Review Alcatel One Touch Pop C7 Smartphone

Daniel Schuster (translated by Martina Osztovits), 05/05/2014

Quad-core snail. The One Touch Easy Alcatel was a bestseller - 15 years ago. Meanwhile a lot has happened. The successor comes with a quad-core SoC and a 5-inch display and will stir up the entry-level segment. It is very unlikely that it is able achieve the same sales figures though.

For the original German review, see here.

Alcatel is not an unknown mobile-phone manufacturer. With the One Touch Easy, the French manufacturer launched a popular device several years ago. Meanwhile, a lot has happened in the mobile-phone segment, but it remains questionable whether Alcatel can keep up with the rapid change. With the Pop C7, a smartphone was added to the One Touch series. The quad-core SoC works with 1.3 GHz per core and only features 512 MB RAM. With 5-inches and an FWVGA resolution (854x480 pixels), it is an entry-level device. Currently the cheapest smartphone is available for 149 Euros (~$204) in online shops. It remains to be seen whether it can keep up with the Moto G and other competitors.

Case

Colorful plastic back cover.
Colorful plastic back cover.

With 162 grams, the Pop C7 is not light. The equally big Nexus 5 weighs 130 grams and the iPhone 5C weighs only 132 grams. Our test sample has a slightly higher weight because of its massive build quality. The case can only be depressed or twisted with force. It's needless to search for gaps or sharp edges. The removable back cover is made from matte plastic and is not prone to fingerprints. We are positively surprised by the build quality. The smartphone appears high-end and robust.

With a size of 141 x 71.8 x 9.9 mm, it is bigger than the Nexus 5 from Google in all directions (although they have the same display diagonals).

Connectivity

The smartphone looks like any other. Interfaces and buttons are in the usual locations and the soft key navigation bar is no longer new, either. The replaceable battery and a microSD slot are hidden beneath the back cover. Another special feature is a double slot for SIM cards. Two SIM cards can be inserted here.

Software

Alcatel preinstalled Android Version 4.2.2. The launcher was slightly modified by the manufacturer and only a small amount of software is preinstalled. The flash memory only has a meager capacity of 4 GB. If the memory was not expandable via microSD slot, it could only be used with limitations.

GPS reception in the attic.
GPS reception in the attic.

Communication & GPS 

The two SIM slots have different classifications. The slot for the primary SIM card uses a 3G connection, while the secondary slot can only establish 2G connections. This is done in GSM quad-band with the following frequencies: 850/900/1800/1900. UMTS uses the following frequencies: 900/2100 MHz (HSPA+: 21 MBit/s download speed, 5.76 MBit/s uplink speed). In our test scenario, there were no issues with the receiving quality. WLAN connections also worked flawlessly. Standard 802.11 b/g/n is supported. Bluetooth version 4.0 is also incorporated and an aGPS module can be used for navigation.

Compared to our GPS reference device, the Garmin Edge 500, the Pop C7 omits 700 meters. The inaccuracy is especially very big where two road sections are close to each other.


Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500

Telephony and speech quality

The speech quality is alright and can hardly be criticized. In our opinion, the voice of our partner is slightly too quiet. So, it is difficult to understand the partner in loud environments.

Cameras & Multimedia

The Pop C7 only features a single camera with a maximum resolution of 5 MP. An LED flash is also incorporated on the rear side and makes the scenes slightly brighter. Videos can be recorded in HD quality (720p) with 30 frames per second.

Images look somewhat pale and the camera tends not to lighten dark parts of the images correctly. The Pop C7 is certainly sufficient for occasional snapshots, but you should not use the smartphone camera as a permanent replacement of a digital camera.

Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Alcatel OT POP C7
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57


Accessories & Warranty

The warranty of the Alcatel One Touch Pop C7 is 12 months. However, battery and other accessories are only covered 6 months by the manufacturer's warranty. Apart from the modular power adapter, an on-ear headset is included despite the low price.

Input Device & Handling

Inputs via the capacitive display are also recognized precisely in the corners of the display, but the low performance of the device gets apparent. Time and again you need to wait for reaction to inputs. Some time passes when bigger or CPU-intensive apps are opened, and there are also delays otherwise. Don't be fooled by the quad-core SoC and expect a high performance.

There is only a little space in portrait mode.
There is only a little space in portrait mode.
The situation is even worse in landscape mode.
The situation is even worse in landscape mode.

Display

The 5-inch screen features a resolution of 854x480 pixels (FWVGA). The TFT color display can display up to 16.7 million colors and supports multi-touch input (2 fingers). According to the manufacturer's website, the display is fat repellent. However, this is not noticeable since the screen suffers from fingerprints just like any other device.

The average brightness is 351 cd/m² and the brightness distribution is 88%. While this is a good result, it is slightly darker than the Moto G and Nexus 5. But, the black value of 0.44 cd/m² is better than the previously mentioned smartphones'. Nevertheless the contrast of the Pop C7 is lower than the two Google devices', but 798:1 is very good, anyway.

331
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
351
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 351 cd/m²
Average: 329.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 351 cd/m²
Black: 0.44 cd/m²
Contrast: 798:1

We measured too dark red colors and too pale blue colors with our colorimeter. The ColorChecker measurements give an average DeltaE 2000 value of 9.86. This is far from the Nexus 5's (2.05) excellent result. Color temperature is also a point of critique. Just above 10,000 K means that the display is very bluish, which is also evident in the "Total Gamma."

Colors
Colors
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation
Saturation

With maximum display brightness, the device can be used reasonably well outdoors. However, the legibility suffers from extreme sunlight. You should consider buying a matte screen protector since it will reduce reflections to a minimum.

The viewing angles are not satisfactory. Of course distortions are absent if you are looking at the display head-on. But, the contrast falls and the image gets pale at other angles. In addition, the brightness falls and colors invert quickly when you are looking at the display from the right.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The One Touch Pop C7 features a quad-core SoC from MediaTek (MT6852M) with a clock rate of 1.3 GHz per core. The graphics unit is an ARM Mali-400 MP2. The RAM capacity of just 512 MB is definitely not oversized. Updating the system with the frugal Android KitKat would certainly improve performance.

Several of the synthetic benchmarks did not run. Basemark X 1.1 and Epic Citadel crashed repeatedly. While the reviewed devices only deliver slightly different results in Geekbench 3, the differences are much bigger in 3DMark 2013. The Moto G performs significantly better.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
350 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto G
341 Points ∼10% -3%
LG L90
342 Points ∼10% -2%
Google Nexus 5
521 Points ∼15% +49%
Wiko Stairway
327 Points ∼9% -7%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
1179 Points ∼9%
Motorola Moto G
1169 Points ∼9% -1%
LG L90
1129 Points ∼9% -4%
Google Nexus 5
1613 Points ∼13% +37%
Wiko Stairway
1096 Points ∼9% -7%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
87.784 MFLOPS ∼13%
Motorola Moto G
88.432 MFLOPS ∼13% +1%
Google Nexus 5
95.049 MFLOPS ∼14% +8%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
238.23 MFLOPS ∼22%
Motorola Moto G
225.792 MFLOPS ∼21% -5%
Google Nexus 5
273.81 MFLOPS ∼25% +15%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
3100 Points ∼2%
Motorola Moto G
5438 Points ∼4% +75%
LG L90
5761 Points ∼4% +86%
Wiko Stairway
3209 Points ∼2% +4%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
2044 Points ∼2%
Motorola Moto G
2771 Points ∼2% +36%
LG L90
2894 Points ∼2% +42%
Wiko Stairway
1567 Points ∼1% -23%
NenaMark2 - --- (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
54.9 fps ∼82%
Motorola Moto G
58 fps ∼86% +6%
LG L90
59.8 fps ∼89% +9%
Google Nexus 5
59.7 fps ∼89% +9%

Legend

 
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7 Mediatek MT6582M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 4 GB Flash
 
Motorola Moto G Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
LG L90 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Wiko Stairway Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 16 GB eMMC Flash

As already mentioned above, the smartphone has some issues with several benchmarks. The Peacekeeper benchmark does not bring a result, either. The result of the Pop C7 is a mixed bag. Sometimes it can make up some positions, sometimes it loses compared to the competitors.

Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
1941 points ∼27%
Motorola Moto G
2432 points ∼34% +25%
LG L90
2570 points ∼36% +32%
Google Nexus 5
2803 points ∼39% +44%
Apple iPhone 5c
2759 points ∼38% +42%
Nokia Lumia 1020
597 points ∼8% -69%
Wiko Stairway
1745 points ∼24% -10%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
26894.5 ms * ∼16%
Motorola Moto G
31625.5 ms * ∼18% -18%
LG L90
30723.9 ms * ∼18% -14%
Google Nexus 5
14298.2 ms * ∼8% +47%
Nokia Lumia 1020
48417.6 ms * ∼28% -80%
Wiko Stairway
28089.9 ms * ∼16% -4%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
1316 Points ∼6%
Motorola Moto G
1721 Points ∼8% +31%
LG L90
1859 Points ∼9% +41%
Google Nexus 5
4039 Points ∼19% +207%
Apple iPhone 5c
2817 Points ∼13% +114%
Nokia Lumia 1020
612 Points ∼3% -53%
Wiko Stairway
1323 Points ∼6% +1%

* ... smaller is better

The 4 GB flash memory is not fast. It is nearly always slower than that of the competitions. It might be a bottleneck for the entire smartphone.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
49.13 MB/s ∼29%
Motorola Moto G
103.28 MB/s ∼62% +110%
LG L90
90.3 MB/s ∼54% +84%
Google Nexus 5
74.9 MB/s ∼45% +52%
Google Nexus 4
49.7 MB/s ∼30% +1%
Wiko Stairway
46.78 MB/s ∼28% -5%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
7.26 MB/s ∼13%
Motorola Moto G
12.54 MB/s ∼22% +73%
LG L90
7.72 MB/s ∼13% +6%
Google Nexus 5
15.52 MB/s ∼27% +114%
Google Nexus 4
13.97 MB/s ∼24% +92%
Wiko Stairway
10.91 MB/s ∼19% +50%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
12.09 MB/s ∼58%
Motorola Moto G
13.61 MB/s ∼65% +13%
LG L90
14.6 MB/s ∼70% +21%
Google Nexus 5
9.88 MB/s ∼47% -18%
Google Nexus 4
12.14 MB/s ∼58% 0%
Wiko Stairway
12.18 MB/s ∼58% +1%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
0.5 MB/s ∼17%
Motorola Moto G
2.52 MB/s ∼86% +404%
LG L90
0.48 MB/s ∼16% -4%
Google Nexus 5
0.84 MB/s ∼29% +68%
Google Nexus 4
1.07 MB/s ∼37% +114%
Wiko Stairway
0.66 MB/s ∼23% +32%

Emissions

Temperature

The average temperatures are 34.5 °C on the front side and 35.2 °C on the rear side, according to our measurements. The maximum temperature is reached on the rear side's left, upper edge (38.5 °C). The Moto G not only remains cooler under load but also while idle. Although the Pop C7's temperature is significantly lower while idle (29.7 to 29.5 °C), it is still between 1 °C and 2 °C warmer than the competition from Motorola.

Max. Load
 36.5 °C32.3 °C34.3 °C 
 36.4 °C32.6 °C36.9 °C 
 34.8 °C32.2 °C34.9 °C 
Maximum: 36.9 °C
Average: 34.5 °C
32.7 °C35.0 °C37.8 °C
32.7 °C34.2 °C38.2 °C
33.3 °C34.3 °C38.5 °C
Maximum: 38.5 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  34.1 °C | Room Temperature 23.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Alcatel also fails to score points compared to its biggest competitor in this aspect. It gets obvious at the first glance that the power consumption is higher than the Moto G's in all scenarios. While idle it requires between 0.8 and 1.9 Watt, while the Moto G partly only needs half the energy. The differences get slightly smaller under full load. The results of the two test samples are closer here. Since power consumption directly affects battery life, the Pop C7 is in a bad position.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby / 0.2 Watt
Idle 0.8 / 1.4 / 1.9 Watt
Load 2.3 / 3.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Let's first consider the battery life under full load with maximum display brightness and the CPU cores used to capacity. The Alcatel turns off after 3 hours and 48 minutes. The Moto G runs several minutes longer; however, the difference is hardly significant. We simulate the average runtime with an Internet script and dimmed display brightness. The Pop C7 has to be recharged after 9.5 hours, while the Moto G keeps running much longer (15:30 hours). The Nexus 5 also achieved a significantly longer battery life (12:14 hours). The maximum runtime is measured with minimum display brightness. No applications, only the background processes are running here. The Moto G keeps running above 11 longer, the Nexus 5 achieves more than 4 hours more, and the iPhone 5C outperforms the Alcatel by 4.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 13min
WiFi Surfing
9h 26min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 48min

Verdict

Several weaknesses at a closer look.
Several weaknesses at a closer look.

With the One Touch Pop C7, Alcatel tries to get a foot into the entry-level segment. This should be possible with a quad-core SoC, a 5-inch display, and high-end build quality, but it is the details that matter. Unfortunately, the display only features a low resolution (854x480 pixels) and can only be used with up to two fingers. In addition, the viewing angles are narrow and frequent crashes during CPU-intensive apps or stuttering are very annoying and finally led to a lower rating. Performance and capacity of the flash memory (4 GB) are painfully low, since the system suffers from them in many aspects. The replaceable battery, the expandable memory, and dual SIM support are pros.

You have to accept several limitations with the Pop C7 for a current street price of 149 Euros (~$204). If dual SIM support is not a crucial purchasing criterion, you should take a closer look at the competition. If you are willing to spend a few more Euros, the Wiko Stairway surely is an interesting alternative with dual SIM support.

Comment this article:

In Review: the Alcatel OT POP C7, courtesy of Cyberport.
In Review: the Alcatel OT POP C7, courtesy of Cyberport.

Specifications

Alcatel One Touch Pop C7

:: Processor
:: Memory
512 MB
:: Graphics adapter
ARM Mali-400 MP2, Core: 416 MHz
:: Display
5.0 inch , 854x480 pixel, capacitive, multi-touch, TFT, fat repellant screen, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
4 GB Flash, 4 GB , 2 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm jack, Card Reader: microSD port, Sensors: aGPS, accelerometer, light sensor, compass,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, UMTS 850/1.900/2.100 MHz HSPA: HSPA + 21 Mbit / s downlink speed 5.76 Mbit / s uplink speed
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 141 x 71.8
:: Weight
0.162 kg Power Supply: 0.054 kg
:: Battery
Lithium-Ion, 2000 mAh
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 13 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 650 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 600 h
:: Price
179 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: main camera: 5 MP, Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, 12 Months Warranty

 

Upon first power-on, an assistant...
Upon first power-on, an assistant...
...welcomes you. The look of the system was...
...welcomes you. The look of the system was...
slightly adapted and Alcatel...
slightly adapted and Alcatel...
...installed its own launcher.
...installed its own launcher.
Less than 2 GB of memory is available to the user.
Less than 2 GB of memory is available to the user.
In energy-saving mode, the battery life should be longer.
In energy-saving mode, the battery life should be longer.
The Android 4.2.2 OS is used.
The Android 4.2.2 OS is used.
Alcatel has preinstalled many apps including...
Alcatel has preinstalled many apps including...
...several useful ones.
...several useful ones.
Many benchmarks reach the performance limits of the system.
Many benchmarks reach the performance limits of the system.
The One Touch POP C7 is a cheap...
The One Touch POP C7 is a cheap...
...entry-level smartphone with dual SIM feature.
...entry-level smartphone with dual SIM feature.
Nevertheless, you should carefully consider buying it.
Nevertheless, you should carefully consider buying it.

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Links

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Pro

+build quality
+dual SIM support
+expandable memory
+price
 

Cons

-display resolution
-performance of the flash memory
-capacity of the flash memory
-color reproduction of the display
-viewing angles

Shortcut

What we like

The smartphone is already available for 149 Euros (~$204) and can be used with two SIM cards.

What we would like to see

The device has flaws in many details. The performance should be better, the resolution is low, and the viewing angles are poor.

What surprises us

The build quality is on a high level, and the material of the back cover appears high-end.

The competition

The Moto G is the biggest competitor in the entry-level segment. The 8 GB model is already available for 169 Euros (~$231). If dual SIM support is necessary, you should consider the Wiko Stairway. The recently tested Huawei G610, which also features two SIM slots, is also interesting.

Rating

Alcatel One Touch Pop C7
04/29/2014 v4
Daniel Schuster

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
63 / 75 → 84%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
91%
Battery
91%
Display
79%
Games Performance
51 / 75 → 68%
Application Performance
22 / 65 → 34%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
59 / 91 → 65%
Camera
60%
Add Points
-2%
Average
65%
78%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Alcatel One Touch Pop C7 Smartphone
Author: Daniel Schuster, 2014-05- 5 (Update: 2014-05-16)