Alcatel A3 XL goes official: 6-inch XL monster with plastic fur and bottom-low specs

Alcatel A3 XL goes official: 6-inch XL monster with plastic fur and bottom-low specs

Alcatel, a company that has exchanged ownership throughout the years and is popular in Europe for its affordable, value-for-money phones, has brought out the big guns at CES 2017.

And we mean literally big: welcome the Alcatel A3 XL, a 6-inch phablet that definitely lives up to its XL size.

Here are twe few main things you need to know about the A3 XL: it's a 6-inch phone with a 720p HD display, meaning that it does not look very sharp at all; it's got a cheap price and a cheap plastic design, and it rocks a fingerprint scanner.

Here's a quick look at the most important specs:

Dimensions: 165 x 82.5 x 7.9mm
Platform: Android 7.0 Nougat
Display: 6" IPS LCD with 720 x 1280-pixel resolution, 5-point multi-touch
System chip and RAM: 1.1GHz MT8735B quad-core chip, 1GB RAM
Storage: 8GB
Cameras: 8MP rear cam with 720p 30fps video, 5MP front cam
Battery: 3,000 mAh


Design, display and Performance


There is really not much to discuss about the A3 XL design: it's big, and we mean really big and wide, even wider than the already gigantic Nexus 6. At 7.9mm of thickness, the A3 XL is not too thick, though, and that's important for such a big phone.

The 6-inch display features a very low 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, which works out to a pixel-per-inch number of 244ppi. For most people this does not mean much, so let's just say that it is below the 'Retina' criteria that Apple coined way back in 2010. In order for that level of sharpness, you need at least 326ppi, and the A3 XL falls behind that number. But then again, this is a cheap phone and if you need an excuse, we have laptops with much lower resolution and even the Macbook Pro with Retina display has a lower pixel-per-inch rating than this here phone (but you usually look at it from a further distance, which is very important).

The performance also does not impress: the phone comes equipped with a low-end MediaTek chip with just 1GB of RAM. At least the phone ships with Android 7.0 Nougat, which is nice.

Camera and Battery


There is an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter, with the main camera capable of shooting 720p video at 30fps.

Megapixels don't mean much for camera performance and we need to see actual images to evaluate the camera, but keep in mind this is affordable phone.

Battery is a 3,000mAh unit, which might seem like a low number for a 6-inch phone, but also keep in mind that this 6-inch phone drives a very low resolution, has a battery-efficient chip and runs the latest and most efficient Android 7.

Price and Release date


The Alcatel A3 XL is not expected in the United States, but it will launch in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America in the first quarter of 2017, and further on it will launch in Europe in the second quarter of the year.

Alcatel did not disclose an official price for the phone yet, but it will certainly be bottom low.


source: Alcatel

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17 Comments

1. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 150; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

Stone age specs

6. Settings

Posts: 2940; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Stone age brain

7. sissy246

Posts: 6831; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Why because he is telling the truth.

8. domfonusr

Posts: 963; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

If the CPU was just a bit faster, the LTE support for AT&T/Cricket there, and the screen more like 5 inches, I would be interested. It would have better specs than my Moto E, and hopefully they could sell it for $100 or less. Other than the fact that the screen is 6 inches (a bit big for me, being the man with small hands) and there is no LTE support for AT&T/Cricket, I would be interested as long as it is cheap. I'm all about saving money, and I don't care too much about specs, as long as it is a slight improvement in some fashion over what I already have. I hope they make a US LTE version... and a smaller screen equivalent of this would be ideal.

2. mobifan

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

Poor flop

3. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

Am I the only one seeing a headline stating that this phone has plastic fur? lol

9. domfonusr

Posts: 963; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Yeah, I noticed that, too. I am curious what they meant by that.

10. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4764; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

I'm pretty sure PA meant plastic "cover" or "layer". The specs, man, the specs...looks like a failed attempt to even be a wannabe. Alcatel is heading backwards with this one. 1GB ram, 720p over 6inch of real estate, underclocked processor and even the battery is tiny, with respect to the size of the phone. It's as if the phone will be hollow in side.

12. domfonusr

Posts: 963; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Well, the texture on the back of the phone might be what they were trying to point out, possibly? Anyways, I understand what you mean with the specs, but I don't buy phones for the specs. My Moto E does just fine for me, even with the "low-end" specs, since I do not play video games or stream tremendous quantities of music or video... frankly, I wouldn't mind having even just a Snapdragon 210 or equivalent 32-bit SoC in a phone, as I have seen that work out for the ZTE Grand X3 pretty well. 1GB of RAM is just enough for Lollipop, and certainly for Nougat I imagine 1.5 to 2GB of RAM would be more like it, so I can see why the RAM is a bit too little for some (maybe most) people's tastes. You are definitely right about the screen, though - 720p stretched across 6 inches is really stretched thin, though the pixel density is right about even with my Moto E - but I would prefer a smaller screen, not more pixels, as it would likely be prohibitively more expensive to step up to a 1080p screen. As for battery, 3000 mAh is bigger than my Moto E battery, if I'm not mistaken, and as for the underclocked processor, well, if that means the phone doesn't heat up in my hand so much, then that would be fine by me. You may say that I'm a bottom-feeder when it comes to picking phones, and you'd be right, but I'm not going to spend the money that I used to, and I'm no longer on the roller-coaster of feeling the need to buy high-end devices every year or every other year.

4. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I came to see the "plastic fur", where is it?

5. fyah_king unregistered

At least 326ppi? Apple must have told iphonearena.lol

11. drifter77

Posts: 396; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

Is this a joke? It's 2017 already. Oh and look... dual capacitive and on-screen buttons.

14. domfonusr

Posts: 963; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Yeah, yeah, its no race horse, but people who like to go for cheap might give it a try. And yes, the capacitive and on-screen buttons are redundant, which is sort of bizarre... I wonder if there has been some sort of error on Alcatel's part, or if they are serious about it having both at the same time?

13. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

8...GB...Internal...Storage...? Umm. Okay.

15. domfonusr

Posts: 963; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

16 GB would have been better. That said, every file I've ever collected or created fits inside of 5 GB on my 16 GB class 2 microSD card, so I hardly need the space. My Moto E has 8 GB of storage, too, and I am running about 50 apps total, all inside of the about 4.5 GB available to the user. I have about 1 GB of free space at any given time... as long as I clear the cache every so often.

16. civicsr2cool

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

They went with the BARE minimum to be able call this thing a phone, should have just marketed it as a tablet.

17. drazwy

Posts: 339; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Yay a s**t box!

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