The new Alcatel Go Flip 3 ($99 at Metro), known by different names on different carriers, including AT & T’s Alcatel Smartflip and Cricket, is the first affordable rocker to have just enough smartphone features which will allow you not to feel wholly exiled from society. Although it looks a lot like the previous Go Flip phones, its performance is much better. For starters, it now has the proper battery life, durable call quality, and the kind of contact and messaging synchronization it needs in 2019. That will please many people who do not want to talk to anyone. A flat-screen panel, but also want to be able to get their WhatsApp messages.
In appearance, the Go Flip 3 resembles all other low-end rocker phones sold in your local carrier store. But, the differences become apparent once you start using it. Google, YouTube, and Google Maps are prominently displayed on the main home screen, with the KaiOS app store also highlighted. Some features of the system, usually reserved only for smartphones, are present, such as Wi-Fi calls. KaiOS likes to call its devices “smartphones.” The Google Assistant is one of the best selling points of Go Flip 3. It is activated by selecting it on the home screen or holding down the center button for a few seconds.
The Go Flip 3 is an unpretentious black plastic flip phone with a mass-market price, not a small-scale handcrafted luxury experience like the Light Phone II or the Punkt MP02. It has a small screen of 1.44 inches, the 128 x 128 color screen on the outside, and a more substantial and slightly grainy LCD screen of 2.8 inches, 320 by 240 on the inside. The phone measures 4.13 x 2.09 x 0.75 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.16 ounces. It is not very fine, but it will still go in a pocket. It is neither waterproof nor sturdy, but it is also simple enough to take a few drops without much damage. There is no exposed glass here, and the back can fly away without any real damage.
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The Alcatel Go Flip 3 connects to LTE and Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz, with LTE 2/4/5/12/25/26/41/66/71 bands. It also falls on 3G and 2G. This will give him greater autonomy on the T-Mobile network, as well as that of Sprint when he will inevitably come out on this carrier. It does not have AT & T’s new group 14, which also broadens the lineup and is critical to public safety, but it has the core national group 5, so everything will be fine. The quality of the calls is excellent. The phone supports HD calls (but not EVS, the second level of HD), and the earpiece is loud and clear. In a noisy environment, the phone worked hard to suppress the noise, which resulted in some audio artifacts, but usually the right word. The speaker is loud and shows some clipping and distortion at maximum volume. Wi-Fi calls are one of the real quality issues, but it’s often the case; on a weak or cluttered 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal, you will get dropped.
The battery life is good. It’s not forever, but I had 7 hours and 48 minutes of talk time and at least three days of standby with the battery at 1350 mAh. This is much better than previous versions of Alcatel and should be enough for most people. In appearance, the Go Flip 3 resembles all other low-end rocker phones sold in your local carrier store. However, the differences become an apparent once you start using it. Google, YouTube, and Google Maps are prominently displayed on the main home screen, with the KaiOS app store also highlighted.
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YouTube, in an annoying way, is still just a container for the mobile web application. You must control a cursor on the screen to scroll through the videos and press the buttons. It’s not that I think most people would like to watch 144p videos on this small screen, but Google could make it a bit better.
Other pre-installed applications are usually what you expect from a multi-purpose phone. You get a web browser (always Firefox, KaiOS is based on Firefox OS), a camera, an FM radio, a mail client, a music player, a voice recorder, etc. A few dozen other apps are available on the KaiOS app store, including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Millions of Americans want a rocking phone for simple calls, but who need access to the best possible coverage and can also use standard text messaging applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
The Alcatel Go Flip 3 phone is the type of phone we expected, with just the right amount of smart features to make it easy to use.