Sunday, January 25, 2015

Alcatel OneTouch Watch: What you need to know

The imaginatively named Alcatel OneTouch Watch went live at CES, offering a cheap-ticket to the smartwatch party.
Essential round-upBest smartwatch 2015
It's due to launch in March for around $150 - here's everything you need to know about the iOS and Android compatible wearable.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch: Design and build

The Alcatel OneTouch Watch "looks like a watch and feels like a watch" according to its makers and, after getting our paws on one over in Vegas at CES, we have to agree; it does look like a pretty swish looking new entrant to the ever-growing smartwatch market. It's a round-faced smartwatch with four different straps on offer - dark red/black, chrome/ dark grey, all-white and all metal-white.
It's fairly slim, with the watch face itself coming in at 10.5mm thick - that makes it svelter than the round Moto 360. The watch face itself is 41.8mm, again smaller than the Motorola smartwatch's 46mm diameter with a 1.22 inch screen.
It's not clear if the whole body of the watch is metal but Alcatel says brushed chrome and stainless steel are used on the Watch with micro-textured resin bands for the non-metal straps. The whole thing is also dust and water-resistant to IP67 - handy.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch: Features and specs

The OS looks like a modded-Android platform, although Alcatel have yet to confirm this. What we do know is that the smartwatch is Android compatible (4.3 and above) and, somewhat surprising, it is compatible with iPhone too, on devices running iOS 7 that is.
The Watch packs in an accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, heart rate sensor, e-compass and NFC tag for fitness tracking and connectivity as well as Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to your smartphone and a vibration motor for alerts. There's an onscreen activity overview available though it's not clear what app is taking care of the fitness and sleep tracking and monitoring yet.
As on Android Wear, the Watch can also be used to control music playback and as a remote shutter for your smartphone. All standard features but ones that should make £200+ Android Wear watches very worried indeed.
There's a 210mAh battery that Alcatel states 'can work for 2-5 days' - we'll believe that when we see it - and it can charge to full in one hour. It charges via a USB charger integrated into the watch band - you can see it sticking out in the above image - which is actually really nifty and puts Samsung and LG smartwatch docks to shame.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch: Usability and apps

There's a standby button on the side of the device - but to bring up the homescreen, you had to tap below the display, slightly above the number 6 on the bezel.
There are 14 apps on offer from the Watch OS and you simply swipe horizontally to scroll through them. A quick tap fires up your chosen app. There's apps for the weather, fitness tracking, sleep, smartwatch controls (music and camera) and so on. All fairly basic stuff but, for $150, a fairly comprehensive selection.

Alcatel OneTouch Watch: Price and release date

And it's very wallet-friendly too. Alcatel has a history of budget-conscious smartphones and had promised that the OneTouch Watch will arrive with a price tag of just $150, and will be launching in the US in March.
We'll update the story as soon as we get firm UK pricing and release date information.
We'll also be bringing you a full Alcatel OneTouch Watch review as soon as we can.


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