October 31, 2015

Tracfone Alcatel Sonic Review - Android 4G LTE

Review of the Alcatel Onetouch Sonic - 4G LTE Android Tracfone Smartphone

Below is TracfoneReviewer's review of the Alcatel Sonic. We will share a variety of features and details for the phone, and provide information on where to buy this phone. We hope you find this review helpful!

review of the alcatel sonic
Tracfone Alcatel Sonic Review
Tracfone is steadily releasing new smartphones and the latest release is only the second phone with 4G LTE coverage.

Tracfone Wireless is a prepaid service and cell phone provider with a variety of low cost devices and airtime options. They contract with other major cell phone carriers like Verizon and AT&T to provide coverage over their existing networks.

Tracfone is a smart choice for people who want a cell phone, but don't want to pay monthly contract prices.

Over the last few years Tracfone has released a number of Android powered smartphones to use with their service. This review will cover the Alcatel Onetouch Sonic, which is the latest phone available with Tracfone and comes with 4G LTE coverage.

If you're interested in the other Android phones from Tracfone, look no further than our Android Tracfone list which contains almost every smartphone available with Tracfone.

The Alcatel Onetouch Sonic is the second phone from Alcatel, following the Alcatel Onetouch Icon Pop. The Icon Pop had a large 5" screen, but the Sonic has a slightly smaller 4.6" screen.

We want to share our quick points about this phone, and then get into the full list of features.

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic A851L Quick Points:

The Good:
-4.6" Touchscreen

The Not so Good:
-Only about 1.7 GB internal memory
-Android 4.1
-Overall, no specs or features that really stand out besides 4G LTE

There are a couple of things about the Sonic that make it desirable, but there are also several features that are similar, or even worse than other phones available from Tracfone.

Let's take a look at the full list of features and specifications for the Sonic.

Alcatel Sonic Features and Specs

Below are the features, followed by the technical specs.
  • Android 4.1
  • 4G LTE Connectivity
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 5 MP Rear Camera, VGA Front Camera
  • Hearing Aid Compatible and Handsfree Speaker
  • Access to over a Million Apps on Google Play
  • Triple Minutes for Life
  • MicroUSB Connection
  • Voicemail, Caller ID, etc.
Alcatel Sonic Specifications List
  • Size: 5.28" x 2.74" x 0.43"
  • 4.6" Touchscreen (480x854 resolution with 212 DPI)
  • 1.4 Ghz Dual Core Processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4 GB Internal Memory (about 2 GB Usable, up to 32 GB External memory with MicroSD Card)
  • Battery: Talk Time 14 hrs, Standby 20 days
tracfone review alcatel sonic
Alcatel Onetouch Sonic front and back view
Several interesting features listed for the Sonic, particularly 4G LTE connectivity, but also the 4.6" touchscreen, and the 1.4 Ghz dual core processor.

The Alcatel Sonic has all the other features you would expect from an Android smartphone such as front and rear camera, WiFi, Bluetooth and speaker. It also has all the features you would expect from a Tracfone device like Triple Minutes for Life, Caller ID, Voicemail and more.

While there are some good features on the Sonic, there are also a few things we want to point out so that consumers are aware of them before purchasing this device. Let's get into our review of the Alcatel Onetouch Sonic with what we like, and don't like, about this device. If you want to see some phones we really don't like, take a look at our list of the Worst Tracfone Cell Phones.

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic Review - Likes and Dislikes

What We Like about the Sonic
The Alcatel Sonic is, overall, a pretty average Android phone except for one main feature - 4G LTE. This faster connectivity speed (4G really means 4th generation) allows you to download and surf the web much more quickly than 3G devices. And the nice thing is, you are paying the same for it with Tracfone.

We believe the Sonic will use GSM networks from AT&T, just like the LG Sunset. 

The 4.6" touchscreen is good, and similar to many of the other smartphones available with Tracfone.

Now let's take a look at some of the features that we weren't happy with.

What We Don't Like About the Sonic

alcatel sonic tracfone
Alcatel Sonic Internal Memory
There are several features this phone comes with that we don't like because they are similar or slightly worse than what we can get form other Tracfone devices.

The Sonic comes with Android 4.1, which is not the latest, or even almost the latest. There are several phones available from Tracfone that have Android 5.0, like the LG Sunset, or LG Power. While it isn't a big deal to use an older version of Android, it would be nice if it were updated.

Loading and storing apps, photos and other media on the Sonic may create a problem since the Sonic only comes with 4 GB of internal memory, with about half of that used up by the operating system. Again, several other Tracfone smartphones offer about double the internal memory as the Sonic. You will probably want more space if you're going to put more than a handful of apps on this device.

The camera on the Alcatel Sonic is also nothing impressive. It does the job, and has a front facing VGA camera for video chats, but doesn't stand apart from other devices.

We like that this phone has 4G LTE, but the rest of the features on this phone seem a little outdated. For those who don't plan to use their phone too much, this device will probably be just fine. But if you want to get more from your device, you probably want to go with something else, and maybe even consider the Tracfone BYOP program.

Overview and Where to Buy the Alcatel Sonic

As we said above, the Sonic is a pretty good phone, but there are other phones that are better for a similar price. The LG Ultimate 2, ZTE Quartz, LG Power and LG Sunset are each similar to the Sonic, but with improvements in various ways. This phone will probably perform just fine for the majority of users who purchase it, but if you want the most for your money, you may want to consider the LG Sunset, or the BYOP program.

Even the LG Ultimate 2, which was released over a year ago, has a number of features that are similar or better than the Sonic, most notably, more internal memory for storing apps, pictures and other things.

We're not saying the Sonic is a bad phone, but just that there are some other good phones out there as well. We'll let you make your own decision.

The Alcatel Sonic hasn't been found on the Tracfone website yet, but it is available through several other online retailers.

You can find the Sonic at the following websites:

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic for $99 on Amazon

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic for $99 on eBay

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic with 1 Year Service Card for $200 on eBay

Alcatel Onetouch Sonic with 1 Year Service Card for $130 on Evine

We expect that the Sonic will be available in stores and on the Tracfone website sometime in the near future. It is not uncommon for the phone to be available on eBay and Amazon before the Tracfone website.

Tracfone Android Resources - Helpful Information for Smartphone Users

Android phones work a little differently than non-smartphones with Tracfone. One of the biggest differences is that you get you minutes split up into talk, text and data pools that are each separate. You also get Triple Minutes for life on every Android phone.

For more information on using Android phones with Tracfone, take a look at the following resources we've published about Tracfone smartphones:

How Do Minutes Work on Tracfone Smartphones?

How to Check your Airtime on Android Devices

How to Buy Only Texts for your Smartphone

How Data Works on Android Tracfone Devices

and lastly, The Best Apps for Android

You can also take a look at the Alcatel Sonic Interactive Tutorial to help you learn how to use the phone.

That completes our review of the Alcatel Sonic. We hope you found it informative and useful. If you have questions or something to share, leave a comment below (we review every comment before posting, to keep out spam).

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David Jarrett said...

Looks like Tracfone has gone back to their 'ho-hum' approach to their lineup.
With even third world countries jumping on the ever-increasing feature filled smart phone market offerings, Tracfone needs to get their 'A' game on if they are going to be competitive.
But then again, with the expansion of the BYOP program into GSM and LTE service, maybe Tracfone has decided to get ahead of the game, and intends to get out of the increasingly competitive hardware sales arena entirely!

Steve Miles said...

low internal memory like my pop icon is a no go, cant download much apps at all dont buy

Anonymous said...

The main thing holding Tracfone back is that none of the phones have more than 1gb of RAM. Time to upgrade this limitation.

cj orey said...

I guess theres no way to know when you download an app from google store if it can be moved to sd card before you download it?

Anonymous said...

Can you clear up some confusion about whether on not android Tracfones roam? In the instruction manual for most androids they state that the android and byop's do not roam. Some people that I've talked to feel that this means they are simply not being charged extra for roaming services, while in my experience, the phones are not picking up service from another carrier. Because of this, the Tracfone coverage is not as complete with the androids. Even talking to a customer service rep from Tracfone has not been able to clear up the confusion.

Unknown said...

Their smartphones have an R for roaming in the notification. But hard to say. As a word of advice though, never believe anything fracfone says to u as they lie constantly. They have one of the woods worst reputations for service.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely the worst touch screen of any electronic device designed. Ever.

cindi lewis said...

What I don't understand is why the constant drain on a brand new battery? No apps open or running, and yet, cannot keep the thing charged!

danielc said...

Turn off your data and wifi both are battery drains.

W,C,H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chicken- said...

I bought this phone and have had nothing but problems, I can drive 2 houses down and have full signal and not be able to make a call. Tracfone said to me that this is locked to ATT and won't work on Verizon towers and that is why...makes no sense to me. Amazon even listed this as working with CDMA/GSM Tracfone networks so I don't know what to do now. I have to explain it 10 times before the support people even understand what I'm saying, they keep asking me if it works at my home and I say YES BUT IF I DRIVE 30 SECONDS DOWN THE ROAD IT DOESN'T, AND THEN 30 SECONDS MORE IT DOES, IT RANDOMLY DECIDES NOT TO WORK EVEN THOUGH I HAVE SIGNAL. So frustrating!