They’ve never become the dominant form factor, but tall-and-slim smartphones with screen ratios that add more vertical space are not uncommon. The latest example is from French brand Alcatel, which today unveiled its latest budget device: the Alcatel 7.
The 7 costs $179.99 and is available exclusively from carrier MetroPCS. As you’d expect for the price, this is not the most exciting fare. It has a 2.5GHz MediaTek processor (an octa-core MT6763), 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a healthy 4,000mAh battery. There are dual rear-facing cameras (one, 12-megapixel; the other, 2-megapixel) and a single, 8-megapixel front-facing lens. There’s also a fingerprint sensor and the option of face unlock.
The most interesting feature, though, is Alcatel’s decision to go with a 6-inch, 2160 x 1080 resolution display with an 18:9 ratio. This, the company claims, “maximizes your screen space without unnecessary bulk.” It’s certainly something Alcatel has tried before with its cheaper handsets, including its first Android Go device and the $150 Alcatel 3V.
Does having that little bit of extra headroom make much of a difference? Some people I know certainly prefer the experience, given that it offers a little more room for reading webpages and social feeds. And in a crowded market for budget handsets, you can’t blame Alcatel for trying to find a gimmick — no matter how slim.