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Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review

Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review
With the MagicFlip magnetic cover - Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review

With the MagicFlip magnetic cover

With the MagicFlip magnetic cover - Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review

With the MagicFlip magnetic cover

With the MagicFlip magnetic cover - Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review

With the MagicFlip magnetic cover

Introduction


It's been a few months since Alcatel, the face of Chinese TCL for the western hemisphere, presented the stylus-equipped OneTouch Hero, and we finally had the chance to test out and marvel at this massive, 6-inch phablet. And while the gorgeous 1080p IPS panel is definitely the highlight of the Hero, humming underneath are some none too shabby internals, like a quad-core MediaTek chipset, healthy 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear shooter, and two SIM slots. These are some rather compelling specs on paper, ones that put this device in the high-end phablet league. But, how do they actually translate into the real world? Let's find out.

In the box:

  • microUSB > USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • In-ear headphones
  • MagicFlip magnetic cover

Design


Alcatel has managed to work a little miracle with the proportions of the OneTouch Hero. Handling the phablet is both easy and pleasant, thanks to its masterfully-crafted body and super-slim bezels.

The latest slew of devices from the manufacturer showcase some time-tested, almost refined design language. The One Touch Hero, in particular, looks distinguished and leaves no room for doubt: this is a high-end product. What strikes us most about the Hero is that its creators have managed to strike such a masterful balance with its body. The Hero is giant, yet also kind of compact, thanks to those slim bezels all around. Put it next to the Note 3, and it is only 1.4 mm wider, although it has 0.3” bigger display! Although it appears brutish when put next to a 5-incher, it's sheer size has an elegant quality to it, and it's actually pretty slender at 0.33in (8.5mm).

Not only is this phablet good-looking, but it's also well-crafted. Accents, such as the stylus slot at the bottom, the power button and volume rocker on the right side of the Hero, or the camera ring and the speaker at the rear. These were all built to last and do not disappoint in any way, though the stylus is not the most impressive we've seen. The matte plastic back and the frame itself are grippy and the device makes its presence known thanks to its 6.26oz (178g).

And yet, there's more, especially once you throw in the MagicFlip cover into the equation. The MagicFlip easily attaches itself to the phone via the magnetic pinholes at the rear of the phone, and offers some pretty cool functionality. The case has built-in LEDs that will show you the time or any missed calls, messages or e-mails. In fact, it will even run an animated show whenever you have music playing or your alarm ringing.


Display


The display on the Hero is, no doubt, the highlight of this phablet.


A 6-inch, 1080x1920 resolution (367ppi) IPS panel leaves very little to desire, especially when it's shown in its full glory – with no pesky on-screen software navigation buttons and near bezel-less frame. It would be fair to say that the Alcatel OneTouch Hero is all display at the front, and what a captivating panel that is! It is sharp, bright, and has great and accurate color reproduction. However, whites have a blueish tinge to them, as the color temperature is actually quite cold, at 8700K.

Тhe screen can be pretty bright (peak brightness of nearly 500 nits), so outdoor visibility is also pretty great. Viewing angles are also spotless.



Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 495
(Good)
65
(Poor)
1:1095
(Good)
8694
(Poor)
2.13
5.60
(Average)
7.77
(Average)
HTC One max 469
(Good)
8
(Good)
1:1827
(Excellent)
6793
(Excellent)
2.23
6.47
(Average)
6.42
(Average)
OPPO N1 423
(Good)
16
(Poor)
1:1172
(Good)
7009
(Good)
2.15
3.63
(Good)
4.37
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 360
(Average)
4.6
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7972
(Average)
2.25
5.5
(Average)
6.93
(Average)
View all

21 Comments
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posted on 14 Jan 2014, 08:52 2

1. Antimio (Posts: 173; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)


Sweet bezels

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 08:57 2

2. PorkyBurger (Posts: 208; Member since: 18 May 2013)


I find Alcatel's UI one of the best looking out there. Respect! :0

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:13

5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1325; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Agreed, mix of iOS 7, Windows Phone and Touchwiz. Looks great.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:22 3

9. MrKoles (Posts: 305; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


I would leave out iOS because it is the copy of Touchwiz itself.

posted on 25 Jul 2014, 10:25

22. zacsaturday (Posts: 18; Member since: 09 May 2014)


Agree with the touchwiz part, wish it had the multiwindow and air view though

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:23 1

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7711; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I agree with you there. It's elegant and clean.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 08:57 7

3. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5217; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Nice phone, the only let down is the underpowered Mediatek processor. I like the UI though.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:06 1

4. datphoneguy (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


Agreed...the Mediatek processor is a bit weak, but otherwise this looks like a pretty awesome phone...and $399 is a pretty amazing price for what you get IMO

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 14:18

15. shahrooz (Posts: 113; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


Alcatel one touch Idol X+ is gonna be awesome I think

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:17 1

6. geodude074 (Posts: 67; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Is this phone even on sale? I can't find it anywhere, not even on eBay.

If this phone isn't even on sale yet, how could they review the phone without discerning that this is not a production model?

Production models are always different from pre-production models. Maybe the lag and the stutter that the reviewer encountered were due to pre-production glitches that they're still smoothing out.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:20

8. datphoneguy (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


Companies usually give out review models to select reviewers before official launches - this may be one of those cases.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:22

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7711; Member since: 14 May 2012)


... Or maybe it could be due to the MT processor?

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:19 1

7. chrislars (Posts: 77; Member since: 11 Apr 2013)


TIL: Face Beauty Mode = No beard

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 09:32 2

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7711; Member since: 14 May 2012)


If it had a S800 processor it would have scored a 9.3 or higher.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 10:11

13. Haridenberg (Posts: 27; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


If it was even S600, MT's SoC is just plain weak

posted on 17 Jan 2014, 03:34 1

19. Glouba (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


Less expensive to score over 9.0, draw an apple on the back...

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 11:36 2

14. _Bone_ (Posts: 2107; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


... so why not a 9?

The sentiment of the review translates to a 9, especially price tag considered (the Nexus 5 is about the same price, faster but runs dry like in half time, cheap build quality, bad speaker and it got 9.5).

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 18:35

16. skyline88 (Posts: 313; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


if Alcatel keep on going like this, i foresee the doomsday of Samsung / Sony / HTC

posted on 21 Jan 2014, 20:10

21. Neo_Huang (Posts: 341; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)


And if Vivo, Oppo, Meizu, Lenovo, ZTE, etc. go on like they are too.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 22:29

17. kevkyle (Posts: 62; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)


though am still rockin' my ascend mate, i just might get this phablet to replace my mate .....1080p versus 720p

...and that flip cover - sweet ", )

posted on 16 Jan 2014, 20:45

18. Furbal (Posts: 263; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Fix that UI bloat and I think this is a winner.. Way to go TCL

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Display6.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (367 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Quad core, 1500 MHz
2048 MB RAM
Size6.24 x 3.17 x 0.33 inches
(158.5 x 80.6 x 8.5 mm)
6.26 oz  (178 g)
Battery3400 mAh, 20 hours talk time

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