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Alcatel A5 LED: A Good Smartphone For £99?


I was very skeptical when I found out that the Alcatel A5 LED costs £99. How good could a smartphone be at that price? Check out a quick 1minute video review below, and read the whole article for my full, brutally honest thoughts.




Build and design



Firstly, this doesn’t feel like a high-end premium smartphone, nor should it. Alcatel opted to use plastic for the entire smartphone; however, it feels very solid. At 134 grams, you will notice it is in your pocket.



I have a chronic condition of ‘butter fingers’ and dropped the phone many times. However, the hard plastic was very resilient.


It is a simple looking smartphone from the front, but turn it around and you get an Led display. This can be set to light up during phone calls, texts etc. It also responds to music so can create an equaliser effect.


With most budget smartphones being rather boring, the LED case is a big bonus, and I can see it being very attractive to young people. Personally, I used it when running at night in order to be more visible.





The Alcatel A5 LED has a built-in octa core processor. However, it doesn’t have the individual core strength of high end smartphones. Saying that, I didn’t experience any stuttering when switching from one app to the other.


It stuttered a few times when loading heavy web pages; however, this can be solved by using a browser such as Opera Mini.


Unlike some smartphones, it doesn’t come preloaded with apps which display annoying notifications. It is responsive when I need it and quiet when I don’t.


Here are technical specs of the Alcatel A5 LED:


Internal memory: 16GB, MicroSD expandable up to 128GB


Size: 146mm x 72.1mm x 7.2mm (with PC cover)


Weight: 137g


Display: 5.2" HD IPS


Battery: 2,800mAh


Talk time: 21hrs (2G)


Chipset: MT6753


CPU: Octa-core (8 x 1.5GHz)




Operating System: Android Marshmallow 6.0


SIM: Nano


Sensors: E-compass, Gyro G sensor, Proximity sensor, light sensor


  • Camera: 8MP camera & 5MP selfie camera



Battery life

a5 cover.png


In day-to-day use, I managed to get 2 days of battery life. Notably, I stream Youtube while on my lunch break, browse while commuting, and catch up on current events during the evenings.


During one lazy Saturday, it lasted the entire day. A lazy Saturday includes a lot of Youtube streaming in HD, Spotify, Reddit, and Whatsapp group arguments.


I was fairly surprised at the battery life. My other smartphone doesn’t get anywhere near the same battery performance.



Camera and audio

front camera low-light performance.jpgFront camera indoors


back camera.jpgBack camera The Alcatel LED comes with an 8MP rear camera and 5MP selfie camera. This is pretty standard for the budget to mid range smartphone market.


Taking some pictures for the first time, I was a bit disappointed. However, after transferring them to my computer they looked a bit better. It seems that the 720 x 1280 display can’t keep up with the camera. Therefore, images can look pixelated and ‘washed out’ on the screen.


Saying that, performance in low-light could have been better. You will definitely need the flash at night.


Images uploaded to social media didn’t have a noticeable difference in quality to that of my friends with much more expensive smartphones.


Music played through the loudspeaker sounds superb but isn’t particularly loud. This is a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. It sacrifices loudness for quality.


There is better microphone performance on the market, but I had no issues with it. Calls and Whatsapp voice notes sound decent.



Final thoughts


In this age of smartphones looking similar, it is refreshing to see something different. In my opinion, Alcatel took a big risk by including the back cover. It is one of those features you didn’t know you wanted until you use it.


The Alcatel A5 LED runs Android Marshmallow and has good performance. It will run the same apps as smartphones five times the price. You won’t miss out on anything.


We have reached a point whereby premium smartphones don’t necessarily perform the best. I used Alcatel’s budget smartphone as my daily driver for one week. My other smartphone cost £600, but I didn’t miss out on anything.


The Alcatel A5 LED costs just £99 from giffgaff.


If you have any questions about my experience with this smartphone, please feel free to ask. I still have it so would be able to test things out. 


What are your thoughts on budget smartphones? Let the community know in the comments section below.

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There are decent smartphones for £100 or so. Moto g 3rd gen for example.

I had a Huawei y550 which was decent for £69 locked to O2. 4g speed and seemed fast enough but only had 4gbs of internal memory. Camera was a bit naff indoors but generally the phone was good for the price.

This alcatel seems to have some good specs for the money 👍


Nice review. Sounds like a very good value for money phone. Need a phone for my Daughter. This one is now very high up on my list. Thanks.


With the £29 smartphone reviewed here a few weeks back maybe the days of the premium (priced) phone are coming to an end. There will still be expensive phones of course, just like cars, but they would be a much smaller proportion of the market than at present. Would that leave Apple with a problem?


Tbh i think any android device thats less than a certain proce usually less than £150 seem to have a use by date so to speak in the sense that it will be either software,hardware, etc.. problems will occur where you will inevitably buy another £100- £150 phone after maybe 2 years max.. where as if you buy a samsung S A OR J range (ranging from £150- £700) you will dind a variety of phones that even the cheapest will function for aslong as you properly maintain it



@jackjack12892 hmm not sure if I agree with you. I had a £69 Huawei phone for 12 months and it was a pleasure to use. Only got rid of it cos of low internal memory. Moto g 3rd gen is another great phone for less than about £160 when it came out. 

Would much rather have that than a Samsung galaxy j3 for example. The cheap end Samsung phones are not great value in my opinion.

I would much prefer a second hand phone like the one I have now £126 Sony xperia x compact. Better value than Samsung ( just my opinion) 


@birdyboff Although i do agree certain models under £150 can be decent as i said things like battery life low internal memory low ram etc... and as for the sony comment my girlfriend has an m4 aqua which is a £150 model i believe and is very happy with it... and since motorola refused to replace the RAZR , ROKR and a m80 flip i refused to acknowledge their acheivements in the world of android.

@jackjack12892 Agreed, m4 aqua is a good phone. Same problem as mentioned, low internal memory.

I was interested but went for the Sony xperia z3 compact instead. Had a good 18 months out of that phone and traded it in for my current phone (sony xperia x compact) got a great deal on it and a new 24 months warranty.

I personally prefer good 2nd hand phones if u shop around can get some good deals. 


@birdyboff although i agree to the extent of bad reviews in low internal memory phones i still think they a worth of the orause they recieve.. however back to the point of this phone i thing no matter whether you spend £10 (bottom pixi,lite etc..) or up to £100+ (others ive seen on the market and this one) the processors are slow (or ware down easily) and the practical things like camera, battery, casing develop errors/easily worn... in the sense that a hard waring case and a good tempered screen protector can be bought for around £15 it would be a good spare/temporary replacement or most likely a first phone for a teenager hence the "cool" design


I just bought the Alcatel pixie 4s and have to say it is one of their worst phones yet , it literary takes 8-12 hours to charge, it heats up to a point of 46c of being on the phone 5 mins , my old phone was a moto 3g which I lost it is one of the best smart phones I ever purchased at £99 , am going to trade the pixi in for a 4g motto which at £89 is a great buy , it comes with 13 megapixels back 5 selvie 16gb storage, all high definition, no1 for me .