Alcatel A7 review

The perfect phone if you've got low expectations

TechRadar Verdict

Unremarkable yet perfectly adequate, the Alcatel A7 doesn't seek to dazzle with cutting-edge specs or features, and instead aims to offer a near-stock Android experience backed up by a good screen, excellent battery, reliable performance and no-frills camera setup. Don't expect too much and you'll come away moderately impressed.


  • +

    Great stamina

  • +

    Near-stock Android UI

  • +

    Expandable storage


  • -

    Plastic design feels cheap

  • -

    Mid-range power

  • -

    Camera is average at best

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The Alcatel A7 is the latest mid-range challenger from TCL Communication Technology, the company which manufactures phones under the French brand Alcatel. 

Powered by an entry-level MediaTek MT6750T chipset, it has a 5.5-inch LCD screen, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM and a massive 4000mAh battery, which also supports fast charging. 

It is accompanied to market by the A7 XL, which has a 6-inch screen, metal bodywork and predictably costs a little more to buy.

Alcatel A7 price and availability

  • Alcatel A7 price: £189.99 (11,000 Rupees) SIM free
  • Alcatel A7 release date: September 2017

The Alcatel A7 price can be found as low as £189.99 SIM-free in the UK if you're willing to shop around.

That puts it into a highly affordable price bracket, with the likes of the Moto G5S, G5S Plus and Honor 7X for company.

It's available from a number of UK retailers including Amazon, Argos, Very and Littlewoods.

In India the Alcatel A7 will set you back around 11,000 Rupees from Amazon.

Design and Display

  • 5.5-inch LCD screen with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • Removable cover gives access to SIM and MicroSD slots
  • Micro USB port rather than USB Type-C

The Alcatel A7 is something of a rarity these days – even in the mid-range Android sector – because it doesn't have a metal body, and the plastic back actually detaches so you can insert your nano SIM and MicroSD card (the battery, sadly, is not replaceable). 

The lack of metal means this is a lightweight phone, despite the 5.5-inch screen. The rear has a grippy spiral texture which prevents the handset from being too slippy during use and showcases a gold Alcatel logo, situated just below the camera and (surprisingly fast) fingerprint scanner. 

These two elements are both ringed with a gold accent, which gives the phone a classy look.

Flip the Alcatel A7 over, and you're presented with a device that looks a little outdated; there's no 18:9 aspect ratio screen here and the bezels are huge. 

This wouldn't be so bad if the bezels had a purpose, and given that there's a gold-accented speaker grille both above and below the screen, you'd be forgiven for assuming they housed stereo speakers. 

Sadly, this isn't the case; only the bottom grille has a speaker - the top one merely contains the in-call speaker, so you're not getting stereo sound during media and music playback. 

On the plus side, Alcatel has included an front-facing LED flash on the top bezel, which we'll discuss later in the review. There's also a notification LED, which is a neat extra that some mid-level smartphones lack.

Regarding buttons and inputs, the power and volume controls are found on the right-hand edge of the phone. 

The top edge is home to the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the bottom has the Micro-USB port – there's no USB Type-C here, unfortunately, so you'll still need to remember which way round the charger plugs in, which is a distinctly first world problem. 

Alcatel A7 hands on gallery

On the bottom-right corner of the Alcatel A7, there's a small indent into which you can slot your nail and pop the back of the phone off. You'll need to do this to insert your Nano SIM or use a MicroSD card to expand the phone's 32GB of default storage.

All in all, the Alcatel A7 is a reasonably inoffensive smartphone from a purely cosmetic perspective; the plastic feels a bit naff in 2018 – even on a mid-range device – and it's a shame that the removable back doesn't also mean a removable battery.

The 5.5-inch LTPS IPS LCD screen is covered in Dragontrail glass (a rival to the more famous Corning Gorilla Glass) and boasts a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, which makes it pretty sharp – you won't witness any blocky images or jagged text here.

Viewing angles are also good, with the image remaining clear no matter which direction you look at it from. 

The phone's auto-brightness option does a good job of selecting the right level of light indoors, but the screen is hard to make out when used in direct sunlight; colours also look rather pale and muted when compared to the best OLED panels on the market. 

Still, considering the price this is an excellent display – it's sharp and has good contrast levels.