Alcatel OneTouch in partnership with Microsoft and T-Mobile U.S. are launching the new Fierce XL smartphone with Windows 10 in the coming weeks.
We managed to get a hands-on with the budget-friendly smartphone here at CES 2016 and figured we would give you the full tour. Watch our hands-on video to see what is coming.
Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
- Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.29
- 5.5-inch HD Display (1280x720 pixels)
- 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 Quad-Core Processor
- Cyan color exclusive to T-Mobile
- 4G LTE Cat 4 (B2/4/12)
- 8MP AF Main Camera with x2 Digital Zoom + 2MP Front-Facing Camera
- 2GB of RAM + 16GB of storage
- 2500mAH battery for up to 14 hours of talk time and 820 hours of standby time
- Additional Features: VoLTE, FCC Mandated Anti-Theft Protection and T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling compatibility
Alcatel OneTouch has done an admirable job with the Fierce XL. The HD display is a little bit washed out when compared to the deeper blacks on some Lumias, but it is also much better than what we have seen from other budget OEMs in the past.
Being a 5.5-inch display with a curved body makes the Fierce XL feel great in the hand with no grip issues. The power button is placed on the right-hand side above the volume rocker, which is non-standard, but not as jarring as the split button setup on the Lumia 950 XL.
The cameras are fine and, of course, feature the Rich Capture ability found in the standard Windows Camera app. Images will be decent but at $140 the Fierce XL is still in the budget lineup so expectations should meet that category.
The cyan color, which is exclusive to T-Mobile for now, is a nice nod to Lumia fans of the past who liked a little personality with their phone.
The Windows 10 Mobile experience is vanilla with no customizations or unique apps, save for T-Mobile's apps and Wi-Fi calling. That's a good thing too as I don't think manufacturers should feel obligated to try and improve upon the OS. Plus it saves everyone costs that get passed on somewhere.
Although the Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 is not a powerhouse of a processor the phone's performance felt fine to me with no real lag. Performance is certainly helped by the unusual (but welcomed) inclusion of 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB found in most budget phones.
The Fierce XL from Alcatel OneTouch is a solid looking Windows 10 Mobile phone for budget conscious shoppers. More importantly, it gives those on T-Mobile who have aging Lumias in that price range somewhere to go for 2016.
I liked the Fierce XL, and, more importantly, I liked Alcatel OneTouch's commitment to the Windows 10 Mobile ecosystem. They have made it clear to us that this is not their only phone coming this year with the Microsoft OS, and they will release phones in the high-end too, possibly near the summer time. It's exciting to see a company this interested in Windows 10 Mobile and hopefully the Fierce XL on T-Mobile will do well for them.
The Fierce XL launches in the coming weeks on T-Mobile in the US for an estimated retail price of $139 with no contract. Unlocked variants will eventually be sold through Alcatel OneTouch and Microsoft Stores directly as well including support for AT&T LTE.
Don't forget to check out our hands-on with the Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 - an 8-inch Windows 10 Mobile tablet with LTE. It is a very cool device for just $199!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.