After the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD, we’re now going in-depth with its lesser-powered yet more affordable sibling, the One Touch Scribe Easy. Let’s find out if it is worth the budget by reading our full review.
During the course of the review I’ll be comparing the Scribe Easy to the Scribe HD so I suggest getting to know the HD first by reading the full review here.
Design and Construction
The Scribe Easy is actually similar to the Scribe HD in terms of design and construction. Both have metallic frames surrounding the front of the device, the backside is also curved and is made of soft-touch plastic, and the sides are also bevelled and is more pronounced at the bottom. The only noticeable difference though is that the Scribe Easy is 1.3mm chunkier than the Scribe HD and it has an Alcatel logo located on the top-front of the device.
On the front is the 5-inch display together with the earpiece, VGA front-facing camera and notifications light on top. Down below it are the three capacitive buttons and microphone. On the left side are the microSD card slot and SIM2 slot hidden by a plastic flap, and the microUSB port. On the right are the SIM1 slot and the volume rocker. Right on top are the power/lock button and headset jack. Located at the back are the 5 megapixel camera, LED flash, microphone, and the speaker found at the bottom-left.
Like what we’ve experienced with the Scribe HD, the plastic flaps that covers the SIM and microSD slots are difficult to pry with short finger nails. In terms of design, it is not a head turner but not unattractive either. The size and heft feels good in the hands and doesn’t feel cheap but the thickness feels too chunky for a 5-inch smartphone.
The Scribe Easy uses a 5-inch TFT display mounted with a scratch-resistant glass. It has a resolution of 480 x 800 which gives it a pixel density of 187ppi. Although the pixels are evident, the resolution is not that bad as one might expect.
Colors are great and the large display makes it good with watching movies and browsing the web. The only downside though are the poor viewing angles and glare as the Scribe Easy is very prone to reflective light.
OS, UI and Apps
The Scribe Easy comes with Android 4.1.2 Jellybean on board and not the 4.2.1 that came with the Scribe HD. Like the Scribe HD the UI has been tweaked a bit to change the appearance of the icons. The icons look and feel a bit toyish but not at all a downer.
The basic Google Apps are present of course together with Alcatel’s own apps like the One Touch Cloud Backup, One Touch Media Share, One Touch Radio, Scribe Calculator and Scribe Note.
As for preinstalled third-party apps, there’s the AVG Mobile AntiVirus, Shazam, Shark Dash, Nimbuzz, PicSay, and Evernote on board. If you need more apps, the Google Play Store will surely provide you with everything you need and the 2.5GB of usable memory should be able to handle it.
Camera and Multimedia
One of the things that Alcatel toned down on the Scribe Easy is the camera. While the Scribe HD has an 8 megapixel shooter, the Easy has 5 megapixel. Alcatel also toned down the camera features, meaning there’s no HDR, Panorama, Continuous shots, Multi-Angle shots and smile detection. Although a little lacking in features the photos taken are very decent. Images are sharp with good colors. Some look washed out though but still very usable. Take a look at the sample photos below:
As for video recording capabilities, the Scribe Easy can shoot videos at a maximum of 720p resolution at 24fps in 3GP format. Watch the sample video below:
As mentioned earlier, the Scribe Easy is good for watching videos thanks to its large screen but with a little sacrifice on resolution and viewing angles. You’ll have to let go of 1080p playback as well as this one can’t support videos higher than 720p. Speakers are good though and not problematic like the one found on the Scribe HD. It is audible but using a headphone or external speaker is highly recommended for a better listening experience.
Performance and Battery Life
Powering the Scribe Easy is a dual-core MediaTek MSM8225 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz and 512MB of RAM. Even with Jellybean on board, the Scribe Easy is noticeably sluggish due to the small RAM. You’ll notice slight delays when unlocking the device, launching apps and switching between tasks. On the bright side, everything is still functional, no crashes or random reboots, just slow.
We placed the Scribe Easy under a series of benchmarks and here are the results:
* AnTuTu – 5,776
* Quadrant Standard – 2,870
* Vellamo HTML 5 – 1,426
* Vellamo Metal – 341
* NenaMark 2 – 29.2fps
As for battery life, we played a 720p video in continuous loop in Airplane mode with 0% volume and 50% brightness. Although the Scribe Easy has the same battery capacity as the Scribe HD at 2,500mAh, the Easy is only capable of 4 hours of movie playback.
With normal usage consisting of constant WiFi connectivity, heavy SNS, light gaming and moderate calling and texting, the Scribe Easy can last for 12 to 13 hours on average.
In summary, the Alcatel Scribe Easy is a throttled-down version of the Scribe HD in terms of hardware and price. For Php8,990 SRP, you’ll get a 5-inch smartphone with WVGA resolution, dual-core CPU, 512MB RAM, 2.5GB of usable internal storage, 5 megapixel camera, 2,500mAh battery, and Android Jellybean – a decent offering especially if you’re on a lookout for budget-friendly 5-incher with dual-SIM capabilities.
Alcatel One Touch Scribe Easy specs:
5″ WVGA TFT display @ 480×800 pixels, 187ppi
Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon 1.2GHz dual-core CPU
4GB internal memory
microSD up to 32GB
WiFi 802.11b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, WiFi Direct
GPS w/ A-GPS support
5 MP camera w/ LED flash
720p video recording @24fps
VGA front-facing camera
Android 4.1.2 Jellybean
2,500 mAh battery
143 x 78.4 x 9.8mm (dimensions)
What we liked about it:
* Large display
* Good camera
* Decent battery life
* Affordable price
What we didn’t like about it:
* Sluggish at times
* No support for 1080p video playback & recording