Alcatel dreams big with its OneTouch Watch. At first glance, you’re not going to think “premium” or “OMG, I must have it”, but you might be surprised.
Alcatel has taken a step back and instead of stuffing the watch with unnecessary hardware and features, they’ve kept it simple and to the point. This device does just about exactly what a smartwatch needs to do.
Alcatel has gone ahead with a circular design similar to that of the Moto 360. The smartwatch is mostly metal except for its plastic back. This is hardly an issue; it just feels a bit out of place. The watch is water-and dust-resistant up to the IP67 standard. The strap is one of its biggest downsides. It is heavy, rigid and uncomfortable, but it also has an upside —the USB jack is on the strap itself, which slides into any USB port to charge.
The watch is powered by a STMicroelectronics STM429 chipset and a long-lasting 210mAh battery. An incredibly fast charge of about 20 minutes lasted me easily for 36 hours. There’s a gyroscope, altimeter, accelerometer, heart rate monitor and an NFC radio, all neatly shoved into a 10.5mm thick body.
I was quite surprised that the device isn’t powered by Android Wear but considering the proprietary software has everything you need from a smartwatch, I didn’t mind too much. The apps include weather, sensors, heart rate monitor and others.
Two features I enjoyed using were the sleep monitor and the remote for the camera. The latter works efficiently and comes in handy. Notifications are useful and are segregated according to the app that notifies you. The heart rate monitor is never accurate unless the device is tightly strapped on your wrist, which can be uncomfortable when running or swimming. The watch is compatible with both iOS and Android.
It is priced at $150 (about Dh550), which seems like a pretty good entry point into the market. A few tweaks to the OS and connectivity would improve my opinion of this device, but it’s a very hit-and-miss situation depending on what you are looking for. For now, I think the Alcatel OneTouch finds itself a place with the big boys and shows potential for better things to come.