MWC 2013: Alcatel One Touch Fire hands-on review

At first glance, it looks like a nice compact phone, but it doesn't take long for that idea to quickly fade away.


Physically, the phone is not a bad little device. The curved corners and soft-touch back feel good in the hand, and it's a decent weight, but once we started to prod the screen, these positives became irrelevant.



Mozilla's new Firefox OS is not the Android/iOS rival we were hoping for. The only way it relates to Android is in how reminiscent it is of a clunky version of Gingerbread.


To be fair to Alcatel/Mozilla, the software was still in beta, but they want these phones on the market within months, and the huge leaps in performance needed are simply not going to materialise.


The amount of lag when using the OS is horrifying, and apps take what seems like forever to open (when they don't simply crash).



The One Touch Fire has a 3.5-inch, 480-by-320-pixel display which leaves a lot to be desired, and the 3.2 megapixel camera is grainy and has serious shutter lag. The front of the phone has one physical button, but it feels loose and ineffectual when pressed.



Look under the hood, and it's unsurprising how prehistoric the user-experience is. Though there's a 1GHz processor, that is supported by just 256MB of RAM. The storage space is equally stingy – the One Touch Fire packs a tiny 180MB, though this can be expanded via microSD.



Apparently the 1400 mAh battery can provide seven hours of talk time over 3G, but that seems unlikely. With everything else operating at such a low level, it would follow that the battery, too, would disappoint.


Alcatel is clearly aiming for first-time smartphone users and those in developing countries, but at this point, it's going to struggle against rival manufacturers and operating systems.

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