We’re always excited to see an unlocked device for under $100. They’re interesting because these can serve as first smartphones to a large number of people or just as throwaways. The Alcatel Evolve is such a smartphone and costs a measly $79.99 fully unlocked. This makes it exceptionally cheap. But what we’re interested in is how it performs. Even as a cheap device, you have to clear some benchmarks. Let’s find out in our Alcatel Evolve review!
Design and Build
Normally you’d expect a $100 device to look like it was made from hacked-together plastic parts. But that’s not the case with the Alcatel Evolve. On the contrary, it feels very well built. The back has a pleasing matte finish, so it won’t catch fingerprints. And the front is similarly minimalist as well, with no physical buttons. The silver buttons on the sides and the top add some variation in the design, and over all, the Evolve certainly looks better than its price tag suggests.
The Alcatel Evolve features a 4 inch display with a resolution of 800×480 pixels. This kind of display is perfectly acceptable at this price range. Unfortunately for Alcatel, this is the only relief we’re willing to give in this department. The display is quite dim and in the sunlight it becomes extremely hard to use. If you’re outdoors a lot, we suggest taking the device out for a test run before buying it.
At this price range, you’d have to be quite reasonable in terms of what you expect from the Alcatel Evolve. It is powered by a single core processor and paired with 512 megabytes of RAM, it’s not going to be setting any benchmark records. Medieval era games like Temple Run will still run fine on this smartphone but navigation on the installed Android Jellybean 4.1 is a tad sluggish. Overall performance is adequate but if you’re tech savvy and using the Evolve as your daily driver, you’re going to be frustrated.
The Alcatel Evolve comes with Android 4.1 Jellybean with a custom UI on top of it featuring different icons and a revised notification bar. Unfortunately, these changes have made the UI look worse. Stock Android is really pretty, so we wonder why Alcatel bothered with using their own childish and badly designed icons. It makes the phone feel cheap. You could just as easily throw in a custom ROM but that might not be up everyone’s alley.
The Alcatel Evolve is equipped with a 1400mAh battery that will last you up to a day with normal use.
The Alcatel Evolve maybe extremely cheap but it’s also extremely frustrating to use. At this price point you can’t really complain but the fact is that the feeble hardware is going to limit its usage as a secondary phone or as a stepping stone to better things for smartphone newbies. Overall, if you are looking for a cheap deal, Alcatel Evolve could be good enough but if you want better performance, check out the other smartphones on offer on the GSM Nation store. If you are suffering from attention deficit disorder, here is the rundown of the pros and cons for the Alcatel Evolve. Pros:
- Good build quality
- Android Jelly Bean 4.1
- Feeble hardware
- Dim display
- Cartoonish UI