Alcatel A5 LED review

LED gimmick is not enough for this below-par budget phone

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Battery life

  • Daily charging is a necessity
  • Charging is slow

The Alcatel A5 LED is equipped with a 2,800mAh battery, which sounds reasonable in theory, considering the display is only 720p. In practice, probably partly because of the LED back, the battery life tends towards the lower end of average.

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

Unsurprisingly, gaming chews through the power fast. Playing Asphalt 8 for just 10 minutes saw remaining power drop by 5%. With light use, we got through the day with change, but if you’re taking a lot of photos and gaming, then expect to have to plug in before night falls.

The Alcatel A5 LED also lacks any fast charging capability, unlike the Moto G5, which charges up a useful amount in just 20 minutes. Going from 32% on the Alcatel A5 LED up to 100% took more than 2 hours, so charging overnight might be your best bet.


  • Low light performance is very poor
  • Camera app is slow to load and sluggish to use

You’ll find an 8MP main camera on the Alcatel A5 LED, with a dual-LED flash and autofocus. The camera app is very straightforward – there’s no pro mode here, but it’s also very slow to load. It lags so much when taking a photo that you’ll find yourself accidentally taking double shots frequently.

Because of the small f/2.0 aperture, the low light performance of this camera is very poor. If you snap a shot indoors or at night, be prepared for noise and a rapid loss of detail. The flash is very bright, so it will illuminate scenes, but you’ll inevitably get a whiteout effect on light colors and flesh tones.

There is an HDR option, but you’ll need steady hands or a tripod, because it takes a long time to capture and process. It’s possible to get decent results, outdoors in good light, but off-the-cuff you’re going to end up with a lot of blurry shots.

You can tap on subjects to focus, but your chosen area will also dictate the brightness of your photo, as there’s no separate brightness control. If your scene isn’t uniformly lit, then tapping in the wrong place can cause serious exposure problems.

The 5MP front-facing camera has its own flash and performs about as well as you’d expect, which is to say not very well. Once again, the noise is overwhelming in low light conditions.

We might have given the camera a pass because of the budget price tag on the Alcatel A5 LED, but it’s such an important aspect of your phone and the Moto G range has really raised the bar on what you can expect nowadays. This camera is significantly worse than the cameras in the Moto G5, Moto G4, and even the Moto G (2015).

Camera samples