Alcatel's stylus-twirling OneTouch Hero 2 takes on Samsung's Note 4

Watch out, Samsung. The Galaxy Note 4 isn't the only "phablet" with a stylus to launch at IFA 2014.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

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.

Alcatel's Hero 2 puts the stylus on a budget (pictures)

See all photos

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.

From the office to the DJ booth: Alcatel OneTouch accessories (pictures)

See all photos

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 .