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printed September 30, 2014
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Review: Alcatel OneTouch Fierce for T-Mobile

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  4  

Screen

The Fierce's display measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal and includes 960 x 540 pixels (qHD resolution). Most other devices in this price class have 800 x 480 screens, so the Fierce offers a bit of an upgrade in comparison. It's definitely not as sharp as the HD screens you’ll find on higher-end phones, but most on-screen elements are smooth and free of jagged edges. The display offers plenty of brightness and can be used outdoors without issue. There's a bit of drop off in brightness when the phone is tilted side-to-side, but viewing angles are still decent. Colors are not quite accurate. Whites look more blue than white across the entire operating system, even when the device is viewed head-on.

Signal

T-Mobile's signal was no match for the Fierce, which found it and remained consistently connected. I was able to test the Fierce on T-Mobile's HSPA+ and it did a commendable job. The Fierce doesn't support LTE. The phone didn't miss any calls during the review period, nor did it drop any. Call set-up times depended on signal strength. Strong signal equated immediate connections, while weak signal led to a slight delay in call connections. Data performance was also better under a strong signal, but it was still able to send/receive bits even under the weakest signal conditions.

Sound

Call quality was mixed. When used normally, calls routed to the earpiece were loud and clear. I had no trouble holding a conversation in a noisy coffee shop or bustling shopping mall. The earpiece produces warm voices that are pleasing. Those with whom I spoke said I sounded decent. I didn't encounter any interference. The speakerphone is a different story. First, it is prone to distortion. It's far too quiet, necessitating that you pump up the volume. Unfortunately, cranking up the volume overpowers the speaker and leads to tons of crackling, popping, and other unpleasant noises. I'd call the speakerphone close to useless. Ringers and alerts could be much louder. I missed several calls when the Fierce was in another room because the ringers don't blare enough. The vibrate alert was good, though.

Battery

The Fierce's 1,800mAh battery was adequate in providing about a full day's use. The device consistently lasted from 7AM to 10PM with moderate. When used heavily for browsing and social networking, however, the battery was more apt to konk out at 8PM. You'll need to charge it each night, and might have to pay attention to the battery throughout the day.

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