This TCL A3 A509DL review concludes the phone as largely favorable. An affordable device for casual smartphone consumers, with some interesting key features.
Tracfone TCL A3 A509DL smartphone was released in 2021. Being a newly launched product, you might expect top-notch specifications and fancy features. But this phone isn’t here for being fabulous. It merely aims for being simple.
You can see it from the 5.5-inch screen, which is considered small nowadays. This phone also has a single back camera instead of a dual camera. Additionally, the internal storage is small too at 32GB.
If anything that signals sophistication, it’s the operating system Tracfone TCL A3 has. It runs on the latest version of Android 11, which comes with a handful of improvements and features.
Who would be the perfect owners for this type of phone? Find if the answer is you by reading our in-depth TCL A3 A509DL review below.
Tracfone TCL A3 A509DL specifications:
|Release Date||October, 2021|
|Dimensions||145.7 x 71 x 9.9mm|
|Resolution||720 x 1440|
|Processor||Mediatek Helio P22 (MT6762)|
|CPU||Octa-core (8×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)|
Tracfone TCL A3’s design is simple yet beautiful. For one, it features an evenly-measured bezel circling the screen. Looking symmetric and clean, this phone embodies the simplicity it’s trying to market.
The phone doesn’t adopt the trendy full-screen style you see on other phones nowadays. The design is old but it doesn’t feel outdated.
Ergonomic-wise, the phone is lightweight, small, and compact. TCL A3 packs 145.7 x 71 x 9.9mm in dimension and 171g in weight. The phone features rounded corners so it’s easy to hold. Overall, it looks like comfort is the main priority here.
The back cover has a textured design. Unfortunately, unlike the elegant front area, this back cover looks cheap. The phone utilizes plastic as its material. Nothing wrong with it, especially for a budget phone. However, we hoped at least TCL A3 disguises it with a nice and sleek touch. A bit of effort could make the phone more expensive than it looks.
There’s not much to mention about the design, except the Google Assistant button. You’ll see an extra button on the left side of the phone. The purpose of this button is for easy access. TCL A3 earns a point for that in terms of accessibility.
Read also: Tracfone TCL A3 User Manual
TCL A3 features a 5.5-inch display. It’s technically an HD screen, with an 18:9 aspect ratio, and 1440 x 720 resolution. The screen is coated with Glass 2D Asahi Glass, some sort of screen protection feature for extra durability.
The specs are not much indeed but prove to be just decent in our TCL A3 review. It does come with its flaws. We should not be surprised because it’s an entry-level phone.
The HD quality gives you a good viewing experience such as when watching videos. A 1440 x 720 resolution is also comfortable for scrolling apps and casual browsing. You will have no problems with gaming too.
However, make sure you are aware of its weaknesses. For example, the display is not bright enough outdoors. You’ll have to cover your phone to see things clearly. Additionally, the display of TCL A3 also has a limited viewing angle.
Beyond the hardware, TCL A3 also provides some helpful display features. You can split the screen to cram two apps at once. Additionally, there is an auto-brightness feature that adjusts automatically.
TCL A3 comes with two cameras: the 8MP rear camera and the 5MP selfie camera. A LED flash lamp accompanies the rear camera on the back. There’s also one besides the front shooter.
Clearly, this is not a phone to expect a dual or triple-camera setup. Fortunately, the cameras at least have some useful effects and features. One example is the portrait mode on the front camera. The true bokeh can be achieved with two lenses, one is a depth lens, which this phone doesn’t have. The budget version of this feature is software-generated “fake” bokeh.
It’s not as bad as it sounds. This feature does add a nice touch to your selfie by blurring objects in the background. Make sure to take a picture in a well-lit environment so the camera AI can work optimally. As it is common with budget camera specs, the biggest enemy is a low-light environment.
It can greatly reduce the picture quality. Applies to both the front camera and the back camera, trying to avoid dim places. You can mitigate some of the flaws by utilizing the LED flash. It helps up until a point.
TCL A3’s cameras have a decent video recording capability. Both the rear and front lenses are capable of recording 1080p 30fps videos. There’s no mention of image stabilization features. So, we assume they don’t provide users with it.
Read also: BLU View 2 Specifications
With 32GB internal storage, disk capacity on TCL A3 is smaller than average. However, this may be enough for an entry-level phone. This phone can’t handle too many apps, so there’s a limit already about how many you can install. A portion of the space is reserved by the system. So, the real capacity is way below 32GB.
Clearly, this won’t be enough. For photos and personal files, we recommend installing an SD card. Make use of that expandable storage option, which can handle an SD card as big as 512GB in capacity. In the end, the total capacity is more than enough for casual, non-tech-savvy users.
TCL A3 features an 2GHz Octa-core processor with 3GB RAM. The Android installed on this phone is Android 11, which is the latest version. The overall specs signal a low setup proper for casual use. The phone doesn’t plan to be ultra-fast delivering tasks. It aims to be useful and reliable every day.
This phone prides itself to be efficient in multitasking. It offers a split-screen feature so you can do a couple of tasks at once. As for the processing speed, this phone performs on an average level. It’s not ultra-fast, but there is not much delay or lag. As long as you do not overburden the phone, most operations run smoothly.
TCL A3 is also a comfortable device for multimedia. It streams videos and movies smoothly without delays. You can play simple games too in your spare time. 2D games are the safer option for users to play without any hiccups.
For its operating system, TCL A3 came with Android 11. This phone decided to keep everything simple without any modifications. Several essential apps are visible on the Home screen, such as Phone, Message, and the Chrome browser. Facebook and Google apps are also pre-installed. Lastly, swiping the screen up reveals more apps.
The recent version of Android came with its trademark smart assistant. Simply called Google Smart Assistant, this feature is just one button press away. It’s because there’s a dedicated physical key for this feature. You can access it by pressing a button on the left side of the screen.
Smart Assistant helps you get around the phone with only your voice. You can ask whether, open maps, and send texts, among many other things. In fact, you can make the button obsolete by setting up the “OK Google” command to activate Smart Assistant.
As you might have noticed in the design earlier, this phone comes with no fingerprint reader. Instead, it offers Face Unlock. This feature is theoretically quicker when unlocking the phone. Moreover, you don’t have to touch any button. However, with TCL A3, expect a slight delay due to low performance and poor front camera. Unlocking the phone can be tricky at night when lights aren’t so bright.
This phone can run on three types of networks, from 4G to older ones like 2G. Of course, for the best performance and speed, choose 4G, be it for calls or the internet. For calls, the sound comes out clear with little noise. The internet speed is quite fast too as long as you don’t clog the performance by opening too many sites at once.
Apart from the mobile data, you’ll also have options to use Wi-Fi. Along with it, come several extended features like Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi direct. When it comes to getting connected, TCL A3 is no short of a necessary feature.
TCL A3 also has Bluetooth. You can pair earbuds or a speaker with your phone and play music wirelessly. For navigating around, enjoy the GPS. They work accurately in finding out the location and help you go to the desired destination.
For a small phone, TCL A3 comes with a decently sized battery at 3,000mAh. This capacity promises up to 7.5 hours of talk time, considering you use the 4G network. Therefore, it can be longer when you choose 3G or 2G.
The standby time on 4G is 300 hours, quite an impressive feat. However, most people don’t put their phones on standby, so we must look at the normal usage time and see what the phone is capable of.
TCL A3 can reach up to 14 hours on 4G, 22 hours on 3G, and 30 hours on 2G for usage time. In our opinion, that’s average without being remarkably durable. Normally, you would need to charge twice on a day of hectic usage.
Is the Tracfone TCL A3 A509DL a good phone?
This Tracfone TCL A3 A509DL review shows how the phone is clearly suited for a small group of consumers. This phone assists users who are not tech-savvy and expect only a little from their phones. As long as it has a good 4G capability, clear screen, and functional cameras, they will be satisfied.
If you are among this type of user, you can consider owning this phone. Furthermore, it’s also cheap, being sold at $29.99. Be ready to accept its flaws, including poor picture quality for the camera and plain design. But overall, it’s reliable as a communication device with essential and helpful features, like the Google Assistant.
Pros: compact design, cheap price, Google Assistant button
Cons: poor camera, small display