Despite reviewing several devices over the past three years, few have impressed me to the point where I actually bought them. Some of these include the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Samsung Note 3, and the HTC One, Max and M8.
But breaking the HTC charm is a device I never thought I’d fall for — the Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2.
Launched late last year, the Hero 2 runs on an octa-core 2GHz processor and Android’s 4.4 KitKat operating system. It features a six-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels. An interesting fact about the display, which covers 90 per cent of its front surface, is that it uses Dragontrail glass — an up-and-coming rival to the familiar Gorilla Glass.
The device is quite light for a six-inch phablet, weighing in at 175g. That is less than the One Max (217g) and similar to the iPhone 6 Plus (172g) and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (176g). It’s quite slim at 7.9mm, wrapped with aluminium on the outside, and comes loaded with a wide variety of features ranging from gesture control to handwriting recognition and live camera filters on the inside.
Alcatel nominated the twice-Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Avicii as the brand ambassador for Hero 2, tagged at Dh1,699. Unsurprisingly, it is stuffed with a range of DJ-friendly apps that allow users to mix tracks and add sound effects through a special flip cover called MagicFlip DJ, which doubles up as a mixing panel. Die-hard Alcatel and Avicii fans can also purchase the special Hero 2 powered by Avicii edition.
The Hero 2’s stylus, when matched with its in-built memo and sketching apps, makes pen and paper feel like chisel and stone. If this doesn’t have you googling more about it, here’s the kicker — its 13.1MP rear camera incorporates almost every feature found in smartphones including a manual mode that lets you set the exposure, focus distance, white balance and shutter speed.
Additionally, the device is equipped with NFC, image stabilisation on its camera, miracast Wi-Fi display, a guest mode that allows you to restrict access to apps of your choice and an accessory in the form of a mini phone called the Sidekick 2.