Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

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At $99, the Alcatel One Touch Evolve is a good deal, but its matte bezels aren’t going to wow anyone.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Sarah Mitroff is a managing editor who oversees our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout his career, he has written about mobile technology, consumer technology, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld and VentureBeat.

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There’s no getting around it, the Alcatel One Touch Evolve is cheap, both in terms of price and specs. It’s a $99 smartphone with a sleek design, but it’s held back by an old version of Android, a weak screen, and a weak fixed-focus camera.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

The Alcatel One Touch Evolve has impressive call quality and is one of the lowest priced phones from T-Mobile.

The $99 Alcatel One Touch Evolve is an affordable Android phone, but its poor performance makes it not even worth the price.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Alcatel One Touch Fierce Teardown

The Evolve, along with the $139 One Touch Fierce, is part of Alcatel’s push to bring entry-level budget smartphones to top US carriers, something the company hasn’t done before. While the Evolve is a budget device and I would expect lower-end specs and features for its price, its poor performance means I can’t recommend it just yet. For a little more money and a lot more performance, look at the LG Optimus F3 or Nokia Lumia 520 /521, three budget phones that are worth the money.

Despite its budget price, the all-black Evolve doesn’t look particularly cheap. Compared to the sleek design of the Fierce, this model looks understated with its soft matte back cover and silver accents. There’s also a glossy dark detail around the edge near the screen that helps lift the design.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Unfortunately, that premium finish disappears after picking it up, as I felt the back cover move even when I gently gripped the sides of the device. While the back cover feels soft in my hands, the phone itself is boxy.

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At just 4.7 inches tall, 2.5 inches wide, and 0.4 inches wide, the Evolve is small enough to be used with one hand without forcing you to touch any part of the screen. My everyday phone is a much larger phablet, so it feels small in my hands, which is a welcome change. It’s also heavy for its 4.7-ounce size, though that didn’t bother me.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

At the top you’ll find the standard power/lock button and headphone jack, while on the right is the volume rocker. Unlike most Android phones that have charging ports on the bottom, the port here is on the left side. This makes holding the phone awkward in the left hand while charging.

On the back there is a removable battery that covers the SIM and SD card slots. It’s a pain to remove the battery just to replace the SD card, which can add up to 32GB of additional storage to complement the built-in 4GB.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3

Instead of physical buttons, the phone has capacitive hotkeys placed on a bezel below the display for home, back and menu controls. The only way to tell which button is which is to tap somewhere on the bottom bezel to turn on the backlight, which illuminates the outline of each hotkey.

At just 233 pixels per inch, it’s no surprise that the 4-inch, 480×800-pixel screen doesn’t look sharp, although I was disappointed by how dim it is even at maximum brightness. Icons, especially those designed by Alcatel, look fuzzy, but medium to large text is easy to read. This screen supports 16 million colors, and the colors of the icons and background images on the screen appear saturated.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Because the screen itself is highly reflective, it is difficult to read in sunlight. It also collects a lot of smudges, making it difficult to read the screen clearly. You’ll want to keep a cleaning cloth handy so you can wipe it down often.

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Evolve comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.1, which is not the latest version of the operating system. However, if you’re not already familiar with the operating system, you probably won’t notice many differences between 4.1 and the latest version, Android Jelly Bean 4.3.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

However, you’ll notice Alcatel’s usual Android look, with colorful menus and square icons. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal a dedicated notification menu that has tons of settings where you can toggle Wi-Fi, sound, Bluetooth, and more.

Alcatel’s tweaks remind me of Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay, which is too juvenile for my taste, but the streamlined design here will appeal to anyone who needs a little extra guidance.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Alcatel Onetouch Fire Specs

All the standard Google Android apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Google+ are pre-installed, and Alcatel has chosen to use Google Chrome as its default browser instead of the Android browser. This is a plus for me since Google Chrome is my go-to mobile browser because you can sync your open tabs with your computer or tablet.

From Alcatel, there’s a notes app, a movie studio that lets you edit videos, and a custom setup assistant that helps you set up your phone’s language and basic settings like WiFi or email. T-Mobile Mail also added its own suite of four apps, including Visual Voicemail and T-Mobile TV. You have to pay an additional subscription fee to use T-Mobile TV, Visual Voicemail and Mobile Hotspot, I think the TV and Voicemail apps both have free trials.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

The gesture-based Swype keyboard is pre-installed and set as the default keyboard. If you’re not familiar, Swype allows you to move your finger from letter to letter to enter text instead of touching the screen. Keyboards were more interesting a few years ago, but now gesture typing is more common and available in the Android browser and other apps like Swiftkey.

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The Evolve has a 5-megapixel rear camera. My main gripe is that it has a fixed focus lens, which limits the types of shots you can take.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Because of that fixed focus lens, you can’t take sharp close-up shots with this camera. If you tap the screen while the camera is on, which on most smartphone cameras focuses the lens on that area, it will simply adjust the lighting. There’s also no flash, so you’ll need to adjust your camera’s ISO and exposure level to compensate for low-light conditions.

Indoor shots with lots of natural light had significant digital noise and a glowing, halo-like effect on anything that was white. In a standard studio shot, the photo is again noisy and looks dark in places. His gallery shows how other phones fared in the studio’s shooting test.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Alcatel One Touch Pixi Avion Ltea

In this close-up, the camera’s fixed focus lens was unable to focus on the glass in the foreground. Sarah Mitroff

Alcatel has included some additional camera features such as continuous shooting (also known as burst mode to take multiple photos at once) and smile detection. These, along with panorama mode and face detection technology, help make the camera more useful.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Smile detection can detect if your subject is smiling, and when they do, the photo will be cropped. you don’t even have to press the shutter button. In my testing, the camera did a great job of ignoring other facial expressions and only responds to smiles. The portrait shots I took looked sharp, if a little dark, even in bright indoor light.

Tracfone Alcatel Pixi Glitz Prepaid Smartphone, Black

There is noise on the couch and carpet in this close-up. Also, the logo appears to be glowing. Sarah Mitroff

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

The rear camera records in 720p, and the videos I shot played well on my phone screen and computer without any pixelation or tearing. It also picked up my inside voice easily, even though it was distorted. Video suffered from the same faded brightness as still footage.

Streaming YouTube videos looked worse than recorded videos, even when playing high-quality YouTube videos over a fast WiFi connection.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

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There’s also a front-facing VGA camera, which has more digital noise than the rear camera, and made me look either completely washed out or noticeably dark, depending on the lighting. It also lacks one of the special features I mentioned earlier that the 5-megapixel camera has.

The Alcatel One Touch Evolve (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) is available on the T-Mobile network in the US. I tested it using the San Francisco network.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

Call quality was impressive and clear, although headphones and the phone’s speaker made the sound flat and muffled.

Alcatel Onetouch Elevate (5017b) (silver, 8 Gb, Android 5.1.1,

My primary testing partner said my voice sounded crisp and clear both when holding the Evolve to my ear and using the speaker. On my end, his voice was smooth, but there was no background noise, static, or dropped words. My tester’s voice sounded muffled with the speaker, as if I had my hand over the speaker, even though I wasn’t.

Alcatel One Touch Wont Turn On

I used the Evolve on T-Mobile’s network in San Francisco, one of the regions that has 4G LTE. However, this phone only supports

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