Messaging on the Alcatel One Touch 990 proves just as pleasing as calling. The keyboard on our test model for both the Messaging and Email/Gmail apps is the stock Android one, and it's a comfortable and competent companion to our typing needs.
While good use is made of the screen's real estate in portrait mode, we far prefer the less cramped typing experience you get from turning to landscape orientation.
On opening up your text message inbox, you'll see your threads, with a handy count of the current conversation's messages and a bit of summary from the last message you sent or received to help you orientate yourself. We particularly like that you can click the contact image next to an entry to ring them or see their contact card as well. Enter into a thread and the presentation is basic, but it does the job well.
Email's just as good. Setting up an email account in the Email app is as simple as following the handy wizard you're presented with on starting up, and there are settings for several popular kinds of email provider, including Hotmail, AOL, O2, Gmail, Sky and many more. If none of these suffices, there's an Other option you can use as well.
With an account or accounts hooked up, you'll see your combined inbox in list form for perusal, with images not loaded by default but available on request.
Composing a message is as easy as hitting the Menu key, tapping Compose and then filling out the relevant fields.
And the story continues in much the same vein for Gmail too – its implementation is as pleasing and user-friendly as you'd want it to be. In short, for handling text-based messages, the Alcatel One Touch 990 leaves very little to be desired, bar perhaps some aesthetic polish. If you're a big texter or want confident on-the-go email capabilities and don't mind typing on touchscreen smartphones, we doubt you'll be disappointed.