Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL Hands-on review: A Windows 10 Mobile phone not from Microsoft

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We’ve gotten used to Microsoft being the only maker of smartphones running Windows but it seems the launch of Windows 10 Mobile is changing that. Here’s our Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL hands-on review from CES 2016.

With so much dominance from iOS and Android in the smartphone market, we were beginning to wonder whether any partners would make Windows phones ever again. It appears that they were just waiting for Windows 10 to arrive in order to give it another shot.

While the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are now available, Alcatel offers something more affordable with the Fierce XL going up for sale for under $150. We’re not sure on a UK release date or price at the moment. Word has it that the phone is a T-Mobile exclusive.

DESIGN AND BUILD

There’s not a great deal going on with the design of the phone here. The Fierce XL looks like other Alcatel OneTouch devices and that’s no bad thing really. It has a clean and pebble-like rounded shape.

We like the cyan blue colour which is contrast by a black front giving it a two-tone look similar to the new Nexus 5X from Google and LG.

Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL design

Unlike the new Lumia’s, the Fierce XL has off-screen touch sensitive buttons meaning the screen is completely free for content.

HARDWARE AND SPECS

At a budget price, don’t expect anything outstanding from the Fierce XL in terms of hardware. We’re not sure how the name translates into specs but the 5.5in display with a 720p resolution doesn’t exactly look ferocious. It just looks like large smartphone screen with an ok amount of pixels.

Inside is a low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 2GB of RAM and more storage than we expected at 16GB. This can be expanded with up to 32GB more.

Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL buttons

A processor clocked at just 1.1GHz doesn’t sound great but Windows 10 Mobile isn’t as demanding as rivals and we found the phone quite nippy during a quick play.

An 8Mp camera at the rear sounds pretty good but we weren’t overly impressed with the samples we took and it can only shoot video at up to 720p. The 2Mp front camera is quite poor.

There’s an Android version of the Fierce XL already so this is essentially the same phone but with Windows 10 Mobile instead. However, it’s worth noting that the device, like the entry –level Lumia 550, doesn’t support all of the operating system’s features. Windows Hello (for logging in with your eyes) and Continuum are notable omissions.

Specs

VERDICT

While a budget Windows 10 Mobile device is hardly going to blow us away, the Fierce XL seems like a decent budget option for those wanting a simple and colourful design but don’t require top specs. It’s nice to see a device from a company other than Microsoft and we hope it comes to the UK.

(pcadvisor.co.uk)

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