Cyanogen is growing out of control lately, as partnerships with Micromax, OnePlus and more recently, Alcatel have resulted in mid-range smartphones that bring forth the customizable, Cyanogen-specific CyanogenMod custom ROMs to the eye of the public. As the company is gaining popularity, more and more OEMs are approaching the team behind CyanogenMod to “pre-load” their custom ROM on new devices. The Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+ (it’s a mouthful, that name, do you like it?) is the most recent smartphone to use Cyanogen as the supplier for the software. Alcatel isn’t a big name in the smartphone industry, especially not in the States, but Europeans have a certain affinity towards their smartphones as they are rather affordable, and the Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+ fits in right where it should in this respect.
Alcatel is planning on monetizing on the American audience, though, as the new Cyanogen phone is specifically aimed at those living within the United States. But the company isn’t actually doing the move the way they are supposed, to be honest. The Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+ doesn’t get CyanogenMod 12. Nope, it gets CM11 with Android 4.4.4 underneath, which is a weird move, in my opinion. I wonder why Alcatel didn’t go for the most recent custom ROM from the team, CM12. I guess it will remain a mystery, for now at least. I found one thing very funny, though. Alcatel actually used the term “phablet” to describe their new phone, which is pretty amusing to me, because it shows that more and more companies are getting in on trends and lingo/jargon.
The Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+, in spite of running an older OS, is a pretty interesting phone, to be honest. We’re not sure if it’s as well-endowed as the original Hero 2, which had support for various accessories like the LED flip cover, e-ink panel. But the new Hero 2+ does support a stylus, becoming the first Cyanogen phone to do so. We’re not sure what kind of neat applications Alcatel will include in the phone to take advantage of said stylus, but we’re hoping for note taking apps, picture editing apps or just plain support, all over the OS. The Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+ price is set at #300 unlocked and it will be available in Q2 2015, according to the company.
Cyanogen will be looking fine on the 6 inch 1080p display that Alcatel slapped on the phablet, and LTE support will definitely make browsing and apping (see what I did there?) easy and swift. Under the hood, we get a MediaTek MT6592 octa-core CPU, backed by 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. Yet another odd thing about the phone is that even though it’s pretty modern in all aspects, save for the software, Alcatel chose to support microSD cards up to 32 GB as extra storage, which is awkward. Why not offer full support? But hey, we can’t complain, as the new Cyanogen phone is mostly neatly packed, as it also gets a relatively high-end 13 MP camera on the rear, which can shoot 1080p video at 30fps and a 5 MP front-camera. Shooting FHD video at 30fps isn’t the best thing ever, but for a mid-ranger that costs $300, it’s rather cool. Moreover, Cyanogen and Alcatel are planning more for the year, so stay tuned!