Tablets don’t launch as often as smartphones. The only tablet that gets an almost annual refresh is the iPad. We haven’t seen anything from Sony, Samsung or any other player in the tablet market in a while which has left a lull. The same can be said about the budget tablet segment. The budget tablet segment hasen't seen an annual refresh cycle. Today we have with us the Alcatel A310. The tablet will be a Flipkart exclusive and will be priced at Rs 11,999. As a part of the launch offer the customers can avail Rs 1000 cash back on Flipkart (applicable for all prepaid transaction). To add to this you can get up to 20GB additional Jio data. We have spent a little time with the tablet and here are our first impressions. Just to give you some perspective, for a budget of Rs 12,000 you can get some pretty good smartphones including the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Mi A1, Moto G5 Plus and more.
Build and Design
Kicking things off with the build of the Alcatel A310, it is made of plastic. The rear panel, however, has a textured finish, which adds grip to the device. At the bottom, you have a flap which houses the microSD card slot and the SIM card slot. Speaking of connectivity, in landscape mode, the device has the headphones jack and the charging port on the left and the power button along with the volume rocker on top. The tablet has two front-facing speakers. It has a front camera on the top left corner and the rear camera is located in the top left corner too. The overall build of the device is functional. The display has thick black borders all around but it is nothing to complain about as it acts as real estate for grip.
When it comes to the build, you get what you pay for. Play a YouTube video on full volume and even though the speakers on the tablet are loud, the entire device vibrates which isn’t a good thing especially if you will hold the device in your hands for long viewing sessions.
Overall the build of the Alcatel A310 feels somewhat cheap, but we will hold off on our final judgment for the review.
Since the price of the tablet is Rs.12,000, we expect to see budget specifications under the hood. The device has the MediaTek MT8735B chipset coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB built-in storage expandable via a microSD card. The rear has an 8MP camera and the front has a 5MP camera. The tablet has a 10.1-inch display with a 1280x800 pixel resolution. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and has a lightly skinned UI. It has a 4600mAh battery but does not support fast charging. It also supports 4G VoLTE.The specifications of the Alcatel A310 are what you’d expect from a budget tablet and how it fares is something we will comment on once we put the tablet through its paces.
Display and sound
The tablet doesn’t have a Full HD display. It has a 1280x800 display giving it a pixel density of 149.45ppi. It isn’t the crispest display we’ve seen but the colour reproduction looks good. We saw the Spider-Man Homecoming trailer on the tablet. From the red’s and blue’s on Spider-Man’s suit to the day and night scenes in the trailer, it all looked good on the device even though the display was reflective.
As we mentioned earlier, playing the trailer at a high volume made the tablet vibrate.
The tablet is running on Android 7 out of the box with a light UI overlay. For the most part, the UI is stock and if you have used an Android device in the past, you will feel right at home. There is a dialer app which means that you can make calls from it – a feature we will test in detail. The tablet also comes with a built-in FM radio, which is great. As far as customizations on the UI go, you have a bunch of interesting shortcuts at the bottom of the lock screen. These include a shortcut to the Google Assistant, clock app, calendar, and camera. You also have the option to customize these shortcuts. In terms of other customizations, you have a folder opening like the animation for folders that you create on the home screen. You also have an additional app store apart from the Google Play Store on the device.
Overall, on first impressions, the Alcatel A310 is what you’d expect from a budget tablet. It has a plastic build and a functional design. The performance and battery life is something we will comment on when we review the device.