Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 Review

Call Quality


We tested the call quality of both the Hero 2 and the Sidekick 2. The phablet fared well – its earpiece is just a bit on the quiet side and, while voices sounded a little muffled, they were detailed enough for us to be able to understand anything the other side was telling us. The Sidekick's speaker performed in a much similar way, though, its audio output would sometimes tear up and stutter.

As far as the microphones go – speaking through the Hero 2 provided the party on the other end with a clear, easily understandable voice, though, just a smidgen quieter than normal. And, while the Sidekick 2 delivered a noticeably poorer-sounding voice with a pronounced digitalization and audio tearing, it was still not so bad that the opposite side wouldn't be able to understand us.

Battery Life


Despite giving the OneTouch Hero 2 a slightly bulkier body, Alcatel actually equipped it with a smaller battery – a 3,100 mAh one, to be exact. According to the manufacturer, this should grant us talk time of up to 15.5 hours (2G), 10 hours (3G), or 4.5 hours (4G); standby time of up to 380 hours (2G), or 500 hours (3G); or music playback for up to 60 hours.

These numbers are well below today's averages and our custom test shows a disappointing battery life, especially when we are talking about a 3,100 mAh juicer – the phone only lasted 4 hours and 28 minutes – almost a 50% drop in battery life, compared to last year's model.

Real-life experience with the phone shows that the battery can surely last you the day with medium usage, however, going heavier on it with some extensive web browsing, photo shooting, and some phone calls may get you to critical battery percentages around the 6th hour mark.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 4h 28 min (Poor)
Google Nexus 6 7h 53 min (Average)
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 11h 26 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo 8h 6 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 136
Google Nexus 6 98
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G 156
Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo 133

Conclusion


The Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2 sounds like a powerful phone and a great budget-friendly, stylus-equipped phablet, which should appeal to those who are in the market for such a device. It costs around ~$430 (€350), and for this sort of money, one would expect mostly smooth operation. Unfortunately, choppy performance and a next-to-unusable stylus detracts from the experience to the point where one may wish to look for other options.

If you absolutely want a 6" phone that does not break the bank – sure, the OneTouch Hero 2 is a viable option. It is king in terms of screen-to-body ratio in its class, and that definitely matters when we are talking about gargantuan displays. Its performance does not completely break user experience, but is an unpleasant distraction. The camera is good for the phone's class and the display is crisp, even though its dull-ish colors and unfavorable contrast are a bit of a disappointment.

Looking at possible alternatives – the Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 comes for around $50 more, has a smaller battery, less RAM, an inferior resolution, and an 8 MP camera. The Huawei Ascend Mate 2, however, has a 6.1” display at 720p resolution, 13 MP main and 5 MP selfie camera, an adequate 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, 2 GB of RAM, a massive 3,900 mAh battery, and costs around $350 – this may be worth looking at, before taking the plunge.

If you absolutely must have a stylus-equipped phone – just go for the Galaxy Note line. A Note 3 Neo may run you north of $500 (though, you should be able to get it for much less nowadays), but the OneTouch Hero 2 is in no way equivalent to it, despite it trying to imitate Samsung's features.



Pros

  • Sturdy body
  • Large display, while device is still comfortable to hold
  • Good camera
  • Split-screen functionality
  • Strong Wi-Fi antenna

Cons

  • Choppy UI
  • Battery life needs to be better
  • The display's colors are a bit dull and appear washed-out
  • The camera is a bit too soft

PhoneArena Rating:

6.5

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