Alcatel enters the fray with the One Touch Hero, and when we examined the handset plus the accompanying accessories, the phone fully deserves its title. It is huge, with a bright and vivid 6" Full HD display, yet thanks to the minimized bezel all around, it is fairly manageable, though one-handed operation is a full stretch. Alcatel has provided the usual interface enhancements for one-handed operation, like shrinking the dialer or keyboard to the left or right on the screen, so you can tap with your thumb only, but it is still uncomfortable to use this way.
The stylus felt a bit tight to take out and insert back in, so we hope it will be worn in with time, and the provided software for making a good use out of it is not yet on the level of Samsung's apps like S Note and the new Multi Window mode. There is no app drawer, like on Lenovo's phablet, instead everything is placed on the homescreens, making it faster to access.
Specs and performance
The phone sports 1.5 GHz quad-core MediaTek chipset coupled with 2 GB of RAM, which is enough for your daily routines, though we'd like to see a more powerful silicon in a phablet like this. The handset sports a tucked-in stylus, like Samsung's Note family, which would presume some multitasking on your part, so a beefier chipset is warranted here, though we didn't have issues with Android 4.2 and the interface overlay in our quick encounter with the phablet.
The rest of the specs are top-notch, with a 13 MP camera and LED flash peeping from the back, while a generous 3400 mAh battery pack is tucked under the cover, one of the large units in the class. Alcatel also provided a memory card slot for expansion of the 16 GB you already have, so the phablet has all the makings of a premium one.
Boatload of accessories
A notable addition to the Hero are the numerous accessories for it, such as an E-ink back cover, pico projector stand, or the Bluetooth accessory for checking out call logs, emails, text messages, and controlling your music player, while the gigantic phone stays in your pocket or purse. These, however, are prototypes still, and Alcatel reps told us they are still mulling which ones are to make it to market, alongside price and availability of the One Touch Hero phablet.