What Is It? How’d you like a $60 smartphone? With prices for some iPhones & Androids 10 times (or more) than that, it seems like the Alcatel A30 is a great deal. It’s a regular Android phone, running the version 7 (Nougat) operating system, and not too large – about 5.5 inches tall, 2.75 inches wide, and weighing in at just over 5 ounces. There’s an 8-megapixel front camera, a 5 MP “selfie” camera, a 5 inch 720p HD screen, 16 GB of built-in RAM (expandable with an SD card up to 32 GB), a front-facing speaker & a regular headset jack, and you can purchase the A30 to either use on GMS/LTE networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, or CDMA networks from Verizon. Of course, there’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus a built-in FM radio. It has GPS and the battery is said to last up to 10 days on standby or 15 hours of talk time. The Alcatel A30 responds to gestures, such as turning the phone face down to mute and double-tapping the screen to turn it on or off.
Is It 50+ Friendly? The Alcatel A30 has a few things, besides the price, that makes it good for those of us turning grayer. On the first start-up screen, for instance, it asks what “vision settings” you’d like – something you can change in most phones but only if you search through the “Settings” menus later. The phone’s plastic back has a slight texture which makes it a little easier to hold onto than those with slick metal cases. And I really liked that they also “textured” the side power button, so you can easily feel that it’s different than the volume control.
Frustration Factor? The Alcatel A30 is a budget phone, so it’s just not going to be as zippy as one costing 5 or 10 times as much, which is fine if you don’t need to use your phone constantly and aren’t so busy an extra few seconds here & there would ruin your life. To add or change a SIM card or memory card, you have to gently pry off the plastic back, not difficult, but be careful. And the screen seems to be non-smudge-resistant.
Is It Worth It? So why is the Alcatel A30 only $60 ($59.99 to be exact)? It’s because you’re an Amazon Prime member, and you agree to allow small Amazon ads on the phone’s lock screen & home screens. Not a Prime member? For now, you cannot buy the A30, even if you’re willing to pay the “regular” price of $100. As a budget phone, or a spare phone (swap the SIM card), the Alcatel A30 is worth it. Why Amazon shows me ads on the phone for 5 lb. barbells, I don’t know. Or maybe they know something…