Story image

Hands-on review: The Alcatel 1X

29 Nov 2018

Since the emergence of smartphones, Samsung and Apple have enjoyed a significant share of the market. Their devices, with all the frills, will cost you a small fortune. They’ll also reward you with cutting-edge technology which wouldn’t have looked out of place in a 1990s spy blockbuster.

The fact is that the majority of us now require a smartphone, but what if all you need in a phone is the ability to make calls, send the odd message and browse social media now and again? Alcatel’s 1X might just be the device for you. 


The 1X showcases the ‘Go edition’ of Google’s Android Oreo operating system, which is specifically designed for devices like this one and is effectively a stripped-down offering of the full Android 8.0 Oreo.

With this comes all the essential Google apps, such as Gmail and YouTube, which have also gone on a detox to work more efficiently on devices with low RAM and storage capacity.  

Like all smartphones, you are treated to both a front-facing 5MP camera and a rear-facing 8MP camera. Both are flash-enabled, too. On top of this, the rear camera is capable of recording in 1080p and to be honest, for the price, the quality isn’t too bad!

The 16GB on-board storage capacity is considerably reduced due to the operating system, but it’s nice that Alcatel allows you to expand capacity by an additional 32GB via a microSD card.

The 5.3” 18:9 aspect display is generous for a smartphone in this price bracket, but don’t expect to be blown away by its quality. 

The speakers are actually quite loud, but the audio goes ‘tinny’ the louder it gets. If you’d rather use headphones, you’ll be happy to hear that the device does come with a 3.5mm audio jack. The earphones that come in the box, however, wouldn’t look out of place on a budget airline. Tip: use your own.


The most frustrating thing about the 1X is its performance, which can almost feel like a chore if you are using a more premium device. It’s slow, laggy and can become quite annoying even after getting used to it.

Despite the cameras’ quality, they’re let down by the time it takes to actually take a photo and view it in the gallery.

A silver lining to this, however, is the battery life. You can expect at least a full day’s charge with medium usage thanks to the 2460mAh Li-ion battery.

Google’s choice to launch the ‘Go edition’ of Oreo was the right one, but you can’t help but think they could have stripped some of the apps down even further for a device like the 1X, which sacrifices well over half of its RAM for the operating system alone.


In a good way, the 1X sports a very basic design. Admittedly, it looks like an average smartphone. It’s slim, has minimal buttons and from a distance it wouldn’t look out of place alongside devices with bigger price tags. 

The rear of the device is textured which many people would criticise, but I quite liked it. It feels different and reduces the chance of the 1X slipping out of your hand.


The 1X lacks the all-singing, all-dancing functionalities of Apple or Samsung’s latest flagship devices, but it could well be the perfect phone for a Grandparent, or even just someone who doesn’t suffer from a case of smartphone addiction. It does the basic things reasonable well.

For the price, there aren’t that many devices that could compete with the 1X. 

Who's watching you? 
With privacy an increasing concern amongst the public, users should be more aware than ever of what personal data companies hold.
Game review: Rage 2 (PC)
The similarities between Mad Max and Rage 2 are very apparent. The overall setting and design aesthetic are clearly inspired, if not from the Mad Max game, from the Mad Max movies.
Apple brings 8-core processors to MacBook Pro
The addition of 8th- and 9th-generation Intel Core processors will deliver 40% more performance than a 6-core Pro.
Hands-on review: Playing the long game with the The iPhone XR
The red XR is a rare case of having a phone that’s ‘too pretty to be covered’ - and it’s not hard to see why.
Hands-on review: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software
I came across a wee gem of advice when researching the world of data recovery. As soon as you get that sinking feeling and realise you’ve lost a file, stop using your computer.
Deepfakes the 'next wave of concern' - but can law really stomp it out?
Enforcing the existing law will be difficult enough, and it is not clear that any new law would be able to do better. Overseas attempts to draft law for deepfakes have been seriously criticised.
Google Street View cars about to hit NZ roads again
If you’ve ever used Google Streetview and been frustrated that the imagery is so outdated by years, Google brings good news. 
D-Link hooks up with Alexa and Assistant with new smart camera
The new camera is designed for outdoor use within a wireless smart home network.