Alcatel OneTouch Hero Review
Calls' quality surprised us. We go through quite a few phones every month, and a very significant portion of those run into the same type of problems – hollow voices, low volume, interference and what not. But not the OneTouch Hero. The speaker is very loud, and voices are transmitted very pleasantly, without noticeable distortions, and this goes in both ways – contacts reported hearing us just as clearly.
The combination of a 3400mAh cell and frugal ARM Cortex-A7 cores translated into some downright awesome battery life numbers. The Alcatel OneTouch Hero managed to hold its ground for the whopping 8 hours and 11 minutes in our custom test that simulates real-life usage with no break. With a score like that, the Hero is actually second to none, at least when it comes to 1080x1920 resolutions. In the best of scenarios, it should be able to last for up to three days.
We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.
Looking back at the time spent with the Alcatel OneTouch Hero, we can't help but admit that the Hero showed great promise from the very beginning. This is a device that exhibits some really impressive qualities, ones that could easily put it at the very top of the phablet food chain. The display is just awesome, and the body is well-crafted and truly compact. The camera is on par with even more premium solutions out there, and both call quality and battery life are equally top marks. The software is inviting and, in combination with the Magic Flip cover, give the Alcatel OneTouch Hero a real character. Unfortunately, that very same software feels shoddily optimized, and the MediaTek chipset just can't keep up. Pity, as this is perhaps the one thing that, ultimately, felt very wrong about the Hero.
The OneTouch Hero comes with a price tag of about $399. So how does it compare with other, similarly-priced phablets? The first one to come to mind is the new, $339 Lumia 1320. The affordable, 6-inch phablet from Nokia is somewhat similar in price, but comes with considerable hardware cuts, like a less impressive 720p display, only 1GB of RAM, and an inferior 5-megapixel shooter. The upcoming 6-inch Lenovo S930 also comes cheaper, at $319, but is similarly underpowered in comparison. It sports a comparable chipset, but only 1GB of RAM, a supposedly inferior 8-megapixel shooter and a less-detailed 720p screen. The underpowered chip aside, the Alcatel OneTouch Hero is an excellent phablet that can rival more expensive models, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the HTC One max, the Nokia Lumia 1520 and the Oppo N1.
- Sturdy, well-crafted, and super compact body
- Awesome battery life
- Bright, beautiful display
- Great camera
- Call quality is surprisingly good
- The MagicFlip cover is, well... magical
- The MediaTek chip feels underpowered
- Beautiful, but heavy interface
2. PorkyBurger (Posts: 256; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I find Alcatel's UI one of the best looking out there. Respect! :0
5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1524; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Agreed, mix of iOS 7, Windows Phone and Touchwiz. Looks great.
9. MrKoles (Posts: 330; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)
I would leave out iOS because it is the copy of Touchwiz itself.
22. zacsaturday (Posts: 74; Member since: 09 May 2014)
Agree with the touchwiz part, wish it had the multiwindow and air view though
11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I agree with you there. It's elegant and clean.
3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Nice phone, the only let down is the underpowered Mediatek processor. I like the UI though.
4. datphoneguy (Posts: 141; 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: 214; 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: 141; 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: 8924; Member since: 14 May 2012)
... Or maybe it could be due to the MT processor?
12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8924; 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: 3; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)
Less expensive to score over 9.0, draw an apple on the back...
14. _Bone_ (Posts: 2140; 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: 347; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)
if Alcatel keep on going like this, i foresee the doomsday of Samsung / Sony / HTC
21. Neo_Huang (Posts: 755; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
And if Vivo, Oppo, Meizu, Lenovo, ZTE, etc. go on like they are too.
17. kevkyle (Posts: 76; 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: 404; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Fix that UI bloat and I think this is a winner.. Way to go TCL