Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 Review
The Alcatel OneTouch Pop 7 is a budget-oriented, 7-inch slate that aims to bring decent performance and extended connectivity at an accessible price. The tab is supposed to be the thinnest and lightest of its kind, and also packs a dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, and a pair of cameras. It also has a 3G/HSDPA+ modem, which is a good sales point for a tablet in the $150-$180 price range. But does the rest of the package add up to an attractive offer? Let's find out.
In the box:
- USB Cable
- Wall Charger
- User Manual
It's an easy exercise in pedestrian looks.
Alcatel claims that the OneTouch Pop 7 is the thinnest, lightest entry-level 7-inch tablet out there. More precisely, the tab measures 0.35 inches (8.9 mm) thin and 0.63 lbs (285 grams) in weight. Although this is a respectable achievement, the Nexus 7 (2013) is slightly thinner (0.34 inches, 8.65mm), while the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 will weigh in at just 0.60 lbs (275 grams).
In terms of design, the tablet doesn't stand out with elegance, or anything special, really. It's the functional, anonymous result of an easy exercise in pedestrian looks. The all-plastic build complements it entirely, and while there is nothing to outright love about it, there is nothing to frown at, either. This is a solid little tablet with a good weight to it, that's comfortable to hold with both one and two hands. You will hear it squeak a little, and the back panel and side bezel give in a little when pressed on, but these are typical, innocent budget device shenanigans.
When the tablet's plain design gets boring eventually, you can vary it a bit with removable plastic back panels in cheerful pastel colors (available separately). Changing between them is an absolute breeze, and they fit the tablet nice and snug. However, the panels add a tiny bit of weight, and completely cover up the microSD and SIM-card slots. The latter might be an advantage, or a small inconvenience, depending on whether you appreciate the additional protection of the slots, or depend on easy access to them. Either way, the slots are protected by a flap that's very easy to handle.
Meanwhile, Alcatel's optional magnetic cover will serve you just fine, although it gave off a remarkably offending scent of stale plastic when we took it out of its packaging. Luckily, it wore off quickly.
One of the worst displays we have seen recently!
Display-wise, the OneTouch Pop 7 doesn't have much to show off. The 7-inch TFT panel has a resolution of 1024x600 pixels with pixel density coming in at 170ppi. This means that small objects – like icons – do not look sharp, but blurry, and fine text (e.g. in the browser, when zoomed out) cannot be read comfortably, so you have to zoom in. Even 1080p videos look slightly pixelated from normal viewing distance.
Image quality is very poor for a few reasons. The display has exceptionally cold color temperature at 16334 Kelvins (6500 K is the perfect temperature, while displays with 8000K are considered blueish) which means that the white colors has a solid blue tint. But it's not only this - colors such as cyan and magenta, for example, also are completely off.
The viewing angles are also rather quirky. When the tab is held in portrait mode, the picture quickly collapses when the tablet is skewed to the right, losing contrast and making text impossible to read.
Maximum brightness is decent, at 363 nits, so the display should be usable outdoors during the day, right? Well, the very reflexive glass make this almost impossible. It is so bad, that you may find it hard reading it even in a room during the day. What's more, it is a fingerprint magnet, and you will often notice this. There is also no light sensor to speak of, so automatic brightness adjustment is out of the question.
It's not sensible to expect the vividness of an upper-range display out of a cheap tablet. Still, this is one of the worst displays we have seen recently.