The Good Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 has a large screen and takes nice outdoor photos. It wins bonus points for loud external speakers and a useful OS mode upside down and right side up.
The Bad Its performance is a bit sluggish, poor light photography is poor, and the OS doesn’t have a few useful shortcuts common to other Android phones.
The Bottom Line Delivering mid-range features at a starting price, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – the best smartphone company by far – is a lot of money.
Finally the ransom. The OneTouch Idol 3 Alcatel manages to overcome the bad company experience for handsets with unpleasant looks but poor performance and performance.
The best Alcatel phone, the Idol 3, confidently produces mid-range photos, screen resolution and internal hardware performance for the price of many smaller phones. It also supports Android 5.0, pumps audio through dual JBL speakers, and has two convenient OS settings.
On the other hand, Idol 3 suffers from a slight navigation delay and some confusing design and design solutions on its special Android skin.
Its disadvantages are quite small and the price is low enough that I recommend OneTouch Idol 3 to customers looking for a high-end budget phone. For $ 250, it hits Motorola’s Moto G and Moto G 4G LTE , and Moto E 4G LTE camera quality and performance, but it comes in the same price range. Although the Moto kit is for entry level entry, if you have the ability to get Idol 3 instead, you should take it. In the UK, Alcatel expects the Idol 3 to be around £ 270, putting it more firmly in the mid range. In Australia, this is an extremely advantageous price of only $ 379.
In the US, it can be purchased from Alcatel.
Editor’s note: This review applies to the 5.5-inch model. Alcatel’s 4.7-inch version has reduced performance – from screen and camera resolution to processor, storage and battery capacity.
Sleek-but-cheap: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (pictures)
Design and build
- 5.5-inch LCD screen
- 1 920x180p HD (401ppi) resolution
- 6 by 3 by 0.3 inches (153 by 75 by 7.4 mm)
- 142 ounces (142 grams)
- 1.2-watt double JBL speakers
About this screen. 1080p resolution is absolutely great for a budget phone of this caliber, though the images are certainly not as detailed as they would be with a 1440p display. It’s also nice and bright, even with the brightness set in the middle. Budget phones usually look bold, or cheeky, or flashy, or all of the above. Here, the Idol 3 has a sophisticated air, rounded corners framing a slim plastic body, dark gray matte finish and silver accents. The built-in battery helps keep it slim, yet durable, and the slim panel makes the screen seem even more expanded than its even larger phablets.
A pair of JBL speakers extends from the top and bottom edges of the screen, which adds visual appeal (but also picks up particles). It also makes a huge impact on the audio quality of the Idol 3. From these mini speakers, the music was played loud and clear; loud enough to fill a fairly quiet room. I wouldn’t count on it to entertain a frantic party, but you can leave portable speakers at home to catch some tunes in the park.
The buttons on Idol 3 resonate with the theme of “lean”, but this may not be the best. The volume rocker position can be difficult to find by feeling on the right side of the Idol 3. Turn off the left spine’s power / lock button. At the bottom, the SIM card tool pushes the combo tray for micro-SIM and microSD (also available as a dual SIM card).
You’ll find a 13-megapixel camera in the upper left corner, with the LED flash just below. On the front, an 8-megapixel lens sits to the right of center. You will be charged through the Micro-USB port at the bottom right of the phone, and plug the headset into the socket at the top.
OS and features
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Reversible interface
- Double-tap the screen lock feature
Android 5.0 is recognized under the special Alcatel skin, though the company has added a few enhancements. Some are better, but a few tweaks need not be confused or even impeded by fast navigation, as if Alcatel wanted to make its mark but didn’t know what to do. I’ll mention a few.
The first for phones, Alcatel has made its interface “reversible”, which means that the screen is oriented right side up, even when you flip the phone upside down, with the camera lens at the bottom. The dominant speakers and microphone are also tuned to the “up” side required for making calls.
Reversing mode is a sensible idea that is also quite convenient. I was much less concerned with the orientation of my phone when I tucked it into my pocket or purse, tweaking or grabbing it from the surface. The only inconvenience was when I wanted to use the camera. Because of its placement on the corner, my finger made it much easier to use my phone upside down.
Activate the reverse mode from the settings or from its shortcut to the notification shade.
In my opinion, every phone should be able to turn the screen on and off by double tapping. There are a few already, and I’m glad to see it here on Idol 3. It saves time on its own, but it’s important if you use the phone in reverse mode, since you don’t have to cling to that power / lock button if you forget which side is moving.
My two complaints are that you can’t blur from a lock screen or camera app, two reviews that don’t seem to have an obvious reason.
Alcatel uses a two-tier notification shade. Pull down as usual and you will see your notifications that you can dismiss one by one or sweep in bulk. Pull down again if you want to release the shortcut menu. I prefer to do it all in one go.
Although there is a brightness slider, there is surprisingly no choice for automatic brightness to adjust the screen in dark and sunny conditions. In some Android skins, a long click on the Wi-Fi icon will take you to the full list of networks in Settings, but it’s not right here. Here you have to click text under the icon. Alcatel says it is a Lollipop convention, but in this case it is better to borrow from competitors from the original manufacturers.
Alcatel makes its own lock screen with a number of shortcuts at the bottom of the screen (including one for selfies) and shortcuts for the camera and dial in the corners. So far, it’s good, but it’s not very intuitive to use. To open them, double-tap notifications and icons.
You also need to swipe corners in non-intuitive directions to open them. For example, the camera icon in the lower right corner swipes to the left (not right) to open it. None of this is a big deal, but it can aggravate you if you switch from another phone.
Why, oh, why would a native camera app deliberately abandon a shortcut to a photo gallery, giving zero feedback after shooting? Idol 3 sticks to this Lollipop train, so the photo overview is hard to find. Instead, you need to slide your finger across the screen to see photos that were before. I often felt that moment of uncertainty as to whether or not I was being photographed, and I had to stop what I was doing to find out. I hope that future versions will return the thumbnail view.
I’m also not a big fan of layout in this app. (By the way, the native application does not flip over with the rest of the UI, which is a pity.) For example, the only way to go back to the main menu is by using the Back button, but you cannot access normal home controls or open tricks while in the camera application.
Videos also start recording as soon as you go out of camera mode, which was usually not what I wanted, especially if I accidentally opened the mode. Oddly enough, the screen of the phone screen did not run out on my review block when I accidentally left the camera app open.
- 13MP rear auto focus camera
- 8MP front camera
- 1080p Video Recording (Rear)
The first thing you need to know is that the camera generates 10-megapixel photos by default, which you will need to manually upgrade to 13-megapixel photos if you want to enlarge the image.
I took these test photos below using automatic settings, but you can also take panoramic shots and turn on HDR. Manual mode, time lapse, QR scanner and Face Beauty filters fill the portfolio. Another level of settings adjusts such as shutter sound and resolution. For many of them, the left edge icon lets you view filter settings and things like white balance and ISO. The location of these detailed options may be more transparent.
So, how did the camera do? In fact, actually. Photographs taken in abundant natural light were colorful and crisp, though the Idol 3 was unable to capture huge close-ups or zoom in on distant subjects. Still, I was content enough to share photos on social networks and in emails with family and friends. In several cases, the lettering did not turn out as sharp as it first appeared on the Idol 3 screen, the flaws that would be most obvious if I were to use a large version of the image in print or on the Internet.
The camera fights dark, indeterminate low-light shots, and the flash can create an overly sharp or swollen scene. Selfies, on the other hand, were pretty good. As always, lighting is everything. The videos were also shot and played as expected while shooting at 1080p HD.
Check out sample photos below. Click to enlarge
Productivity of equipment
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5 GHz octave core
- 16 GB of memory, 3 GB of RAM
- Up to 128GB microSD
There is a sluggishness to the Idol 3, which carries its sophisticated sound octane processor and high diagnostic test results. Despite the fact that the phone is not surprisingly a bit slower to respond. Chipset manufacturers produce multilevel products based on the cost and performance required by device manufacturers. In this phone, you will see that you can wait for the lock screen to turn on and off and the phone interface to turn upside down.
Other navigation and tasks are also slower than modern phones (such as camera autofocus), but this should not interfere too much.
|Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Average|
|3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited||7,331||7,676||7,756||7,588|
For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S6 premium received a Geekbench score of 4.608, a quadrant figure of 36.249, and a 3DMark score of 20.778. Although such diagnostic tests are effective, they do not always translate into real agility. However, Idol 3 does very well.
- 2,910mAh battery
- Built-in (fixed)
Battery life was quite reliable, lasting a long day on the same charge as most phones. Idol 3 did a pretty good job of showing our closed-loop video test in an aircraft mode, with an average of 13.3 hours. Keep in mind that navigation, streaming, or music will drain your battery quickly. The screen is also stored for a long time.
- GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz bands
- LTE: 800 (band 20), 900 (band 8), 1800 (band 3), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz
Call quality is one of those changes that changes depending on where you are, what network you are on, and even on the day of the day. In San Francisco, there were no red flags on the T-Mobile network; calls remained within normal cellular service. Powerful Idol 3 speakers make for a nice and loud speaker.
Buy or miss?
Buy. Alcatel seems to have fixed a lot of past mistakes with its low quality phones. Fortunately, this OneTouch Idol 3 is inexpensive, not cheap, and it even goes the extra mile, providing loud external speakers and a reversible interface.
No phone is perfect, but if your keywords are low cost and high value, Idol 3’s flaws are easy to spot. Its features outperform Motorola Moto G and E budget phones in almost every category – from resolution and screen storage to battery life and processing speed. The camera is also a clear victory.
Although targeted budget bikes may be cheaper at full retail price than Idol 3, the $ 100 difference, such as what you have to invest in Idol 3, is also worth the investment.