Tuesday, 27 October 2020 22:47

Alcatel's the one for the 1SE - the sub-$200 smartphone evolved


With $1000, $2000 and $3000+ smartphones out there, what magic has Alcatel been able to weave to deliver a high-quality, highly affordable smartphone with once flagship-only features such as an AI Triple-Rear camera and more, but now at an incredible sub-$200 price?

TCL Communication is the company behind Alcatel smartphones, and on Wednesday 28 October has launched the Alcatel 1SE in Australia, which it says "reaffirms its dedication to delivering high-quality, highly affordable smartphones with features and performance at a fraction of the price that consumers previously needed to spend".

The Alcatel 1SE is a sub-$200 smartphone with features that include an AI triple-rear camera and impressive display technology, and the company says it is "a reminder of how fast mobile technology and innovation has evolved, with such technologies appearing in much more expensive, flagship devices just a few short years ago".

So, what has the sub-$200 smartphone journey been over the last 4 years at Alcatel?

Well, with 22 manufacturing facilities, 28 Research and Development Centres, including over 10 joint laboratories, and its own display business, TCL tells us that it has been able to "evolve the look and inclusions available in its Alcatel branded sub-$200 devices".

The company's journey into the past and the future continues, as it looks back at its 2016 Alcatel POP 4, which saw a "then-impressive list of features that included an 8MP rear camera, a 2500 mAh battery capacity, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory on a 5-inch HD display. 2018’s Alcatel 3V saw improvements in larger, higher quality displays with an 18:9 ratio, better battery life and dual camera technology".

Fast forward to today, and the Alcatel 1SE (2020) shows just how far things have come in just those few short years, boasting a "13MP+5MP+2MP rear camera that includes a 120-degree wide angle lens, a 4,000mAh battery, 4+64GB Memory, fingerprint security and a 6.22-inch HD+ Vast Display with 87.18% screen to body ratio".

The forthright and legendary Sam Skontos, VP and Regional MD of Alcatel's South East Asia and Pacific division said: "Affordable smartphones play an essential role in the industry, offering accessibility to technology to those who can’t or don’t want to fork out the exorbitant cost of a new flagship smartphone.

"We take pride in being able to really drive inclusions and offer consumers features that were in much more expensive devices just a few short years ago".

Here's Alcatel's official 1SE 2020 video:

So, what are some of the other features that Alcatel has packed into a $199 2020 smartphone? Here we go:

Seamless visual experience

"The device’s 6.22-inch HD+ Vast Display and 87.18% screen-to-body ratio provides an immersive viewing experience for consumers. The expansive display delivers vibrant colours, housed with 2.5D glass on the front and stunning radial texture on the back to provide a great aesthetic along with a better in-hand experience".

Smarter photography

"The Alcatel 1SE’s AI triple-camera setup allows users to make every photo shine whatever the time. Take photos of everything from food to fireworks in stunning quality with the 13MP main lens, 5MP super wide-angle and 2MP depth lens.

"The AI scene detection automatically optimises the setting in real time to capture 12 different subjects and scenes for quality colour, detail and lighting of images.

"Users can capture the world around them with a 120-degree wide-angle lens, while portrait mode blurs any background in real time for studio-like pictures. For the selfie-snappers, the front-facing 5MP camera with LCD flash creates brighter, clearer selfies".

Powered performance

"The Alcatel 1SE offers a powerful octa-core processor, which provides a smoother multi-tasking experience and fast downloads. Enjoy the day worry-free with 4000mAh high-capacity battery and 5V2A charging.

"The dedicated Google Assistant button on the side of the phone provides users with endless information, helping them get on with their daily tasks quickly and effortlessly".

Available now at JB Hi-Fi both in-store and online for $199.

We've asked for a review unit to see how well the unit stacks up!

Specs for the Alcatel 1SE are as follows:


Chipset - Unisoc SC9863A
Cores - Octa-core


Size - 6.22 inches
Resolution - HD+


Rear - 13MP+5MP+2MP
Front - 5MP


RAM + Storage - 3GB and 32GB storage at JB Hi-Fi


4,000 mAh

Fingerprint Reader


Face Unlock


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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