Time for another look at budget smartphones that could be used for crypto currency mining such as VerusCoin (VRSC). We are going to check if the Alcatel TCL A3 and Alcatel TCL A3X smartphones are any good for mining VerusCoin. Both the TCL A3 and TCL A3X are available at a really good price point, especially when looking at operator locked phone prices, making them an ideal option for use as crypto miners. The big question however is if the current price point of about $40 USD (for operator locked devices) is worth it for these devices when you take a look at the mining performance they offer in return and this is precisely what we are going to be checking out now. And as you might’ve noticed already from some of our earlier posts, some cheaper and some even not so budget smartphones are not suitable for mining usage at all due to specific software configuration of the OS (running in 32-bit mode) even if the hardware inside is 64-bit capable, so, another thing to check with these devices as well…
The Alcatel TCL A3 was released in 2011 and comes with Android 11 (even after like 20 system software updates you are still on Android 11), it is powered by Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 (12 nm) chipset that uses an octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 (8-core A53 CPU, 64-bit), has 3GB RAM and a removable back cover and removable 3000 mAh battery (rarely seen nowadays). It uses the older micro-USB connector for power and data transfer, but the package from Total by Verizon we got (Tracfone inside) had not only a data cable, but power adapter included as well. A really good deal price wise that you can get with Total by Verizon TCL A3, 32GB, Black – Prepaid Smartphone (Locked) at $39.88 USD from Amazon currently (limited quantity and up to 2 devices per order).
The Alcatel TCL A3X is very similar, also released in 2011 with Android 11, powered by Snapdragon 460 (11 nm) chipset with an 8-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 240 CPU, 3GB RAM and non-removable back cover and a fixed 3500 mAh battery. The A3X seems to be just a slightly improved version of the A3 model that should also offer a bit of a performance improvement as well. It doesn’t feature a removable back cover or battery, not that it matters much as the phone won’t power on without a battery anyway (the A3 that is). The TCL A3X also comes with a micro-USB connector for power and data transfer and has not only data cable, but power adapter inside the package from Tracfone we got. The list price of that one is usually $79.99 USD, but it is currently available for half that or even less. A really good deal price wise that you can get with Tracfone Alcatel TCL A3X, 32GB, Prime Black – Prepaid Smartphone (Locked) at $39.88 USD from Amazon currently (up to 2 devices per order) and there is even a 20% discount coupon bringing down the price to just $31.90 USD at the moment!
So, the price for the Alcatel TCL A3 is really good, even better with the deal on the Alcatel TCL A3X that comes cheaper at the moment and should be slightly better in terms of performance. The only bit of a drawback, no USB-C cables, but older micro-USB, though that is not a deal breaker here considering that both devices do come with the cable and even a charger in the package. They both have 8-core 64-bit CPUs – two different chipsets that should have similar performance, and fortunately they both do come with Android OS running in 64-bit mode, so, yes, you can run the VerusCoin (VRSC) mining software on these as well as other mobile miners. Even though they do not have OS updates past Android 11 they still run perfectly fine with it for mining purposes, so you are good to go. Here you can find more about the situation with 32-bit Android OS and why it is important to have not only 64-bit CPU, but also an operating system like fortunately it is on the TCL A3 and A3X.
What about mining performance then, now, that we know they are good to go for mining VRSC using the ccminer miner. Well, a very pleasant surprise here – the hashrate you can expect is very similar to the one of the popular mining option that is the Samsung Galaxy A03s. The Alcatel TCL A3 (left) does manage to provide a stable VRSC mining hashrate of around 3650 KH/s (3.65 MH/s) with a power usage of about 3.2 Watts measured at the wall. The Alcatel TCL A3X (right), as expected, performs slightly better with a VRSC mining hashrate of about 3865 KH/s (3.86 MH/s) with a power usage of about 2.7 Watts measured at the wall, meaning better efficiency as well. The bit higher performance of the TCL A3X might not be worth with the regular list price, but with the current promotional price making it cheaper than the TCL A3 makes it the clear winner here. If you miss the current deal and if you only find a locked model at the regular list price, then the TCL A3 is definitely more attractive choice for half the regular price of the A3X with just a bit lower performance and slightly higher power usage.