- Very poor camera performance
- Poor sunlight visibility and viewing angles
- Poor gaming performance
Besides Microsoft, Alcatel is one of the few manufacturers producing Windows 10 phones. The OneTouch Fierce XL might not be the best phone available, but it is one of the only Windows options for T-Mobile users. For its size, it also is one of the cheapest phones available from the carrier so it might be enough to entice a few people switching from their feature phone to a smartphone.
The Fierce XL, as the name suggest, is quite large measuring in at 5.98 x 3.06 x 0.37 inches. As expected, reviewers had problems using it one-handed despite its size and thick bezel. With that said, they note that its plastic chassis makes it uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. As far as design, most were unimpressed with its generic rectangular design with rounded corners. The only thing that sets it apart from other phones is the blue back cover and the awkward camera housing bulge that prevents the phone from lying flat.
As a budget phone, there are certain compromises Alcatel had to make in order to reduce cost. The most obvious is the screen. The 5.5-inch screen only has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. At this size, experts were not surprised at its lack of sharpness though they were let down with its poor viewing angles and bright light visibility. On the plus side, they did find the colors to be fairly vivid albeit on the cooler side of the spectrum.
Powered by a 1.1GHz quad core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Fierce XL might not be the fastest phone on the market, but it handles basic tasks relatively well. With that said, critics point out it is slow to open and switch between apps. Likewise, gaming performance didn’t blow them away especially with the more graphics intensive games. Battery life, on the other hand, did meet their expectations lasting a full day with moderate usage.
As for the 8MP rear camera, it didn’t win over any of the reviewers. The pictures they took were average at best with lack of definition and graininess appearing prevalent in almost every shot. The front 2MP camera was also very poor with very bad detail and poor color accuracy.
Of course, the biggest hurdle Windows phones needs to overcome is the lack of apps. Unfortunately, with millions of apps on Apple and Android, Windows has a very long way to go.
Despite its shortcomings, most reviewers recommend it for people who want a capable budget phone and don’t care about having top specs or millions of apps. Tom’s Guide states, “While there’s no standout feature, the device performs well for a budget phone.” With that said, most of them suggest spending extra to get a better experience with a budget Android phone. Win Beta states, “It’s very well-priced, but I feel I wouldn’t want to live with this phone for an extended period of time.”