingertips when you're holding it.

This is probably something you'd get used to quite quickly, but on first impressions we didn't like the feel of this phone compared to the shinier look of say the Alcatel 3.

There's also a fingerprint scanner on the rear, but you may not find yourself using it much as there's facial recognition tech on the front of the phone.


The Alcatel 3X is using a MediaTek MT6739 quad-core chipset with 3GB of RAM, and while we haven't yet used it extensively it seemed to be snappy enough under the finger.

We'd expect this to be able to run most apps you'll want well, but it won't give you top-end power like most flagship devices will.

It's running Android Nougat software, and Alcatel has yet to reveal when the latest Android 8 Oreo update will land on the phone.

For battery there's a 3,000mAh cell, which should be good enough to keep this phone running for a full day. We'll be sure to properly test it during our full review. Unlike the Alcatel 3, this phone comes with 32GB of storage on board, so you'll have enough room for your favorite apps.

The camera is Alcatel's favorite element of this device. There's a standard 5MP sensor on the front of the phone, but when you get around to the back it's a little more interesting.

There's a 13MP shooter with a 5MP 120 degree wide-angle camera attached. We found this worked well, and while Alcatel is positioning this as a way to get more friends in your shots, we've found on other devices with this feature that it works well for landscape shots.

Early verdict

The design of the Alcatel 3X isn't as premium as the rest of the Alcatel 3 range, and that's a strange decision from the company.

A few standout features like the wide angle camera may sway you, but it's likely you'll prefer the features on the Alcatel 3V or Alcatel 5.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.