Alcatel OneTouch Evolve Review

Posted by Tommy Rebik on 19 August, 2013 Alcatel Phone Reviews |
Alcatel Evolve
There's no other way to describe it, the Alcatel One Touch Evolve is an inexpensive phone at $99 all-in, you’ll get a smartphone that has a sleek design that’s held back by an old version of Android, a dim screen, and an outdated camera. This model is is part of the brand's efforts to sell entry-level budget smartphones to top-tier carriers in the US, which is something the company has not done before. It may be a budget device, but its poor performance makes me want to not recommend it. For additional $$$, you can get a lot more performance, like from the LG Optimus F3 or the Nokia Lumia 520 / 521 , three budget smart phones that are worth your money.

Despite being a wallet friendly device, the all-black Evolve does not look particularly cheap. Compared with the design on the Fierce, the One Touch Evolve looks understated with its soft-touch matte back cover and silver accents. It’s also presented with a shiny dark detail around its edge, just near the display, which helps elevate the design. It measures just 4.7 inches tall, 2.5 wide, and 0.4 inch wide, the One Touch Evolve is just perfect for one-handed use as it goes without straining to tap any part of the screen. I am accustomed to using a much larger phablet, so this Evolve feels tiny in my hands, which is a welcome change. It's also a bit heavy weighing at 4.7 ounces, though that did not bother me at all. Up top, you will find the usual power/lock button and a headset jack, along the right spine you will find a volume rocker. Its charging port is on the left side making the phone awkward to hold in your left hand while it’s charging. On the back of the smart phone, there's a removable battery that covers the SIM /SD card slots. It has capacitive hot keys found on the bezel below the screen for the home, back, and menu controls.

It has a 4-inch 480x800-pixel touch screen that doesn't look sharp.
Instead, the screen looks dim and is hard to read in sunlight. It’s highly reflective, it's tough to read in full sunlight. It easily collects a lot of dirt and smudges also, making it hard to read the screen clearly. The Alcatel One Touch Evolve runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1, which isn't the latest version of Android operating system. However, you probably won't spot too many differences between the version 4.1 and the most current version, Android Jelly Bean 4.3. It comes with a custom Android overlay with colorful menus and square-shaped icons. Since the One Touch Evolve is an Android device, it’s preloaded with Google Android apps, such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google+. Alcatel also opted to use Google Chrome as the default browser instead of the stock Android browser. You will also get quite a few apps from Alcatel including a notes app, a movie studio and a special setup wizard that walks you through setting up your phone's language and basic settings, such as WiFi or e-mail. T-Mobile also preloaded the device with suite of four apps, including Visual Voice-mail and T-Mobile TV.

The Alacatel One Touch Evolve has a 5-megapixel back rear facing camera which for me is a deal breaker as it has a fixed-focus lens that can't take sharp up-close pictures. The brand included a few extra camera features including continuous, smile detection, panorama mode and facial-detection technology. It also comes with a front-facing VGA camera that works just fine though the output is not clear and vibrant.

Alcatel's One Touch Evolve is available on T-Mobile's network in the US. I tested the device in our area in San Francisco and found out that the call quality was impressive and clear, though its earpiece and speaker made audio sound flat and muffled. Performance wise, its sluggish 1GHz processor also slows things down. Using 2 or more apps simultaneously will cause hangups or will eventually shut down the device. However, playing mobile games like Temple Run 2 is OK as it did not freeze or shut down though the graphics didn't look sharp. The gameplay is not as smooth as well compared on other handsets. In my battery drain test, its 1,400mAh battery lasted for just over 3.5 while playing video continuously. In my real-world tests, the smart phone stayed alive during a full day of making a few calls, checking emails, and playing a simple game. As per FCC, the One Touch Evolve has a digital SAR rating of 1.49W/kg.

For its price, it seems ok. For $99 off contract, this probably is one of the cheapest phones on T-Mobile, as of October 2013. I’d only recommend this device to entry level users, as it can do basic and the usual tasks. Not for games or hardcore users indeed!

Featured Cell Phone News
  • Here in the US, Alcatel is starting to create a name for itself as a low-cost Android manufac...
  • The iPhone 6 is an uber hyped phone from the brand that delivers a bigger screen while remain...
  • Here's why the Amazon Fire should grab your attention: it looks pretty good, it performs well...
  • For me, the Alcatel One Touch Fierce lives up to its name as it really is a one ferocious dev...
  • A year ago, iPhone 5 was the best iPhone we'd ever seen. It has met our expectations and wishes...