We reviewed the Alcatel One Touch IDOL 3 smartphone last year and loved it. This year Alcatel has released a newer version – The Alcatel IDOL 4. We have been using the IDOL 4 on the Bell network and enjoyed some of the features in this phone.
First impressions, screen and sound.
This year's model feels lighter and very secure on the hands. It feels easier to hold and grip. We like that it is slightly smaller than the Idol 3. It has a nice metallic frame around the body and a beautiful 5.2 inch full HD IPS display. The screen is very bright and is viewable in bright sunlight when the brightness is set to its maximum, although the screen did look a little washed out when it's at its maximum brightness.
There are speaker grills on the top and bottom of each side of the phone - housing dual multi-directional 3.6 watt speakers for enhanced sound. We used the Bell TV app that came installed with this phone to watch live television channels. We like how this app takes advantage of the wonderful large bright screen and the loud speakers on this phone to watch content. The sound and the volume is very loud and can be heard a fair distance across the room when the phone is placed on a stand. Since the grills are on the back of the phone, we found that the sound could be heard in all directions.
Software, camera, and other functions
The IDOL 4 comes with the feature packed Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. Since the phone is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor the OS menus and navigating between applications is very smooth. We didn't experience any freezes and everything was fluid. The phone is equipped with 16GB memory, which is enough for standard applications and a couple of big games if you are a gamer. There is also a Micro SD card slot to extend memory on this phone, which is not available even on premium prized phones. There is a Boom Key, which is a designated multifunctional hardware key that enables us to set a specific function to the hardware button specific to our own needs. We can customize this button to take a screenshot, open an application, or use it as the camera button.
There is a 13MP Rear camera which has auto focus and enables us to take the perfect picture in different lighting conditions with the HDR mode. For night shots, there is a Dual-Tone Flash which helps take even better night shots. The daylight pictures we took turned out pretty decent. We found the Auto focus function is a bit slow for our liking.
There are lot of updated connectivity options on the IDOL 4. There is a range of LTE bands that are compatible in most parts of the world. Data connectivity using LTE on the Bell network was stable and fast. Webpages come up quick and when we play high resolution YouTube videos there is no buffering and they played right away. The IDOL 4 has Wireless AC Wi-Fi, so we can take advantage of faster Wi -Fi at home.
This phone has other stylish features such as the reversible screen that orientates to the direction it is held, so if we are using the phone reversed the screen will move to the correct orientation. There is a 2610 mAh battery on the IDOL 4, which is good for all day use. However, I noticed the battery life is shorter when we use the phone for a lot of media. If the phone runs out of battery recharging it back to 100% takes 2 hours because of the phone's Quick charge feature. Overall, the Alcatel IDOL 4 is a wonderful mid-range phone for budget conscious users.
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