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Alcatel OneTouch Watch: Review

Alcatel OneTouch Watch


If you're looking to pick up your first wearable and don't want to break the bank and aren't fussed about extra apps the OneTouch Watch could be for you.


  • Attractive price point
  • Decent feature set
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Strong design


  • Not the most fluid of interfaces
  • No GPS
  • Battery life worry
  • Read only notifications

Alcatel may not be the first name to spring to mind when you think of wearables, but it may just force its way into your consciousness with its latest product, the Alcatel OneTouch Watch.

With a release date set for March the OneTouch Watch isn't too far away from hitting stores, and with a touted price tag of just 100 (around £80, $120, AU$140) it's comfortably cheaper than the competition.

Launched at CES 2015, at first glance you could mistake the OneTouch Watch for the Moto 360, as both devices sport very similar designs.

That's not a bad thing by any means, as I'm rather fond of the sleek Moto 360 and Alcatel has managed to provided an equally attractive look in a slimmer, 10.5mm body.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
The 360 comes in at a slightly more portly 11.5mm, while the LG G Watch R has a 9.7mm waist.
It features a circular face, but as with the Motorola this isn't a full circle with a segment cut off at the base of the display.
This segment is a touch sensitive panel which acts as a back button, allowing you to exit applications, get to the app list and return to the watch face.
With a resolution of just 240 x 204 the 1.22-inch display on the Alcatel OneTouch Watch isn't going to blow you away, but it's still readable and doesn't detract from overall operation.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
There's a single physical button on the right side of the watch which acts as a power/lock key, and it sits nicely in the metal surround of the device.
At first it wasn't clear how to control the OneTouch Watch, but after a quick demo I found Alcatel's custom interface easy to use.
It's the firm's own software, it's not opted to go down the Android Wear route, and that provides a key benefit - the OneTouch Watch works with both Android (version 4.3 and up) and iOS (7 and up).
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
The interface is pretty basic, and there's no option to install third party apps, you just get the stock selection from Alcatel.
That includes various fitness metrics, a compass, weather, music remote, find my phone, alarm and a handful of watch faces.
It's not the speediest of interfaces either, and while I didn't experience any lag during my brief hands on time the OneTouch Watch does lack the fluidity of Android Wear.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
Slide up from the bottom of the screen at any point on the OneTouch Watch and you'll be taken to notification view, where all your phone's alerts are pushed to.
It doesn't sport the integration you get with the Android Wear crowd, it's a simple read only affair - but at least it's enough for you to make a decision whether or not to reach for your phone.
Fire up the camera app on your device, and tap the camera icon in the app grid on the Alcatel OneTouch Watch and with a flick of the wrist you can snap a photo without having to touch a shutter button.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
I tried this a few times during my hands on, and the results were a little hit and miss with the OneTouch Watch not always registering my wrist flicks.
Flip the watch over and you'll notice there's a heart rate monitor on the rear, which links directly to the heart app on the device.
As well as tracking your beats per minute the OneTouch Watch can also record your steps, exercise and calories burnt. There's no GPS, but a compass and altimeter will do their best to try and guide you in the right direction.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
Alcatel has stuck a 210mAh battery inside the OneTouch Watch, which is a little on the small side compared to the Motorola (320mAh) and LG (410mAh) - although it claims it'll give you three days use from a single charge.
You'll have to wait for the full review to see if that's realistic, and while the interface is more rudimentary than Google's OS the size of the battery does concern me.
At least it's easy to charge, with no annoying dock or cradle required to power it back up. Just flip the rubber cover at the end of the strap and you'll be greeted by a USB connector, allowing you to quickly and easily plug the watch into a USB port.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch review
It's the same setup as I saw on the Huawei TalkBand B1, but it does mean you can't swap out the strap for a different look.

Early verdict

I rather like the Alcatel OneTouch Watch. It's got the core functions required for a smartwatch and the price tag will be attractive for those looking to pick up their first wearable without breaking the bank.
The interface isn't as slick as Android Wear and there's no option to install third party apps, but the features on offer and the premium design make the OneTouch Watch a wearable to keep an eye on.

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