Alcatel U5 Review

Appearing on the market in early 2017, the Alcatel U5 is the budget phone of the century. With a variety of exciting features, this cheap Android phone is the perfect option for someone on the hunt for a reliable new handset that won’t break the bank. 

Last updated: 17th Jul 2020 at 2:31pm

With loads of affordable phones being advertised nowadays, it can be hard to find one worth investing in. Alcatel, also known as TCL Communication, focuses on delivering high-performing mobile phones to millennial and Gen Z customers. Our Alcatel U5 review takes an in-depth look at the handset, so you can figure out if it’s the right phone for you.

The Alcatel U5 is just one of many feature-packed Android devices available to purchase from our online store. You could also pair your new budget handset with a great value pay as you go deal

Price

The Alcatel U5 is a budget phone and the price for it generally falls on the lower end of the scale - you’ll definitely be able to grab one for less than £80. The price does vary depending on where you look, particularly if you’re paying for the handset outright or combining it within a deal. 

At Asda, we currently offer an unlocked 3G version of the Alcatel U5 for £65.00. 

Other retailers will have their own prices and bundles - it’s important that you shop around and find the best deal for you. 

Before purchasing, ask yourself questions like: 

  • Do I want a new phone, or am I comfortable with a second hand one?
  • How much data, minutes, storage and calls do I want?
  • What is my budget?
  • What sort of features am I looking for in my phone?

Camera

The Alcatel U5 essentially has two cameras: a main camera and a selfie camera. 

Main camera

With a 5MP resolution and LED flash, this camera also has a variety of ‘shooting modes’ that you can apply to snap the best photo:

  • Pano - pan from left to right to capture more of the landscape. This panoramic option is perfect for photographing larger expanses and condensing the whole view into one image, rather than several shots. 
  • Night Mode - night or day, you can still take great photos with low light enhancement. This camera feature can adjust the lighting in dark conditions so your photo is still visible.
  • Burst - take a series of photos in succession to make sure you’ve captured the right angle. Simply hold the volume key and watch the camera take ten photos in the space of a few seconds. Look through and pick your best one. 
  • Video - built-in image stabilisation means that you can record even when you are moving, with little to no shaky interference. No more blurry photos. 
  • Time-lapse - experiment with timing to capture movement in creative ways. Slow down images or speed them up at different points. 

Selfie camera

While the main camera will work best facing out to the world, this Alcatel also comes with a front camera specifically for enhancing selfie pictures. 

It has 2MP resolution and LED flash for outdoor and night photos. The selfie camera app has five features you’ll want to take advantage of:

  • Face Beauty - Use a simple slider to apply self-described ‘beauty’ filters to your selfies. 
  • Face Mask - You can add preloaded masks to any photo or video, like the face-changing filters on Snapchat.  
  • Face Show - This feature allows you to create animations that you can share with your friends. 
  • Instant Collage - Pick a preloaded collage shape, then snap pictures to fill each slot for a creative bundle of images. 
  • Smart Selfie Album - This dedicated album keeps all of your selfies stored in one location. 

The Alcatel U5 has 8GB internal memory for storing your photos and videos. If you find yourself needing more space, the U5 has a micro SD card slot for expandable memory.

Apps and Features

The Alcatel U5 uses Android Marshmallow as its operating system, bringing with it a number of pre-installed popular Google apps, such as Maps, Chrome, YouTube, and Gmail. As the phone is part of the Android family, you can download new apps through the Google Play Store.

The Phone Guard app is another helpful feature on the U5. It includes a virus scanner, performance boost feature, and battery saver. These tools ensure that the 1.3 Quad Core Processor runs smoothly each month. 

Standard features like Bluetooth, Torch, Radio and Music Player can also be found pre-installed on the U5. 

Battery

The Alcatel U5 has a 2050mAh battery, which should give you about 10 hours of talk time between charges. While this won’t last as long as some other Android smartphones, there are ways you can make your phone battery last longer

It also has a removable battery, so you have the option to change it if there’s a problem. If you want to learn more about battery health, we have some information on how to charge your phone battery the most efficiently. 

Design

Its 5” screen makes the phone pocket-friendly and portable. It weighs 168g, which is a little on the heavy side for a phone its size. Rather than keeping it plain, the Alcatel U5 has a textured power button and textured micro-patterned back cover for a little flair. It also features a standard 3.5mm audio jack for plugging in headphones. 

Verdict

If you’re looking for a cheap Android phone, and aren’t too fixated with the newest smartphone applications and features, then the Alcatel U5 could be a solid option for you. 

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