We visited the Alcatel booth at this year's Mobile World Congress and were pleasantly surprised to discover do indeed have some 5G hardware on the way, it just probably won't be coming to Australia until early 2020.
On display at the company's MWC booth, the new Alcatel 7 runs on a Snapdragon 855 chipset and features 5G connectivity courtesy of Qualcomm's X50M modem, a powerful triple lens rear camera (48-megapixel + 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel), 6GB of RAM, 4000mAh battery, 64GB of on-board storage plus a 6.5-inch FHD+ display.
Honestly, the specs here look like something you'd see from a much more expensive brand like Samsung, Sony or Huawei. And, if Alcatel can offer a 5G phone at the kinds of affordable prices the brand are known, that might make for a surprisingly compelling pitch to those outside the core techie audience.
Alcatel Mobile South East Asia Pacific & General Manager Sam Skontos told us that the new handset would probably make it to Australia but not until local 5G networks were ready. He indicated that Alcatel were looking at a 2020 launch for the product but wouldn't rule out an late-2019 as a remote possibility.
Skontos also revealed to us that earlier plans would have seen the Alcatel 7 equipped with Intel's 5G modems. However, he says, due to the delay of Intel's 5G modems they were forced to opt for Qualcomm's solution.
What does it mean to consumers? Alcatel's first 5G phone will be coming to Australia next year.