- Analysis by KJ David
Despite staying within entry-level bounds, the Alcatel U5 HD manages to squeeze in a few upgrades (ergo, additional pros) over the original U5.
For instance, it now sports a 5-inch HD (1280 x 720) On-Cell IPS display , scrapping the slightly-older version's depressing WVGA (854 x 480) definition. Keep in mind, however, that an HD-720p screen resolution is only acceptable by low-end standards, since Full HD seems to have taken over the mid-range market as of its release.
Another improvement over the plain U5's specs is top-up memory allowance. While retaining the unremarkable 8GB-only inbuilt memory , the U5 HD slaps on support for up to 128GB's worth of external storage , easily dominating the original's 32GB-only allowance.
The U5 HD's imaging pros and cons also tell a different story (a much better one, for that matter) compared to the U5, now rocking an 8-megapixel rear camera (the U5 settles for a 5-megapixel cam) interpolated to 13 megapixels . Likewise, the U5's dismal 2-megapixel selfie cam got replaced by a 5-megapixel LED-flash-rigged front-facing camera that mimics the performance of a full-blown 8-megapixel cam through interpolation . Moreover, Alcatel threw in some niceties for the selfie addict looking for a budget Android phone. These include functions like Face Mask and Face Show as well as a dedicated Selfie Album .
Jumping inside the U5 HD's matte-and-glossy (dual finish) shell , we were disappointed in its utterly-low-end 1.25GHz MediaTek quad-core processor and prehistoric 1GB RAM capacity . Additionally, it only packs 2200mAh of battery power , which is less-than-ideal, even when seen from an entry-level standpoint. Trying to make up for its low-end hardware components, though, is the U5 HD's network and connectivity suit, led by an LTE Cat 4 network adapter, reaching a peak data rate of 150Mbps -- more-usually seen on higher-specked models. Additionally, it supports both VoLTE and VoWiFi , with NFC (Near Field Communication) joining in as well.
Having explored its pros and cons, it's clear that the U5 HD is a budget-class Android for users who do not mind low-end hardware pieces, as long the phone offers more-than-basic imaging capabilities.
On-paper Star rating:
It's all well and good that the Alcatel U5 HD can record high-resolution 1280 x 720 movies, but we were disappointed not to find any evidence of the U5 HD featuring an HDMI port (which is convenient to watch HD videos on your shiny HDTV.)
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Not too long ago, this smartphone's processing specs would have appeared nice, but compared to recent smartphones, this 1.25GHz MediaTek 6737 processor with only 1GB of RAM looks a little pale.
It's frustrating that we could not find its weight information.
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NFC is used by electronic payments and other applications.
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Not only does it have a 1.25GHz processor clock speed, but it also has 4 cores.
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We're dealing with a hefty display here, making it a phablet: 5 inches and a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels means about 10.68 square inches and an image quality of at least 293.58 dots per inch (DPI)!
The U5 HD is not sold with a memory card but it can accept up to 128GB (FAT 32 format) in memory expansion, which is convenient to store pictures and video clips taken with the built-in 8-megapixel (interpolated to 13-megapixel) camera.
It includes a high-resolution built-in camera (8-megapixel (interpolated to 13-megapixel)) with the following options: Instant Collage, Easy Shot, Face Mask, Face Show.
The selfie cam resolution seems just about average.
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