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Alcatel 5V Review - Big battery, AI cameras

Huawei Nova 5T
Alcatel's most capable smartphone in the country yet is the 5V. But, is it really that good? Here's our full review!
Alcatel 5V


It can detect portrait, night, low light, food, animals, text, beach, blue sky, backlighting, and more modes. After detecting the scene, it will automatically adjust the contrast, saturation, brightness, sharpness, and resolution for the best shot possible.

Display Quality

Big screen

Alcatel 5V features a big 6.2-inch screen with tall 19:9 screen aspect ratio and an HD+ resolution. To be exact, it has 1520 x 720 resolution at 271 pixels per inch. Do not expect its screen to be as sharp as other phones with 1080p panels, but its overall quality is far from bad. Besides, this is an under PHP 10K phone.

Colors are a bit colder, but contrast level is acceptable. Viewing angles are as good as most phones with IPS panels. Just do not expect its brightness levels to be strong. Sunlight legibility is okay, but not great.

As usual, it has an auto brightness feature and you can select an eye comfort mode for reading at night or in low light.

It has 5 points of touch too. Not 10, but at least not 2. Decent!

Audio Quality

Alcatel 5V has a single down-firing speaker at the bottom. It is surprisingly loud and quite capable. It delivered crisp audio with acceptable details. Bass response is obviously weak, but it is okay, almost all smartphones are like that. It should perform well for watching movies and listening to music on quiet places.

For headphones, it goes with the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack slot. Output is a bit warm, but close to being balanced. Driving power is fine. But since it doesn't have a HiFi DAC, do not expect its output to be crystal clear. Do not also expect it to drive large headphones or make multi-driver earphones shine. It is just fine for most in-ear earphones.

Bluetooth audio is also quite stable even if it has the older Bluetooth 4.0 tech. Audio quality is lesser on wireless mode though. It has no LDAC support for wireless headphones like the 1MORE E1001BT earphones.

Mic for calls and video recordings are quite fine too. At least it has two microphones in total. It should be better than other phones with single mic.

Battery

Pretty good battery performance
Pretty good battery performance

Like most PHP 10K phones from Xiaomi, ASUS, Huawei, and Vivo, Alcatel's 5V has 4,000mAh of juice. On paper, it should last more and a day of usage on a single charge, and it did!

Extra strong battery performance

It clocked a total of 14 hours and 12 minutes of work battery life at PC Mark. Our actual daily usage is also very impressive. It can survive for a whole day of use with 20 percent left in the tank.

Easily, this thing can last for a bit more than a day on a single charge. Yes, even with 4G LTE data mode always.

Charging time is around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Not bad for a 4,000mAh phone.

Camera

Dual cam

Behind, Alcatel 5V sports a 12MP f/2.2 + 2MP f/2.4 dual-camera setup. The primary 12MP sensor is paired with PDAF. and EIS.
The UI

It sports a pretty neat looking UI with easy to access options. As expected, it has the bokeh/portrait mode, filters, flash, and the new light trace mode.

Like what we said previously, it also has the social camera mode. It is Alcatel's take on Nokia's dual shot where-in it takes one picture with the selfie camera and one picture from the main camera and saves it as one. It can go up to four pictures in one.

Light trace is similar to what Huawei did with the light painting mode. It comes with the capture light, capture movement, and draw light options. 

It has no HDR mode by default, but it has AI for scene detection. It detects portrait, night, low light, food, animals, text, beach, blue sky, backlighting, and more then it will automatically adjust the contrast, saturation, brightness, sharpness, and resolution for better looking shots.

AI cameras works!

The 5V even has speedy and accurate focus. Shooting speed has average speed. Not as fast as high-end phones, but just as fast as most mid-range phones. Close-up shots are also possible in daylight scenes.

Speaking of daylight shots, the 5V can shoot images with plenty of details and punchy colors. Most of our well-lit shots also have respectable dynamic range and contrast. It could just be a bit too saturated for some, but for the price, output is just fine.

The portrait bokeh mode is also usable. Edge detection still needs improvement, but when it works, it works. It can produce images with dreamy background bokeh blur.

Indoor shots are respectable though loss of detail and colors are visible. Images are softer than daylight shots.

For lowlight, the AI helps. It allows the Alcatel 5V to take low light images with less noise and good enough dynamic range.

The light trace mode needs improvement though. It will make some of your low light trail shots look too bright. It will be best to use it in extra dim conditions.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Bokeh sample
Bokeh sample
Indoor 1
Indoor 1
Indoor 2
Indoor 2
Low light 1
Low light 1
Low light 2
Low light 2
Low light 3
Low light 3

Up front, it has an 8MP sensor with f/2.8 aperture size and EIS. It has the basic selfie camera modes such as the filters and face beauty.

It has no AF, but it has fast saving speed. We also noticed that it is a wide-angle selfie shooter.

As expected, it can shoot highly detailed and accurate looking selfies in daylight. Indoor selfies and low light selfies will suffer from loss of detail and colors. Expect it to be grainy and soft in low light as well.


Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

For videos, it shoots up to 1080p for both the back and main camera. The main camera has more details than the selfie camera, but it has a lot of shake even if it has EIS. The selfie camera has a huge crop, but it has less shake.


Video Samples


Performance

Good scores
Good scores

Inside, the 5V runs with the Helio P22 octa-core chip. It is a 12nm 64-bit SoC solution paired with PowerVR GE8320, 3GB RAM, and 32GB expandable storage.


Respectable speed for the price

It is a lesser than the Snapdragon 636 and Kirin 710, but it is on par with Snapdragon 625/626 for me. Its performance is a clear upgrade over its lower-end brother, the Alcatel 5.

3GB RAM is enough for basic multitasking and 32GB storage is just alright for storing files. We wished that it has a bit more RAM though.
Decent for gaming, though not all games works
Decent for gaming, though not all games works

My issue is some popular games like the NBA 2K19 is not compatible with this phone. Do not expect it to be so smooth with other games as well.


Thermal management is fine and general performance is acceptable for the price.

The UI

The UI
The UI

Unlike the Alcatel 5, the Alcatel 5V runs with the newer and better Android 8.1 Oreo OS with their own skin. It is lightweight, snappy, and neat looking. It has very few bloats as well.

My concern is it isn't as feature-rich as other custom skins from the other brands. Fortunately, it no annoying pop-up ads like the Alcatel 5.


Other features

At the back it has an accurate fingerprint scanner. Though it is not the fastest at this price point. But, it has a nice and snappy face unlock feature that works even in low light.

Connectivity and telephony experience is also good. 4G LTE is mostly fine. SIM has average signal strength. Bluetooth works. It has OTG, LED notification, and gyroscope.

Pros - Good design, speedy performance, strong battery life, good connectivity options, 
Cons - Not all games works, light trace needs improvement, shaky video output


Alcatel 5V Specs

Display: 6.2-inch 2.5D curved Dragontrail glass protected IPS screen w/ HD+ 1520 x 720 at 271 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio P22 octa-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8320
RAM: 3GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 128GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/2.2 + 2MP f/2.4 w/ PDAF, EIS, AI, and dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.8
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Connectivity: WiFi, 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, Colors: spectrum blue, spectrum black
Dimensions: 153.7 x 74.55 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 158 g
Price: PHP 9,990 (PHP 7,990 new SRP)

Verdict

Alcatel 5V is the company's most aggressive offering in the country yet. It sports a modern design, respectable performance, strong battery life, and good cameras for its PHP 9,990 price tag.

Compared with the competition, it sits right in the middle of the pack. It may still have a hard time against the competing phones from the Chinese brands.

But, we are happy that Alcatel is back in PH and they are here to stay and compete.

Build/Design - 4
Display - 3.75
Audio - 3.75
Battery - 4.25
Camera - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 3.95/5
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