Alcatel One Touch Hero review: Compare notes

GSMArena team, 17 January 2014.

Google Now

Google Now is Google's version of a personal assistant. Google Now is meant to be kinda Apple's Siri, but it learns constantly from your daily routines and it also takes cue from the Google searches you do on your computer, not just the ones on your smartphone. You can also use to voice control various aspects of your phone.

Google Now gives you short overviews of information it believes is relevant to you right now in the form of information cards. Going to work in the morning? Google Now knows this and lets you know there's a big traffic jam on your usual way to the office, so it offers you a re-route. You can even set a method of transportation.

It can interpret a lot of things from your search history as well. If you've been searching for, let's say, your favorite football team, Google Now will prepare a card showing you the next match the team is playing and will provide you score updates once the game begins.

Alcatel One Touch Hero Alcatel One Touch Hero
Google Now

If allowed, Google Now can scan your email for upcoming flights, deliveries or restaurant reservations and let you know when they are due. There are also numerous kinds of cards like birthdays (yours and those of your contacts) and what distance you've walked in a particular month.

You can also add favorite sports teams, company stock you are following, places you are interested in visiting and more. The More section of the customization will update automatically with topics you can choose from once you've started using Google Now search capabilities.

You can set reminders straight in Google Now's UI. Just hit the bottom left icon (the palm with a stretched index finger). There you can add reminders or just check all the past, ongoing or upcoming reminders.

Alcatel One Touch Hero Alcatel One Touch Hero
Google Now settings

Google has also integrated Voice Actions into Now. They can handle stuff like sending messages (SMS or email), initiating a voice call, asking for directions, taking a note or opening a site. Google Now can also launch apps, check and manage your calendar and look for nearby places of interest and stuff like movie openings in theaters.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Alcatel One Touch Hero is powered by a Mediatek MT6589 chipset. It has a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor running at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU. Those are not bad base specs, they are in fact a little better than what the Moto G has and that one performed wonderfully. But the Moto G is a 720p device, while the Hero has a 1080p screen.

How much will the extra resolution the Alcatel phablet? And don't forget it's running Android 4.2, while the Moto G was at 4.3 when tested, which would improve the performance a bit.

Anyway, the Alcatel One Touch Hero comes out ahead in single-threaded performance thanks to its higher clock speed, but when it comes to multithreaded performance it's more of a mixed bag. Still, keep in mind that we're talking Galaxy Note II level of performance here.

The Huawei Ascend Mate, a competing phablet lags behind here, while the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 pulls well ahead thanks to its two Krait cores, proving once again it's not just about core count.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    169
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    308
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    347
  • Motorola Moto G
    392

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    400
  • Motorola Moto G
    259
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    231.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    161
  • HTC One X
    160.9

Geekbench 3

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2670
  • LG Nexus 5
    2453
  • HTC One Max
    1899
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    1321
  • Motorola Moto G
    1120
  • Sony Xperia C
    1079
  • Oppo R819
    1047

For full system performance, the Moto G does much better. Part of that is the lower screen res, part the newer OS, part the various other components. Still, looking at phablets, the Alcatel One Touch Hero is on par with the Huawei Ascend Mate but behind the Galaxy Mega 6.3. It's right on the Note II's tail though.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    24716
  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20056
  • HTC Butterfly
    19513
  • Motorola Moto G
    17214
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    15714
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    15667
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Motorola Moto G
    8505
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    7059
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    5746
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    5509

Time for some fun with 3D gaming. 1080p and mid-range chipsets don't usually match but the PowerVR SGX544 usually makes for a good GPU. It turns out that GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt level graphics are too much for the Hero, which offered a low 12fps. Other phablets like the Mate and Mega 6.3 don't do too hot either, but they only have to render graphics at 720p, which gives them a big boost.

Note that the off-screen and on-screen numbers for the Alcatel One Touch Hero are identical.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • Motorola Moto G
    16
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    15
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    12

GLBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • LG Nexus 5
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    23
  • HTC One Max
    22
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Motorola Moto G
    5.6
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    3.4
  • Sony Xperia C
    2.8

Still, benchmark graphics are more demanding than real-world game graphics, so we tried Epic Citadel at High Quality. There the Hero posted a playable 43.5fps framerate, actually beating the 720p devices, which ran at their native resolution. So games shouldn't be a problem, even with the 1080p screen. Perhaps not the most demanding games, but most.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    57.1
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    55.5
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    54.2
  • Asus Padfone 2
    53.4
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    43.5
  • Motorola Moto G
    34
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    33.2

The web is an important part of life for every phablet, so let's see what the Alcatel One Touch Hero has to offer. JavaScript isn't great but it does at least topple the Ascend Mate. The extra screen resolution slows down the Hero when rendering web pages, which makes its BrowserMark 2 and Vellamo scores respectable (though not great).

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    810
  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1011
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1065
  • HTC One
    1124
  • Motorola Moto G
    1308
  • Sony Xperia Z
    1336
  • HTC Butterfly
    1433
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    1646
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1741

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • LG Nexus 5
    2745
  • Motorola Moto G
    2562
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2419
  • HTC One
    2262
  • HTC One Max
    2243
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2096
  • Sony Xperia C
    1984

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Motorola Moto G
    1928
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1887
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1646
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    1566

Overall performance is what we expected - middle of the road. That's not a knock by any means - performance is very close to that of a Samsung Galaxy Note II in most areas (save for browsing). And the Note II is not even two years old, meaning people who bought it as a flagship on a 2-year contract are probably still carrying it. That's how fast technology moves.

Anyway, for a budget-minded flagship, the MediaTek chipset offers satisfactory performance even with the Hero's 1080p display (when most of its competition, Note II included, has 720p screens).