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Vivo brings in high-end Xplay 6, midrange X9 and X9 Plus

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Vivo Xplay 6

Vivo has really stepped up its game this week. After releasing the V5 in India a couple of days ago, the Chinese manufacturer went back to its home country to launch its new flagship Xplay 6, along with two additions to the X series.

This has to be the company’s answer to pressure forged by rivals Xiaomi and Huawei after they came out with some of the most impressive hardware we’ve seen this year. Vivo can rest easy with its second-place ranking in China, but there’s no telling when the tides could shift to another brand’s favor — just ask former top-ranker Xiaomi.

The Xplay 6, in particular, is no joke. Although it imitates a lot of the established ideas from fellow Chinese flagships, the price competes with Google’s Pixel phones at a bewildering CNY 4,498; that’s $655, seriously!

What makes this smartphone so special? Looking down the feature list, there’s nothing out of this world if you’re updated on the latest mobile tech.

Vivo Xplay 6 rose gold

Vivo Xplay 6 in rose gold

Standing out the most is the curved 5.46-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, which is something you’d find on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. But the Xplay 6’s advantage over its Korean counterpart is the use of 6GB of memory and a larger 4080mAh battery with built-in fast charging.

There’s also the inclusion of smartphone technology’s latest trending feature: a dual-camera setup. With a pair of 12- and 5-megapixel rear cameras, the former does the photo taking with the help of optical image stabilization, while the latter provides depth information to produce sharper subjects with blurred-out backgrounds.

Curiously, Vivo decided to go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor instead of the newer 821. Reminds us of what HTC had done earlier with the Bolt. The Android version is also stuck at 6.0 Marshmallow, and not the much maturer 7.0 Nougat.

Vivo Xplay 6 gold

Vivo Xplay 6 in gold

Even if you consider the full-metal body, fingerprint scanner in front, and super-cool rose gold color, the Xplay 6 is a tough sell. You can purchase it beginning December 12, if you really must.

And then we have the X9 and X9 Plus, which fit between the lower-end V5 and premium Xplay 6. The 5.5-inch X9 retails at CNY 2,798 ($407) for the 64GB storage variant, and the 128GB storage option goes for CNY 2,998 ($436); both are already available for pre-order. No details have been revealed for the 5.88-inch X9 Plus.

The X9 and X9 Plus have one thing in common, and that’s the dual-front-facing cameras. One is 20 megapixels in resolution, and the other has an 8-megapixel image sensor for depth info, just like the rear camera setup of the Xplay 6. Both have a plain 16-megapixel shooter at the back.

Vivo X9 rose gold

Vivo X9 in rose gold

Other than that, you can already spell out what else they offer. The smaller X9 has a midrange Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of memory, and 3050mAh battery. As for the larger X9 Plus, it has a faster Snapdragon 653 chipset, 6GB of memory, and 4000mAh capacity for its battery.

If all these sound too expensive for you, you can always look down the pricing ladder towards the Vivo Y55. It got our thumbs up in both its full review and our best budget phones list, plus it costs only $165.

Sources: Fone Arena, (2)

MWC 2018

Alcatel’s new 5, 3, and 1 smartphone series get 18:9 displays and Android Go

All of them have tall displays!

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TCL, the parent company of Alcatel, just launched an army of 18:9 smartphones. Why? Because 2018 smartphones should sport the new aspect ratio to keep up with the trend and you now have a lot to choose from.

Alcatel is proud to present their latest smartphones with a taller display, and they made it available across each of their phone series. The brand also introduced a new design philosophy for its mobile devices called Simganic which is described as human-centric and iconic. The new design language is present on all the new phones starting with…

Alcatel 5 Series

The latest Alcatel 5 brings flagship design for just under EUR 300 with its bezel-less 5.7-inch FullView HD+ 18:9 display encased in a premium brushed metallic unibody. Powering the well-crafted device is a MediaTek 6750 processor (this is really getting old) and boots the dated Android Nougat.

The processing power may be a bit disappointing, but selfie lovers will appreciate the phone’s dual front cameras. It has a combo of a 13-megapixel f/2.0 main selfie shooter, a secondary super wide-angle 5-megapixel camera, and a dedicated front LED flash. For the rear, you get a standard 12-megapixel camera with dual-tone flash.

For security, the Alcatel 5 has a facial recognition feature called Face Key which is claimed to work in less than half a second. If you don’t like scanning your face, the fingerprint reader is just hiding at the back of the phone.

The Alcatel 5 will come in Metallic Black and Metallic Gold for EUR 230 (US$ 280) in select markets that the brand serves.

Alcatel 3 Series

You can always get a cheaper phone with about the same features, and that’s what the Alcatel 3 Series is for. You’re not just getting one choice here but three — Alcatel 3V, Alcatel 3X, and Alcatel 3. All come with 18:9 displays, fingerprint readers, and Face Key unlock.

The Alcatel 3V is the biggest in the series with a 6-inch 2K display, MediaTek MT8735A processor, 2GB of memory, and up to 32GB of expandable storage. It has dual rear cameras with a 12- and 2-megapixel combo for bokeh effect, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. The phone boots Android Oreo out of the box and packs in a 3000mAh battery.

Second in line is the Alcatel 3X which has a 5.7-inch HD+ display, MediaTek 6739 processor, up to 3GB of memory, and up to 32GB of expandable storage. This one also has dual rear cameras (13- and 5-megapixel sensors) and a 5-megapixel shooter for taking selfies. Quite unfortunate that it’s loaded with Android Nougat, but you still get a sizeable 3000mAh battery like the bigger sibling.

The Alcatel 3 is the most modest among the bunch with its 5.5-inch HD+ display, MediaTek 6739 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of expandable storage. It has a 13-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel selfie camera for photography — pretty basic but will get the job done. Despite being the base phone, the Alcatel 3 gets Android Oreo and 3000mAh battery.

As for pricing and colors, the Alcatel 3V will be available in Spectrum Black, Spectrum Blue, and Spectrum Gold for EUR 190 (US$ 235), while the Alcatel 3X will be on sale for EUR 180 (US$ 220) in two more colors: Metallic Blue, Metallic Gold. The Alcatel 3 will be sold EUR 150 (US$ 185) with the same color options as the 3V.

Alcatel 1 Series

If we’re talking about budget phones, let’s not forget about the most affordable in the lineup. The Alcatel 1X will definitely not break the bank starting at just EUR 100. Even with a cheap price tag, it still comes with a 5.3-inch 18:9 display but with a lower resolution at just 960 x 480. Don’t expect too much from its 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, but they are there when you need them. The phone has a 2460mAh battery to keep it going and a fingerprint reader along with the Face Key security unlock.

The Alcatel 1X boots Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but it will also be available with Android Oreo Go Edition in select markets, making it the first Android Go phone of Alcatel.

The phone will come out in April in single and dual-SIM variants for EUR 100 (US$ 125) and EUR 110 (US$ 135), respectively. It’ll be available in two finishes: Suede for the black and blue colors, and satiny for the gold and rose options.

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MWC 2018

TCL gives Android tablets a chance with affordable Alcatel 1T series

Cheap but still up to date!

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Android tablets may not be a common sight nowadays, but that doesn’t mean manufacturers have given up on them. TCL Communication banks on the opportunity of putting affordable slates on the market with the new Alcatel 1T series.

The Alcatel 1T series of tablets is envisioned by the Chinese company as devices that are accessible to consumers, especially to families that share common devices like tablets. The new devices come in two versions — 10-inch and 7-inch.

The bigger tablet is aptly called the Alcatel 1T 10 with its 10.1-inch IPS display that has a resolution of 1280 x 800. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT8321 processor with 1GB of memory and 16GB of expandable storage. Thanks to its size, it comes with a fairly large 4000mAh battery that’s said to last for eight hours on a single charge. Its cameras are basic at just 2 megapixels for both the front and back.

It’s Alcatel’s most affordable 10-inch tablet to come out starting at just EUR 100 or roughly US$ 125 when converted and will come in two colors: Premium Black and Bluish Black. An optional dedicated Bluetooth keyboard and textured cover will also be available as its accessories.

As the series’ mini version, the Alcatel 1T 7 is a lightweight and pocketable option. As the name implies, it has a smaller 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024 x 600. It’s powered by the same processor and memory as the 10-inch version but comes with a lower 8GB of expandable storage. Its cameras are also just 2 megapixels on each side. The smaller tablet has a 2580mAh battery which is claimed to last for 7 hours of usage.

The Alcatel 1T 7 retails for just EUR 70 or about US$ 86. It’ll come in Premium Black and Bluish Black color options, too.

While the two differ in size, they come with the same set of features including Android 8.0 Oreo and a dedicated Kids Mode that’s pre-loaded with apps and content for the young ones. It also has built-in parental control for setting usage limits.

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Accessories

Alcatel introduces their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices

You should get these if you want the speed

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TCL just announced their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices under the Alcatel brand. Two new mobile hotspots join the brand’s Linkzone series — the Linkzone Cat12 and the Linkzone Cat7.

The Alcatel Linkzone Cat12 has maximum download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps, but that’s if your telco supports 3-channel LTE carrier aggregation. It’s also one of the smallest pocket Wi-Fi models in the market, but it still has a massive 4300mAh battery. Alcatel claims that the Linkzone Cat12 can deliver 15 straight hours of usage or up to 300 hours of standby time. The device has dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and can also act as a power bank for other mobile devices.

Then there’s the Alcatel Linkzone Cat7 which might not be as fast as the Cat12 but still has respectable download speeds of up to 300Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps using 2-channel LTE carrier aggregation. The mobile Wi-Fi is pocketable, lightweight, and can last for 8 hours on a single charge.

The Linkzone Cat12 and Linkzone Cat7 from Alcatel will be available in select regions around the world starting later this year at EUR 180 (US$ 220) and EUR 100 (US$ 125), respectively.

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