The One Touch Tribe is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Curve, with a QWERTY keypad dominating the front fascia. Choose from a variety of bright colours, which have a strong youth appeal.
Due to it’s appealing price tag there is a limited feature set, though this means nothing too complicated in the usability stakes. It has shortcuts to the main social networking sites, which are excellent time savers.
As mentioned, the feature set is somewhat limited. The token two-megapixel camera leaves a little to be desired, though the One Touch Tribe does cater well to heavy texters, emailers and social networkers.
This is Alcatel’s best mobile phone to date, with Edge data speeds giving a good internet experience and an excellent keypad for typing messages – all for an affordable price.
Battery life was excellent.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:57:03 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
A marathon battery life means you won?t have to worry about running out of juice while out and about
The two-megapixel camera is nothing more than a token gesture
Alcatel phones, like a comfy pair of jogging bottoms that you probably wouldn’t parade outside the comfort of your home, do a job. Lacking in features, the main appeal has been a no frills, no nonsense handset for a credit crunch busting price tag. Until now. The Alcatel One Touch Tribe maintains the ‘affordable’ tag, but with a few welcome additions, most notably a QWERTY keyboard.
Due in part to this aforementioned QWERTY keyboard, the Alcatel One Touch Tribe is reminiscent in design to the BlackBerry Curve range. The keys are compact so as to maintain a slim waistline, yet raised enough to distinguish between them; though we did feel they felt a tad creaky. Alcatel’s R&D centre has been in a colourful mood, creating five different shades; apple green, titanium grey, hot pink, cherry red and ocean blue – a move away from RIM’s more subtle chrome approach.It’s not just the exterior that shines brightly. The 2.2-inch TFT screen is particularly vibrant, especially when compared to previous Alcatel incarnations. The menu icons are crisp and sharp, laid out in a grid-like fashion that can be edited according to which features you use. Below the screen are four hard keys, two of which relate to the tabs found at the bottom of the screen, and the other two representing your messaging options and a dedicated camera key. When idle, the hard key on the right-hand side of the phone relates to the phonebook. Nothing out of the ordinary there, we hear you say. True, but something we thought quite cool was that you can divide your contacts into personal, professional and favourites. We’re not convinced that someone who runs their business on the go would opt for the One Touch, but it gives scope in terms of dividing your contacts. Likewise, the messaging key is another quick route to accessing and composing both texts and emails, though don’t expect to receive your emails in a push like fashion.
While the phone can be navigated by the D-pad, a more novel and effective method is the scroll wheel – found down the right-hand side of the device. Here you can scroll through your menus, while pressing it in will conjure a widget bar that emerges from the side of the screen.
Alcatel phones are not known for their internet capabilities, but with the likes of EDGE data speeds and the ever excellent Opera Mini browser both on board, the One Touch will fare well for the average web surfer. Alcatel has been kind enough to bundle in a few internet related features too. For example, the My Friends function provides shortcuts to a variety of social networking sites including Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, Bebo and Flickr. Palringo is also on board, which is effectively a platform for any instant messaging services you are signed up to, placing them all neatly into one place.The two-megapixel snapper reeks of token gesture, with no zoom or flash available for stills, while the zooming function when using the video camera distorts it to near unusable proportions. OK for capturing the gist of a moment, but nothing more.
The One Touch Tribe is Alcatel’s best phone to date. QWERTY keyboards are in high demand due to their superior text abilities. The fact that Alcatel is joining the likes of LG in bringing such an experience to the entry-level market gets the thumbs up from us. It’s not one for early adopters, but if you like your phones cheap, colourful and easy to use then the Alcatel One Touch Tribe could be worth a look.