On the outside, the new OneTouch Fierce XL that Alcatel announced at the annual CES show in Las Vegas whips up little interest, but there's actually a lot going on, including the fact that it brings back the bright blue color we've grown accustomed to seeing on many Windows phones.
1. It's Alcatel's first phone with Windows 10 Mobile, but not its last -- Alcatel plans on making a whole portfolio, from low-end to "superphone."
2. There's already a Fierce XL with Android on it. This phone's got the same specs, but different software.
3. A T-mobile exclusive in the US, Alcatel plans to sell the Windows 10-loaded Fierce XL in January or February for just $140 all in (or $0 down with 23 monthly payments of $5.84 and a final payment of $5.67).
With its lower-end specs and limited Windows 10 Mobile software (see below), this isn't a very exciting piece of hardware, but for avid phone-watchers, it does give us one more reason to pay attention to Alcatel's moves, especially in the US.
What does the Fierce XL look and feel like?
This is a large-screen phone with a bright blue backing that reminds me of the signature cyan color that Nokia (which was bought by Microsoft) used for its Lumia phones. The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL phones that debuted Windows 10 Mobile on them comes in basic black and white shades, so this definitely injects a little fun for people who aren't afraid of color.
It's got smooth, fairly slim lines and rounded corners, which makes it easy to grasp and move around. You can pop off the back cover to get at the SIM and microSD card slots, but you won't be able to remove the battery.
Does it have all of Windows 10's software features?
No. Like the low-end Microsoft Lumia 550, this Fierce XL doesn't support the software's two boldest features: Continuum, which essentially lets you use the phone like a PC, and Windows Hello, which scans your iris to unlock the phone (both reviewed within).
However, it does have all the rest, including the Cortana voice assistant, new icon sizes on the start screen and a one-handed start screen mode that you see when you press and hold the home button.
Will it sell with any other carrier?
As far as we know, this Windows 10-version of the XL is for T-Mobile only, but it's possible that Alcatel will sell a version of this phone in other countries as well.
- 5.5-inch, 1,280x720-pixel screen
- 8-megapixel camera
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera
- 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor
- 16GB of storage, 2GB RAM
- Up to 32GB with microSD
- 2,500mAh battery