Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review
Alcatel has delved deep into Android, tweaking, changing. The result is a rather nice-looking UI, but one that is poorly optimized.
Stock Android aficionados beware: the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean found running on the OneTouch Hero is miles away from Google's idea of a clean, minimalistic UI. The software is definitely very functional and well-thought out for the most part, though it is also heavy on the hardware.
It goes without saying that the lockscreen is of a custom make, featuring shortcuts to the dialer, messaging and the camera. This being one of Alcatel's fanciest models available, it's also been loaded with a bunch of proprietary apps. These include a tiny Alcatel app store with less than 20 apps available, a note-taking app best used in unison with the stylus and even a pretty interesting Ultimate Saver app that strips down your phone of all non-essential functionality, leaving you with little more than the option to place and receive calls and send messages.
The OneTouch Hero has slots for two microSIM cards. The dual SIM software is very well made, allowing you to easily switch between and manage the two cards, regardless of whether you're placing calls or would like to set a default behavior for browsing. Unfortunately, we're looking at a dual-standby arrangement, meaning that your second SIM card will be offline whenever you're in a call.
Processor and Memory
The silicon within leaves something to be desired, especially for a top-shelf product.
Doing the muscle-work underneath the Hero's stylish exterior is a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T, coupled with a healthy dose of 2GB of RAM. We've got to admit that we were let down by the chipset found on-board, though this does not come without a few key notes. For starters, the UI stutters until it has been cached into the memory, and super graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 don't exactly run smoothly, either. And yet, we can't help but point a finger at Alcatel, too. This is not the first time we're testing this chip, and it sure held its ground better in the past. In other words, the ostentatious interface sure is quite heavy, and just feels poorly optimized.
But perhaps the biggest gripe is not with the chipset itself. This is supposed to be one of Alcatel's high-end models, yet the serious delays in getting this phone to market meant that it was too late to jump ship and appropriate one of the newer MedaiTek chips, which sport an improved GPU among other things.
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22270
HTC One max 12067
OPPO N1 9917
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 5801
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 31543
HTC One max 26320
OPPO N1 26214
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 15605
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 54
HTC One max 39
OPPO N1 37
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 12
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1214
HTC One max 762
OPPO N1 758
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 571
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2766
HTC One max 2558
OPPO N1 1979
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 1585
Browsing on the crisp, 6-inch display of the Alcatel OneTouch Hero is pure, untainted pleasure.
There's an interesting discrepancy with MediaTek chipsets – they can't quite compare with Qualcomm's highest-end solutions when it comes to graphical prowess, yet browsing is something they seem to handle quite well. To that end, the surfing experience on the 6-inch Alcatel OneTouch Hero is quite enjoyable, and isn't riddled with stutters and irritating hang-times, whether we're talking the built-in browser or Google's Chrome.
On the connectivity end, the usual line-up is obviously present: Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and NFC, but there's no 4G LTE radio to be found.
2. PorkyBurger (Posts: 212; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I find Alcatel's UI one of the best looking out there. Respect! :0
5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1339; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Agreed, mix of iOS 7, Windows Phone and Touchwiz. Looks great.
9. MrKoles (Posts: 307; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)
I would leave out iOS because it is the copy of Touchwiz itself.
22. zacsaturday (Posts: 24; Member since: 09 May 2014)
Agree with the touchwiz part, wish it had the multiwindow and air view though
11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I agree with you there. It's elegant and clean.
3. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5271; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Nice phone, the only let down is the underpowered Mediatek processor. I like the UI though.
4. datphoneguy (Posts: 140; 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
15. shahrooz (Posts: 118; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)
Alcatel one touch Idol X+ is gonna be awesome I think
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.
8. datphoneguy (Posts: 140; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)
Companies usually give out review models to select reviewers before official launches - this may be one of those cases.
10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
... Or maybe it could be due to the MT processor?
12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
If it had a S800 processor it would have scored a 9.3 or higher.
13. Haridenberg (Posts: 27; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)
If it was even S600, MT's SoC is just plain weak
19. Glouba (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)
Less expensive to score over 9.0, draw an apple on the back...
14. _Bone_ (Posts: 2113; 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).
16. skyline88 (Posts: 315; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)
if Alcatel keep on going like this, i foresee the doomsday of Samsung / Sony / HTC
21. Neo_Huang (Posts: 346; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
And if Vivo, Oppo, Meizu, Lenovo, ZTE, etc. go on like they are too.
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 ", )
18. Furbal (Posts: 270; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Fix that UI bloat and I think this is a winner.. Way to go TCL