Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review

Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Introduction


Alcatel surprised many during CES 2015, when it announced a peculiar smartwatch of sorts. At first thought, most folks believed they were entering the Android Wear community, but that didn’t quite become the reality, as the Alcatel OneTouch Watch turned out to be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. In a way, that one unique perk gives it a step up over its Android Wear counterparts, since their reach is only limited to Android devices. Having so many options to choose from in the space, can the Alcatel OneTouch Watch deliver the punch to make it a contender?

Design

Compact, round face watch style, metal casing, and its IP67 construction makes this one attractive.

Impressively, Alcatel has fashioned something compelling with the OneTouch Watch – it’s good-looking, solidly constructed, and it’s pretty compact in size. Of course, comparisons will be drawn to the Moto 360, but we’d still give Alcatel kudos for producing something that feels and looks good. That’s partly because they decided to go with the round face watch design, which definitely gives it that classical timepiece association. Naturally, its relatively small size will undoubtedly appease those with smaller wrists, as it boasts a more practical proportion.

Sporting a metal casing, it absolutely gives the OneTouch Watch that high quality feel. The only sore spot in its design is found in the tick marks and numbers found hugging the outside area of the watch face – it serves no real purpose. Instead, it would’ve been better if were just a clean surface, giving it a better, more uniform look.

Unfortunately, the rubbery textured wrist strap cannot be replaced. That’s a bummer for those expecting to swap bands, but Alcatel’s decision is without warrant. In fact, there are two main reasons why they decided to go with this particular implementation. First, the strap features an NFC tag for easy initial setup. Secondly, rather than going with a proprietary charging system, Alcatel has embedded the charger into the end of the band – so there’s no fiddling around with cables or adapters to charge it. Still, it would have been nice to have the option of changing the band to a different style, since the stock one is decidedly sporty.

Rounding things out, there’s a heart rate sensor on the underside of the Alcatel OneTouch Watch – while a single button on its right side turns on the display. In terms of comfort, the strap is adjustable to accommodate various wrist sizes. On top of that, the rubbery material feels soft over the skin, allowing it to hug the wrist without too much discomfort. Oh yeah, it’s also IP67 certified to make it dustproof and to protect it from submersion.

 

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Display

Surprisingly, the display bears some good qualities in making it viewable in all sorts of conditions.

For what it is, the 1.22-inch 240 x 204 display is effective for all practical use. Sure, it’s not the most detailed thing we’ve come across, but its potent brightness output, neutral color reproduction, and decent viewing angles makes it easy to use in all sorts of conditions – even outdoors with the sun present. Upon closer inspection, however, one can notice that it has the same “flat tire” shape of the Moto 360, where the bottom portion is flat. Alcatel has chosen to reserve this area for the “back” function, so pressing on it will perform it.

Pressing the button on its side, or flicking out the wrist to turn on the display, the first thing we’re greeted to is the time. Tapping on the screen then gets us to the main menu, which contains icons to some of its functions. What’s nice is that we have access to data directly through the display, rather than going through the app to see fitness data. Showing off its “smart” function, we can even view notifications at any time by swiping up from the bottom bezel. Generally speaking, these notifications are more like previews, but some dish up more information.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review

Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Introduction


Alcatel surprised many during CES 2015, when it announced a peculiar smartwatch of sorts. At first thought, most folks believed they were entering the Android Wear community, but that didn’t quite become the reality, as the Alcatel OneTouch Watch turned out to be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. In a way, that one unique perk gives it a step up over its Android Wear counterparts, since their reach is only limited to Android devices. Having so many options to choose from in the space, can the Alcatel OneTouch Watch deliver the punch to make it a contender?

Design

Compact, round face watch style, metal casing, and its IP67 construction makes this one attractive.

Impressively, Alcatel has fashioned something compelling with the OneTouch Watch – it’s good-looking, solidly constructed, and it’s pretty compact in size. Of course, comparisons will be drawn to the Moto 360, but we’d still give Alcatel kudos for producing something that feels and looks good. That’s partly because they decided to go with the round face watch design, which definitely gives it that classical timepiece association. Naturally, its relatively small size will undoubtedly appease those with smaller wrists, as it boasts a more practical proportion.

Sporting a metal casing, it absolutely gives the OneTouch Watch that high quality feel. The only sore spot in its design is found in the tick marks and numbers found hugging the outside area of the watch face – it serves no real purpose. Instead, it would’ve been better if were just a clean surface, giving it a better, more uniform look.

Unfortunately, the rubbery textured wrist strap cannot be replaced. That’s a bummer for those expecting to swap bands, but Alcatel’s decision is without warrant. In fact, there are two main reasons why they decided to go with this particular implementation. First, the strap features an NFC tag for easy initial setup. Secondly, rather than going with a proprietary charging system, Alcatel has embedded the charger into the end of the band – so there’s no fiddling around with cables or adapters to charge it. Still, it would have been nice to have the option of changing the band to a different style, since the stock one is decidedly sporty.

Rounding things out, there’s a heart rate sensor on the underside of the Alcatel OneTouch Watch – while a single button on its right side turns on the display. In terms of comfort, the strap is adjustable to accommodate various wrist sizes. On top of that, the rubbery material feels soft over the skin, allowing it to hug the wrist without too much discomfort. Oh yeah, it’s also IP67 certified to make it dustproof and to protect it from submersion.


Display

Surprisingly, the display bears some good qualities in making it viewable in all sorts of conditions.

For what it is, the 1.22-inch 240 x 204 display is effective for all practical use. Sure, it’s not the most detailed thing we’ve come across, but its potent brightness output, neutral color reproduction, and decent viewing angles makes it easy to use in all sorts of conditions – even outdoors with the sun present. Upon closer inspection, however, one can notice that it has the same “flat tire” shape of the Moto 360, where the bottom portion is flat. Alcatel has chosen to reserve this area for the “back” function, so pressing on it will perform it.

Pressing the button on its side, or flicking out the wrist to turn on the display, the first thing we’re greeted to is the time. Tapping on the screen then gets us to the main menu, which contains icons to some of its functions. What’s nice is that we have access to data directly through the display, rather than going through the app to see fitness data. Showing off its “smart” function, we can even view notifications at any time by swiping up from the bottom bezel. Generally speaking, these notifications are more like previews, but some dish up more information.

Alcatel OneTouch Move app

The lack of organization and depth prevents the app from being useful for fitness.

In order to sync data, you’ll need to download the companion Alcatel OneTouch Move app, which gathers the data from the Watch, so it’s presented in a meaningful matter through the app. We’ve experienced several fitness apps, like Fitbit, but the OneTouch Move app is pretty Spartan in what it provides – so it’s essentially as basic as they come.

Sure, we can view how many steps we’ve taken, calories burned, distance covered, and our heart rate, but the app doesn’t do anything else besides show us that data. Unfortunately, there are no charts or graphs to show us our progress over time. Instead, we’re required to move between the various days, which is a tedious process on its own.

There’s a timeline of events that breaks down our performance, like what distance we’ve covered, the type of movement, and the time. And finally, there’s an area that allows us to customize the watch face – a small level of personalization in an otherwise straightforward interface.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Connectivity


Pairing it with an iPhone 6 Plus via Bluetooth, the process is simple and straightforward with the aid of the app. One cool feature is being able to track down our _phone_ in the event we’ve lost or misplaced it somewhere nearby, just because we can tap on the watch to make the _phone_ play a notification tone. Additionally, there’s the anti-loss feature that reminds us if we’re too far out of range with our phone.

Performance

It’s as basic as it can get in what it can do; it neither excels greatly in being a fitness tracker or smartwatch – so it’s just okay.

For a fitness tracker, the Alcatel OneTouch Watch is pretty basic in what it can do. Obviously, step tracking is one of them, which it does pretty well. With that information, it can then tell us how many calories we’ve burned, the amount of distance covered, and duration. And just like many fitness trackers, it can also measure our heart rate and track sleep. With the latter, it’s a manual process that requires us to turn on/off the mode, which is a pain at times because we’re forgetful about it. Seriously, though, it would’ve been better if it were an automatic feature. Likewise, the heart rate feature falls in the same boat because it too is a manual process. Therefore, if we don’t constantly measure our heart rate, it won’t generate any meaningful data for us to review.

On the flip side, the OneTouch Watch bears a few smartwatch functions – such as being able to view weather information, access to a compass, control our music, act as a remote shutter for our phone’s camera, and even set alarms. Access to them is straightforward, which is something we appreciate, but what’s lacking here is an ecosystem. Unlike other smartwatch platforms, there isn’t a hub where we can download additional content or apps, to further deepen its functionality.

Riding off that notion, we can say the same thing about its fitness tracking capabilities. It’s just bare-bones and doesn’t offer the comprehensive tool-set we find in some of today’s premier fitness trackers.

Battery

It’s better than most smartwatches, but we love that its charger is built into the wrist band.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Review
Armed with a 210 mAh battery, Alcatel claims that it’ll offer 2 to 5 days of battery life. In our experience, we generally reached 3 solid days before it’s tapped out – that’s better than most smartwatches, but falls short against your standard fitness tracker. Despite that, we’re pleased to find out that it takes less than an hour to get it back to full capacity with its built-in USB 2.0 charger.

Conclusion


This is clearly a middle-of-the-road device, as it delivers only the most basic functions for a smartwatch and fitness tracker. In fact, we don’t find it really excelling in one area more than the other, so you can say that it’s a convergence piece that tries to offer the best from both product segments. Sporting a retail price of $149.99, that’s not bad of a sticker tag because it’s competitive to the pricing we see in today’s popular fitness trackers – while still undercutting smartwatches. Naturally, this isn’t what we feel to be the all-in-one solution, but rather, it offers a decent mixture of functionality at a pretty compelling price point.

The design is pretty decent, and we really appreciate some of its thoughtful design qualities – like its built-in charger. However, the biggest obstacle in the way for the Alcatel OneTouch Watch is its non-existent ecosystem. That’s certainly limiting its value, but at the same time, there’s a no-frills attachment to the experience. Buy it for its decent looks and straightforward operation, nothing more.



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