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Alcatel Go Play smartphone review – waterproof, shockproof and affordable

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The most avid users of smartphones are younger users who are enjoying a lifestyle their delicate devices often can’t keep up with but the new Alcatel Go Play can put those worries at ease.

The Go Play is a 5-inch Android smartphone with a rugged construction that also happens to be waterproof.

In typical style, Alcatel has produced a feature-packed product that is well-designed, packed with features and fun to use.

And at $299, it is extremely affordable as well.

Design-wise, the Go Play has a clean look and feel.

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The front of the device is all display – a high-definition IPS (in-plane switching) screen with full lamination.

The back is made of durable rubberised material and is available in a number of bright colours. Our review unit was red with a black pattern.

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The ports and slots on the Go Play like the USB port, the headphone jack along with the SIM card and microSD card slots all have tiny waterproof hatches that close flush with the device.

It has an IP67 rating which means its waterproof and able to be submerged in up to a metre of water.

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But it’s still pretty thin at just 9.2mm.

Nearly every other smartphone needs a waterproof case to go underwater and this not only makes it bulkier but the price of the case is more than half of the price you’d pay for the Alcatel Go Play.

It’s a good size for a smartphone and it fits nicely in your hand – the rear rubberised panel provides a stronger grip in the palm of your hand.

But even if you drop the Alcatel Go Play – it can easily handle the impact from a height of 1.5m – a distance that would result in a smashed screen on a more expensive smartphone.

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There are plenty of young people walking around with cracked screens because they can’t afford to pay the money to fix them.

With the Alcatel Go Play – that’s not an issue. In fact, the cost of repair of a smartphone’s screen would go a long way to pay for the Alcatel Go Play.

The device is running Android 5.0 Lollipop – not the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow you’ll find on the high-end smartphones – but it’s still a clean and smooth operating system.

A picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone
A picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone

And Alcatel has done a great job keeping bloatware off the device which Android purists will respect and enjoy.

On the camera front, the rear 8-megapixel camera and the 5-megapixel front camera are both pretty smart shooters with some crisp, clear and colourful snaps through both lenses.

The quality of the images will surprise you and – here’s the cool part – the cameras can both be used underwater as well to capture pictures and shoot video.

Another picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone
Another picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone

Performance is pretty solid as well thanks to the quad-core 1.2Ghz processor – not in the same ball park as the top end phones but still pretty snappy.

It would have been nice to have more internal memory – there’s only 4GB onboard but the good news is there is a microSD card slot so you can expand the memory even further.

The microSD card slot is located next to the SIM card tray along the left edge of the Go Play.

We liked the added touches like the simple navigation tools that lets users easily get to their files and also easily check for things like software updates – a feature that’s usually buried in the settings of other more expensive Android phones.

A picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone's selfie camera
A picture taken with the Alcatel Go Play smartphone’s selfie camera

This will appeal to the typical user of this device which we picture as a younger user who doesn’t have the time or desire to read a manual and get too technical or even an older adult who just wants a reliable and easy-to-use device.

On the battery side, the Alcatel Go Play easily ran all day when used as our main device with plenty of juice left for the night as well.

Despite being a pretty compact device, the Go Play still has room for a 2500mAh battery which accounts for its long battery life.

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The Alcatel Go Play is available in five colour options: yellow/lime green, white/orange, red/black, black/grey and orange/blue.

It is available from leading retailers for $299.

VERDICT

The Alcatel Go Play is an impressive smartphone that certainly punches above its weight in terms of features and performance.

That fact that it’s waterproof, shockproof and dustproof and still priced below $300 makes it an even more attractive product.

If you’re looking for a smartphone that can handle everything you throw at it – the Alcatel Go Play should be near the top of your list.