Make some room, Samsung. The Galaxy Note 4 isn't the only stylus-packing supersize phone to drop this September. Alcatel introduced the second iteration of its "phablet" line, the Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2.
This 6-incher strides into high-end territory with Android 4.4, a 2.0GHz octa-core chipset, and a 13-megapixel camera. In addition, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera takes care of self-shots, while a 3,100mAh battery keeps that edge-to-edge display powered up.
Note that the screen has a 1080p HD resolution rather than the Note 4's Quad HD display, which means it'll look less crisp side by side. It also has 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and a microSD port that accepts cards of up to 32GB, all slightly lower capacities than we're seeing on the most top-tier phones, but still absolutely acceptable.
Meanwhile, the stylus is on hand for doodling and handwriting, jotting memos, and scribbling math equations. Multitasking works similarly to the Note 4, with a side bar where you can drag select apps like the browser window and gallery into a split-screen layout.
I spent a few minutes playing around with the Hero 2. It felt like a large, plastic, generically black handset without any particular embellishments -- not that I expect any for what will surely be a budget phone, as is Alcatel's carved-out industry spot.
One thing I did notice is how light and toylike the stylus felt. There was also some noticeable lag when I scribbled and wrote, dragged and dropped. Again, this is a price-for-performance proposition.
Alcatel OneTouch has also built out a serious array of accessories for the Hero 2, with everything from e-ink companions to smart covers to Chromecast-style TV dongles and even a wireless laptop dock. We've gathered up the accessories here in a gallery showcase.
Again, Alcatel OneTouch phones typically settle somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of performance. Prices are also historically competitive, which means that come September, the Hero 2 will present itself as an affordable alternative to the Note 4, battling it out somewhere along the same lines as the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G.