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Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD Review

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Alcatel is recently released a slew of gorgeous smartphones one of which is the OneTouch Idol Ultra which I had the chance to review, and the another one, the OneTouch Scribe HD, is the subject of this review.  The Alcatel OneTouch Idol Ultra is meant for those who prefer a big display handset while the OneTouch Scribe HD is meant for those who prefer even larger displays.  The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is actually a “phablet” by current classification since it marries the tablet and the smartphone form factors.  And just like the Galaxy Note series of Samsung, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD also works with a stylus pen.  Read the rest of the review to find out more about the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD.

Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD – Design

I was impressed by the thin profile of the Alcatel OneTouch Idol Ultra and in a similar fashion, I was also amazed at how thin the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is.  The Scribe HD is actually a tad thicker but by phablet standards, it’s still one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest around.

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I must admit I was surprised at how good the design and construction of the current crop of Alcatel smartphones.  The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD has a premium appeal thanks to a combination of premium-looking materials and an excellent industrial design.  For a device coming from Alcatel, this is a major feat.  The package even comes with a magnetic snap-on cover and a stylus pen.

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The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD share the same design elements with the Alcatel OneTouch Idol Ultra and it appears like one is just the bigger version of the other.   The materials and finish are the same and even the shapes are the same.  In other words, they are both stunning devices and words really can’t adequately describe how gorgeous they are.  If I were to judge these devices on looks alone, I’d say they’ll both get 9.5 scores out of 10 but unfortunately, I have to look at the other features.

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The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD has no physical buttons on the front panel.  Neither does it have capacitive buttons.  The Scribe HD’s home, back and running apps buttons are on-screen the same way Google presents it in the Nexus devices.  The list of buttons and ports include the power button and headphone jack on top, volume rocker and microSD slot on the right side, and a micro-SIM slot on the left side.  The back cover is not removable so the cards are made accessible through covered slots.  The back of the device shows a protruding camera lens to the bottom of which is the flash.  On the bottom part is the speaker grille.

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Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD – Hardware

The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD ahs a beautiful design so it would have been a waste of effort if it had mediocre specs.  Thankfully, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD has a very compelling set of hardware that includes a 5-inch IPS 720×1280 pixel HD display, 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel, 1GB RAM and 2500mAh battery.  What could be the only disappointment is the internal storage which only has 4GB capacity, where only about 1.85GB is available to the user.  Thankfully, it is expandable via microSD slot up to 32GB.   What’s surprising is that the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is only priced at P13,490.

Here are the main specs of the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD:

Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD Specs

  • 5-inch IPS 720×1280 pixel HD display
  • 1.2GHz quad-core ARMv7 CPU
  • PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • microSD card slot up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash
  • 1.3-megapixel
  • 2500mAh battery
  • Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, HSPA+
  • Micro-USB
  • Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean

The 5-inch HD display is stunning.  It’s crisp, it’s bright and it renders colors correctly.  A device this big deserves a good-looking display and the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD delivered on this area.  The display is the IPS type so it has good viewing angles as well.

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 Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD – Performance and Camera

The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is one fast device.  It’s not the fastest around and in fact it doesn’t compare to the Samsung Galaxy S4.  In terms of performance, it’s nearer to the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is good news since the Galaxy S III is still one solid device.

Quadrant and Antutu benchmark tests resulted in satisfactory ratings for the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD.  Quadrant yielded a score of 3,582 while Antutu yielded a score of 13,189.  The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is better than most devices and just sits below high end phones from more established brands.  In actual use, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is in fact fast and navigation is smooth.  It handles graphic intensive games well and also does nicely in multi-tasking.

For the camera, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD delivers decent shots but they’re not the best.  Photos are generally fine but sometimes you get washed out photos.  The camera does well in bright, well-lit situations but is wanting when it comes to low light shots.  For general use, the 8-megapixel rear camera is sufficient.

Battery life on the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is decent.  For normal use, you’ll get about 10 hours of battery life and if you use the Scribe HD sparingly, you’ll squeeze out about 4 hours more.  If you’re a heavy user, however, expect to get the battery on this phablet drained fast.

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The Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD comes with a stylus pen, which is helpful if you use apps that need a bit of precision in entering gestures or strokes.  The display is very responsive when the stylus is used.  What’s disappointing is that the phone itself has no slot for the stylus.  But this is understandable since Alcatel was aiming for a really slim profile.  Adding a space for stylus storage would have meant a thicker device.  It’s also worth mentioning that the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD does not come with special apps that really makes use of the stylus the same way Samsung developed apps for its S-Pen.  The stylus on the Scribe HD is therefore for general use only.

Wrap Up

I like the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD for its design.  It has an ultra slim profile and has solid construction and attractive finish.  If good looks are what you’re mainly after, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is the phablet for you.  This device is sure to attract envious looks and for most users, that’s the thing that matters most.  In terms of performance, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD delivers as well.   It has a good set of hardware specs and its performance is smooth and fast overall.

For the price of Php13,490, the Alcatel OneTouch Scribe HD is one compelling device.  To reach this price point some things have to be sacrificed and the main limitation for this phone is internal storage which is only at 4GB.  It’s expandable though so you only need to purchase a microSD card to get the storage capacity that you need.

Rating: 8.9/10

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