(Editor’s Note: Alcatel has released the “glory 2”. check it here.)
I’ve just got a short-time peeking on the newest Dual-SIM Android touch phone in the Philippine market today–the Alcatel One-Touch 918N Glory. It’s another dual-SIM touch screen phone using the Android OS. Other most notable brands and models in this type of phone are the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos, my|phone A818 Duo and some models of Cherry Mobile .
Operating System : Android 2.3 (GingerBread)
CPU: MT6573 Model ARMv6 650Mhz
Display: 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen, 320 x 480 resolution
Network : GSM/UMTS/HSDPA Dual SIM Dual Standby
Connectivity : Wi-Fi, Bluetooth A2DP
Entertainment: 3.2MP rear camera with panorama, no front camera, FM radio, Music player, G-Sensor
Browsing: Chrome browser, dedicated shortcuts for Facebook & Twitter
Storage: expandable to 32Gb
Off-hand this phone is better than the my|phone A818 Duo considering it can connect to the net via 3G. Playing games on the 918N Glory could be more exciting using the G-Sensor. One unique feature of the phone is the built-in Chrome browser.
Watch this official video introduction of the Alcatel One-touch 918N Glory:
The capacitive touch screen of the Glory is quite responsive but i haven’t had a longer time using it. However, this video review of the Glory shows a good impression of the responsiveness of the screen when games are played on the touch screen.
I just got today (October 30, 2012) my personal unit of the Alcatel One-Touch 918N Glory packed with my new Sun SIM and my PLDT Landline Plus SIM. I’ll be updating this post hence i’ve now a unit that i can review for a long period of time. This phone has been the subject of several online forum discussions and the feedback is good. Anyway, here’s my own full-length observation of the 918N Glory which i am updating every now and then as soon as i get new experience of the phone.
- SMS messaging on this phone is great except for some mistypes on the period (dot) button which is difficult due to its proximity to the space bar when using the Touchpal keyboard (you can toggle between Touchpal & Android keyboard). I’ve some periods in between words because i always end up pressing the period when trying to tap the space bar.
- The LED light notification in the front panel doesn’t require the phone to always have the alert sounds whenever you have unread messages or notifications.
- The Android UI works perfectly here especially its immediate access to connectivity functions like WiFi, Bluetooth, Data Connection, and Airplane mode.
- Over WiFi, there is no hitches while streaming YouTube videos.
- Power consumption while the WiFi is on is very considerate that i only consumed one-fourth of its power for a half-day surfing over WiFi.
- This supports HD voice with its built-in AMR-WB technology. However, to date only Smart network has offered the HD voice in Makati City area. This is the reason why talking on this phone is awesome. The voice quality is good hence i am using Sun and PLDT SIM cards which are both using the Smart network.
I DON’T LIKED
- The 650-Mhz CPU is no longer impressive, especially when you’re used to smartphones with at least 1GHz speed. In fact, opening the inbox takes 2-3 seconds.
(Update: However, just lately i've done an improvement on the speed of the device by running the One-Touch Upgrade System of Alcatel onmy device. The system can be used for upgrading the firmware or refreshing your device if you encounter recurring problem. Opening the Message function is now at about a second after running the tool. But it resulted to another problem on my unit--the Notification LED is no longer blinking whenever i have unread messages or notices. I tried calling Alcatel and they advised me to reset the unitto Factory Setting. Still, the problem persist after resetting and they advised me again to bring the unit to their service center. Whew!)
I also tried deleting old messages that resulted to faster access to the message threads.You can also set automatic deletion of old messages when limits per conversation is reached. In my case, i put the limit per conversation to 100 messages. You can configure the message setting by opening the message thread then press Menu and open Settings for more options.
- Power consumption while on 3G is a hog. It usually drained after 4-5 hours of use even without downloads and uploads. Though, recharging this phone is fast–about an hour only.
- The sound from the loudspeaker is not loud. It’s tinny and that i opted to use my old phone in listening to the FM stations. Even you put the headphone, the sound from the device is not impressive.
- Unlike the first Glory unit that i was able to hold, my personal unit has a glossy-finish case which has bigger chances of slipping off your hands.
- The QWERTY keyboard in the landscape mode is not as spacious and convenient to use. I’d rather use the alpha-numeric Touchpal keypads in portrait mode when composing text.
- Perhaps it’s a bug. I’ve noticed that every time the unit is running out of battery and i recharge it while the 3G data connection is on, the recharging suddenly halted unnoticed. You’ll just surprised that your phone turns off. I’d observed it several times when i plugged the charger and it will recharge for a couple of minutes and stop charging. I tried again recharging the phone while turning off the data connection and this time recharging was continuous. So, Alcatel must look into this. It has no problem with recharging while Wi-Fi is on and the phone is connected to a WiFi network.
- There is no screen shot feature in this phone which is very essential when reviewing the performance of a smartphone.
- Alcatel has also failed to include the touchscreen calibration test. Maybe the manufacturer has pre-calibrated the screen before shipping it.
- The Glory is sporting a 3.2-Mega pixel camera which for a quite period of time had been the standard for earlier smartphones. But after testing several Xperia phones with superior camera quality, i am no longer impressed with a 3MP camera like the one in Glory. Take a peek at these samples under various lighting conditions.
- Video recording is 30fps in MPEG4 and FWVGA formats but the camera has no stabilizer and the video quality is not good. Also, i can’t play the video on my phone. (UPDATE: However, this video below already works on the phone.)
- My Sun is on the SIM slot 1 while my PLDT is at the SIM slot 2. But everytime i got into the dead zones in the office where i could not get Sun signal, the phone won’t restart searching for cellular signal as soon as i get back to where there’s a Sun signal. I have to initiate a call on SIM 1 to regain cellular signal. This is not the usual behavior of a phone. Even the analog phone in the early years of cellular technology, allows reconnection to the network as soon as the cellular signal is available.
The Alcatel One-Touch 918N Glory is an entry-level Android phone with dual-SIM capabilities. Don’t expect more than that because you’re only paying about PhP4,500 (updated latest price) for the unit. It’s a good start if you want to own an Android phone plus the convenience of dual-SIM.
I’m concluding this review for now and i shall go back to this post for possible updates, especially when the issues below are resolved: (I’ll be sending my unit to the Alcatel Service Center for reprogramming)
- Recharging stops while the 3G is on. (Update: I’d found out that it’s the battery adaptor that has been intermittent.)
- The phone won’t automatically search for cellular signal after it encounters a dead spot. (Update: I’d figured out that if the signal is too weak for the RF amplifier of the phone to receive, the Alcatel 918N Glory will not resume scanning for cellular signal. I tried bringing the phone outside where there’s a strong Sun cellular signal and the signal was back.)
- The LED Notification is no longer working. (Update: The only solution for it to be restored is reprogramming. Update 2/Jan. 25, 2013: The LED Notification is restored after the unit has updated its firmware to version 2.3.6)