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Hands-on: Meet Alcatel OneTouch’s svelte new Hero 8 tablet

Alcatel OneTouch showcased two new devices at its big IFA party, including one of the slimmest, lightest 8-inch tablets on the market; the new Hero 8.

If you’re looking for a Nexus 7 alternative, or perhaps something to take on Asus’ latest Memo Pad 7, the newly unveiled Alcatel OneTouch tablet could be worth considering.

Dubbed the Hero 8, it comes with an 8-inch WUXGA display and a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek processor. In fact, save for the cameras, battery capacity (4060mAh) and size the rest of the hardware mirrors its launch partner – the Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2. Opting for the larger screen obviously affords you more room to play and floating window multitasking is completely manageable thanks to the hardware at work.

There’s 2GB of RAM for extra thinking space and 8GB, 16GB or 32GB storage options to choose from. If you fancy LTE 4G, the microSD slot can also double as a SIM slot, Huawei Ascend P7-style, depending on if you want the additional speed or space (microSD cards up to 32GB are supported).

Hero 8_1

Whilst the camera game doesn’t quite match that of its Hero sibling, with a 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front-facer, it surpasses the company’s new smartphone in build quality thanks to an aluminium back plate. Not only does this give the impression that it’s a well put together piece of kit, especially for what’s likely going to hit the market as an affordable mid-range tablet, it also allowed the design team to work enough magic to squeeze everything into a body that’s just 7.3mm thick.

The user experience takes the shape of an inoffensive skinned Android 4.4 KitKat that looks remarkably like Android L, featuring crisp graphics and flat colours. There’s enough oomph in that processor to allow for smooth navigation (although stutter reared its head initially after startup) and as described to us by the company’s R&D team, it’s the first of a new wave of user experiences hoping to strip back the otherwise convoluted design tropes we’ve come to expect from other revisions of Android.

Hero 8 screen Hero 8_camera Hero 8_speakers

There are nice touches, like the fun Cross DJ app for mixing tunes from your library and even Soundcloud on-the-go and the ability to swipe up on select app icons like the radio or music player to get at key functions without having to start the app completely.

Hero 8 handheld

We’re still waiting on pricing for Alcatel OneTouch’s new Hero family, but expect it to touch down in Europe, the UK and the Middle East across the next two months.

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