Recently I have returned from IFA in Berlin and I have felt the need to report on one device in particular that really impressed me to no end. This year we saw some very interesting products from Samsung, Sony and even Phillips, however there was one device that, in my opinion, really stole the show if everything I was told is correct.
Weighing it at a possible £275-£300 is the Alcatel Hero 2. This little known French company grabs the bull by the horns this year and produced a phone that is, on the one hand budget friendly, yet on the other it manages to capture almost everything that every other manufacturer has injected into their latest and greatest. We have no affiliated with Alcatal, and to my knowledge never have, how this Hero 2 handset impressed the sock off me.
Case and point.
Yes, the Hero 2 features a 6″ TFT LCD display. The TFT technology is a little off putting these days, however at the 1080p resolution (367 ppi), and with Dragontrail glass for protection and oleophobic coating this phone almost looks just as good at a Note III. Certainly setting it next to the Note 4, the difference will be night and day however the average user will be looking for something that is easily passable for usage and this is will certainly meets the challenge.
Inside the Hero 2 is a MediaTek MT6592 chipset with an octa-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and 2G of RAM. Internal storage is 16GB expandable by up to 32GB via the microSD card slot. Things run smoothly and with a refreshingly sparse overlay. There are still additions from Alcatel however no where near that we see on the Samsung and Sony devices shown. It was nice to go back to a more familiar interface having spent time with the likes of the Sony Xperia Z3.
You also get Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0, NFC and 4G. The battery of the Hero 2 is a hefty 3,100mAh rated at a 10hours of 3G talk time (4.5h in 4G mode) and stand-by time of 380 hours. A rather decent 13MP OIS camera sits on the back with a single LED flash and recording video of up to 1080p@30fps. There is a stylus in the Hero 2 and it’s very similar to the Samsung S Pen. Alongside this are a couple of peripherals. For example a game pad, touch screen game controller that click onto the Hero 2 providing protection and simple interaction.
Of all the phones on display in Berlin, this is the one that made the biggest impression on me, and I have thought most about since. Certainly, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony all had strong offerings featuring revolutionary technologies, however it was Alcatel who produced a simple, elegant, well made and modestly priced road warrior. Provided the price translates when crossing the channel…