All hope isn’t lost, though. Lenovo’s still staying the modular course with its “Moto Mods” for the Moto Z phones, and now you can add Alcatel’s A5 to an extremely small list of device’s with customizable components.
Alcatel’s A5 is “modular” in the same sense the Moto Z is: it offers something more like augmentation than a full device overhaul.
Pop off the A5’s back cover and you can swap in other “customizable back covers” (CBCs) to enhance it. If you’re thinking this all sounds like a less elegant version of the Moto Z, which doesn’t require any cover to be removed, you’re right.
Hell, the CBCs Alcatel showed off for the A5 are all virtually the same. One of them is a speaker with a kickstand that adds slightly more bass and louder sound and another is a 3,000 mAh battery pack.
Unlike the Moto Z’s “Mods” that snap right onto the phone’s back, you really need to use a fingernail to pry the A5’s covers off. I struggled to successfully remove the covers a few times.
One thing I did appreciate is that the phone doesn’t turn off when you swap in a new cover.
Specs-wise, the A5 is not very exciting with mid-range hardware: 5.2-inch 720p display, 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek 6753 processor, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, 2800 mAh battery, 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 5-megapixel selfie camera.
It’s a total snooze-fest for anyone who likes nerding out over the latest and greatest phone tech, but, hey, modular phones aren’t technically dead… yet.
Given the specs, hopefully the phone and covers will at least be cheap.