Alcatel OT-995 Review

Interface and Functionality:

The handset ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread which is hard to swallow even for lower priced devices. Alcatel has pre-loaded the SPB 3D Shell on top of Gingerbread to beautify it, but it seems to add more of a visual flare and less of practical usage improvements. Default icons are spectacularly ugly and saying they are utilitarian would be a huge compliment. Overall, interface aesthetics on the device were clearly not in the focus and that’s disappointing.

No Ice Cream Sandwich also starts to mean more and more as the Android platform evolves. A lot of apps that we find truly make Android shine are missing - you won’t get apps like Chrome, Flipboard and Instagram, all of which require ICS or a later version.

Basic functionality is what you’d expect of Android - contacts can be easily synced with Google and you get the rich options of the Android phone book. Typing messages on the pre-loaded keyboard was also a breeze on the big screen.

Processor and Memory:

Performance is one area we are particularly picky about, especially when it comes to lower-end devices that have to cut some corners. We’ve seen that infamous Android lag way too often to tolerate it. Luckily, here it’s barely seen and Gingerbread ran smoothly for the most part. An occasional stutter here and there was still noticeable, and animations didn’t move perfectly smooth, but that would be picking the nits. We also got good framerates on most of our favorite games (we played Angry Birds and Temple Run mostly) and were generally happy with the performance.

Under the hood, the device features a second-gen Snapdragon chip, the Qualcomm MSM8255A, with a 1.4GHz single-core Scorpion processor, a reasonable 512MB of RAM and Adreno 205 graphics. The high clock speed however also comes with a slight downside - the device heats up noticeably when put through the paces.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Alcatel OT-9952700365229,3
Samsung Galaxy Ace 21953409532,4
LG Optimus L51470266514,2

The Alcatel One Touch 995 Ultra has 2GB of internal storage, of which 860MB are available to the user. Luckily, it comes with a 4GB microSD card on board, but you can replace it with up to 32GB card for even more storage.

Internet and Connectivity:

On Gingerbread, you have Android Browser as the default browser. Google has picked Chrome as the default browser for Android 4.1, but it requires at least the ICS update, so you can’t install it here. The Android Browser is still a speedy solution that has withstood the test of time, but when compared to Chrome, its interface definitely looks dated and not so convenient. On the flipside of things, you still have Adobe Flash enabled and running. And surfing the web was a pleasure on the roomy 4.3-inch screen with scrolling and pinching in and out perfectly responsive.

In terms of connectivity, it has European-only 3G, so it is not suitable for the States; it supports speeds of up to 7.2Mbps on the downlink which should suffice for the average user.

We appreciate the presence of a dedicated HDMI port on the Alcatel One Touch 995, allowing you to easily stream your phone’s content on a bigger screen.

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