Alcatel One Touch Fire Review

Interface and functionality


While Firefox OS is a totally new operating system, its user interface does seem quite familiar. We see that the OS has borrowed a number of features found on other mobile operating systems, such as the slide-down notification panel with quick toggles à la Android, and the iOS-like arrangement of applications on the home screens. To tell you the truth, we grew comfortable with Firefox OS rather quickly as there wasn't anything drastically different about it. The platform's only peculiarity is that one of the home screens is dedicated to discovering new apps. It has a quick search bar and a list of app categories, aiding the user with finding applications they might find useful.

Unfortunately, we don't see Firefox OS as a platform that has been thoroughly polished prior to its release, and it appears especially problematic on weak hardware like the one in the Alcatel One Touch Fire. In fact, we encountered a number of bugs that often required us to reboot the phone in order to restore its working state. Sometimes the phone would just reboot on its own after us trying to launch an app, or just hang for a long time.

The problems with Firefox OS don't end here, however, and it's really the smaller things that really ruined the experience for us. For example, UI elements can be tiny at times, even though there's enough real estate for a more spacious design. Moreover, the existence of a dedicated homescreen page reserved solely to display the date and time appears redundant, especially since you have a system-wide status bar with the clock. Speaking of redundancies, unlike other OSes, Firefox has a two-click unlock, which again, while not a big deal, serves to annoy the user.

Now that we've gotten a bit more specific, it's probably also worth noting that core apps like the dialer, messaging, contacts and e-mail are all pretty standard and are an adequate implementation of basic, but essential functionality. In case you travel often, you should probably keep in mind that Firefox OS uses HERE Maps, a great alternative to Google Maps, though the One Touch Fire simply takes too long to render map data, not to mention that the GPS had difficulty locating us, and would often times simply refuse to work

Before we wrap this up, it's also important to note that while you can technically side-load some Android apps, in the case of the Alcatel One Touch Fire that would equal an exercise in futility – the device unfortunately has trouble running even some of the built-in apps, so a big chunk of the already extremely limited selection of apps on the Firefox Marketplace will prove too heavy for this device

Processor and memory


We've been pretty tough on the hardware on the Alcatel One Touch Fire, and here's why: it's got a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon S1 chip by Qualcomm and a measly 256MB of RAM. Now, considering the very budget friendly price point on the phone, we might have given the One Touch Fire a pass regardless of the underwhelming specs. Unfortunately, however, using this phone is an absolutely frustrating experience, since it lags constantly even when executing the most basic of tasks. Gaming is simply out of the question, unless you're looking for some Solitaire or Sudoku action – that, it can handle.

In terms of storage, you've got 512MB to play with, though only 160MB of those are available for app installs. Thankfully, Alcatel has included a free 2GB microSD card in the box where you can store media content such as photos, music and videos (but no apps).

Internet and connectivity


Since Firefox OS is made by the same company that brought us the wonderful Firefox web browser, one might assume that the Alcatel One Touch Fire handles web pages well. Sadly, that isn't quite the case. The Firefox browser pre-installed on this handset loads pages pretty slow – PhoneArena.com takes over a minute to fully render, not to mention that it crashes every now and then after loading for a while. Seeing as the browser works great on other platforms, we're more inclined to believe that, once again, it's the weak hardware that's at fault here.


FEATURED VIDEO

13 Comments

1. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

For an entry level smartphone, it deserves more than 3 points. Really dissapointed that PA mostly give bad score to entry level smartphones and feature phones. PA should give the score accordingly to the phone class/level.

2. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

OOh, and also "CMIIW".

3. jellmoo

Posts: 2648; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I agree that a 3 is a little low, but if the bugs mentioned here are as prevalent and serious as they say, that alone is a very good reason to have a low score. Also consider how a device like this, while similarly priced, is of considerably less value than the budget friendly Lumia 520.

6. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

We rate each device based on its class. We recently reviewed the very budget Acer Liquid Z3 and it scored 7.9/10. http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Acer-Liquid-Z3-Review_id3453

8. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Thank you for the answer. I really appreciate it.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Wait, isn't this being compared to devices within the same price point?

5. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

"PhoneArena.com takes over a minute to fully render, not to mention that it crashes every now and then after loading for a while. " Uh, that's not a shocker - it does the same thing with my HTC Sensation, and that thing is what, 2 generations newer of a CPU? Your site sucks for mobile devices.

7. buccob

Posts: 2978; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Actually I think it is a known problem using Opera with Turbo (or Off Road) mode ON... IF by any chance that is your case... I do not have problems with PA over Chrome, Puffin or WEBmall Browser for Sony's Small Apps

11. chamucost20

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Actually, the site takes quite some time to load even on Chrome on a Huawei Y320 which is no slouch... funny how a site dedicated to mobile devices doesn't work so well on mobile devices. I have been using the One Touch Fire for a couple of months now and though it still has some bugs (like not being able to establish a data connection after turning Airplane Mode on and off), it's nothing close to the horror story PhoneArena is telling, and there's just no way the phone deserves a 3/10 -.-

9. DanielWalsh1294

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

What is the effing point of this phone and OS. They are both @#$5.

10. SebasCvdB

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

The specs on this phone is horrible even for a low budget phone. You think Alcatel could do better at this point. Also I smell lawsuit if Apple would see this thing. I feel like I've been trasported back to 2007 / 2008 looking at this thing.

12. chamucost20

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Which wouldn't be a surprise, they would even sue an apple tree for "infringing on their trademark" xD

13. mirexcool

Posts: 65; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Bought at Aliexpress. Satisfied! http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/VJ2rjEMrZ
OneTouch Fire
  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Battery 1400 mAh(3h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.