LAS VEGAS — If 2017 was the year that introduced edge-to-edge displays to flagship phones — first with the Galaxy S8, later with the iPhone X — then 2018 might become the year when those expansive screens find their way to the mass market. And Alcatel certainly seems to be doing its part to help that migration along.
Here at CES 2018, the phone maker announced that it will offer phones sporting displays with an extended 18:9 aspect ratio across its lineup of mid-tier and budget models.
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Alcatel's 2018 lineup includes three series of phones. The company bills its 5 series as "affordable premium" smartphones, with sub-$300 prices. The 3 series costs less than $200, while 1 series phones will be $100 or less. Regardless of the product line, all Alcatel phones will feature extended full-view LCD panels, with different models and variations in each line.
Alcatel is saving details like pricing and availability for the Mobile World Congress trade show in February, but it's tipped its hand about some of the features you'll see in the new phone lineups. The 5 series phone I saw at CES, for example, had dual front cameras, while a 3 series prototype offered two cameras on the back. All phones across the lineups had rear fingerprint sensors.
That's part of the company's plan, Alcatel executives said during a CES briefing, with the company looking to deliver flagship looks across its whole lineup. In the case of the 5 phones, look for that expansive display to be accompanied by a battery capable of providing an all-day charge. Phones in the 3 series lineup will highlight high-resolution displays, while the budget-minded 1 series phones will offer a unibody design and face-unlocking features.
Alcatel is able to switch to full-view displays across all its phones by leveraging the display expertise of its parent company, TCL Communication, which is now the No. 3 global supplier of LCD screens.
We'll have to wait another month until Mobile World Congress to get more details on what Alcatel is planning for its 2018 phones. But the addition of full-screen displays on phones across a wide range of prices continues the welcome trend of flagship features finding their way into more affordable devices.