As we’ve noted often, it is really, really difficult to make an Android smartphone stand out. Well, to say the least, Alcatel has managed to do so at Mobile World Congress. They’ve just announced the A5 LED, a smartphone with its back covered in flashing LED lights. Might as well be the official smartphones of raves!
No, really, it’ll fit in nicely. Like most LED-clad gadgets, the lights can be made to move to the beat of the music, and can change color or stay steady. Otherwise, you can set up your own designs and patterns to play during the stretches of time when you’re not raving. It’s a pretty funky idea, but it has its uses — with the virtually endless color combinations, you can create custom designs for all kinds of notifications. You can even use the camera to scan and match colors! But, if you’re just not feeling the light show that day, the LED back cover can be detached to reveal a plain old smartphone back.
It’s more of a budget phone by way of specs. The plastic 5.2″ A5 LED a little thicker than we’re used to seeing, and it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a 1.5 GHz octa-core MTK 6753 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage (with a microSD card slot), and a 720p display. The big question mark is the battery — it’s 2,800 mAh (Micro USB charging port), and while we’d normally say that would be just fine for a phone with these specs, we suppose all those LED lights might have some effect on the battery. Then again, they look like low-power LEDs, so maybe the draw won’t be too bad.
You’ll also see an 8 MP rear camera with dual-tone flash and a 5 MP front camera. If you take any photos with those cameras that you might not want to become public, you can put them in a separate, password-protected part of the phone. Connectivity is pretty basic — Cat 4 (150 Mbps max) LTE, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth 4.2. Looks like there’s no NFC, so it can’t be used with Android Pay.
The Alcatel A5 LED is coming to Europe in May, and will cost €200 — sounds like this party won’t be coming stateside.