Alcatel Fierce XL review
So, on March 18, which was my birthday, I dumped the Lumia line of Windows phones after the Lumia 925 started failing me, and for the first time since December 2012, I bought an Alcatel phone.
This phone was called the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL with Windows 10 when it was released on February 10, but on March 1, was shortened slightly to the Alcatel Fierce XL.
Here are the specs:
5.5 inch HD screen
Snapdragon 210 quad core processor (LTE compatibility)
8 mp rear camera with autofocus
2 mp front facing camera
2,500 milliampere hour battery
4G: 2 (1900), 4 (1700/2100), 5 (850)
LTE: 2 (PCS, 1900) 4 (1700/2100), 12 (700)
First impression was that I finally got a Windows phone with decent battery life. Usually, Microsoft and their ODMs do a superb job when it comes to battery life, but they clearly dropped the ball with the Lumia 925 and 1020, as those two phones have a battery life that’s on par with the IPhone and any Android device not created from Chinese ODM Xiaomi. The battery on the Alcatel Fierce XL lasts a whole day for me, as I don’t use the phone as much on Mondays-Thursdays. So, we’re good here. 4 stars out of 5
With the exception of games, the performance is actually better than on the Microsoft Lumia 925, a phone that’s been called a flagship by the mainstream tech media. Some older apps crash occasionally, but that’s because they’re (for the most part) not optimized for Windows 10. 3.5 stars out of 5
The rear camera is good, not great. The front facing camera is a much different story. It’s awful and I wouldn’t recommend using the front facing camera for self portraits. One plus I found is that the Bluetooth selfie sticks actually work on this phone – they don’t work on the Lumias.
The rear camera is actually better than I thought – and that is because I needed to use some effort, something that I will admit I didn’t do in the first few days with this phone because I am a lazy oaf. To get the best shots with this phone, you will need to adjust the focus, something I failed to do early on. If the rear camera was the sole item in review, I’d give it 4.5 stars. Instead, the FFC is what brings this camera rating way down. 2.5 stars out of 5
Calls are better on this phone than on any of the past phones I’ve had (LG AX155, the LG GU295, the LG Optimus 2, the Alcatel Ultra 960C, the Microsoft Lumia 521 and Lumia 925). Part of that has to do with the Voice on LTE, part of it has to do with improved Wi-Fi Calling. Still signal is iffy in portions of Williston and Elko (this IS T-Mobile I am referring to after all) – I haven’t been through Windsor since November 2015.
I experienced only one dropped call on this phone, whereas I experienced dozens on each of the other phones I mentioned. 5 stars out of 5
This is a decent phone for someone looking for a Band 12 phone on the nation’s most improved network. Be forewarned, though, you’ll have to invest in a screen protector because the Dragontrail Glass causes a lot of smudges, especially for heavy users like me. Unless you’re a selfie freak (like some people I know), I will recommend this phone – especially for those on a fixed income and who don’t have the means to buy a Lumia 950 XL.
FINAL RATING: 4 stars out of 5