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

Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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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)

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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)

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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 .