We’re back. And this time we analyze of a new Android device, which belongs to a company we have teamed up with recently. I’m talking about Alcatel and Onetouch Idol 3. We from Android Emotion had the opportunity to analyze Idol 2, and now we analyze Idol 3, released at MWC 2015 in Barcelona.
One Touch Idol 3 is Alcatel’s newest attempt to charm users into the smartphone segment. If we haven’t heard about Alcatel for a while, this is now about to change—and Idol 3 has an important role in Alcatel’s strategy.
Out team has been interested to test the phone since MWC, especially the functionality which makes it possible to answer a phone upside down. Have you heard about it? Not yet? So keep reading this review, and we’re going to tell you everything about the dual SIM version of Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3.
If you like cell phones with small dimensions, say, 7.4mm thick, with a clean and first class finish, most certainly you will dig Onetouch Idol 3.
At first view, we have before our eyes a state of art phone with a good quality plastic body, rounded corners decorated with metal-like rims, and a very thin frame. The plastic cover is somewhat textured (feature I personally value very much), giving the cell phone a good adherence capability. This is good news for users with slippery hands. We should note that the back cover is detachable. On the back, we also find the LED flash and 13MP camera.
Do you remember when we said Onetouch Idol 3 could be used upside down? Well, on the top just above the screen you’ll see a speaker and also a mic, conceived for this purpose. Below them, you have the 8-MP frontal camera and a notification LED.
The second microphone is on the Idol 3 back, the same position on all other smartphones, but here we also find a second speaker. Here we can still find a USB port for charging and 3.5mm audio jack. One point that we also have to mention is that the entire screen is capacitive.
On the left side, there’s the power button and SIM card slot, where it’s incorporated the microSD card slot. That’s right, Alcatel made the choice of not only have a microSD Slot.
The volume buttons are on the right side. If we answer a call with the cell facing the wrong direction, these buttons function will adjust the cell to the new position, saving us from trouble.
If you are used to have the on/off and volume buttons on the same side, having them on different sides may discomfit you at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it after a while. However, since Idol 3 is a 5.5-inches-screen phone, if you have small hands, you’ll probably find its dimensions not ideal for handling it at ease.
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 weights 141 g—the ideal weight to be self-assured when using it. It’s not too heavy to make you uncomfortable when holding it against your ears, nor too light to make you feel uneasy having it in your hands. In my opinion, Idol 3 has the ideal weight to a comfortable and agreeable use. However, as it has an entirely flat back, ergonomics may not be its strongest suit.
With dimensions of 152,7 x 75,1 x7,4 mm, Idol 3 is not really small. If you are a man, you won’t have problems in putting it into your trouser’s pockets. But if you are a girl, this may be a bit harder. Anyway, being this big it’s perfect to not get lost in a lady’s purse.
Alcatel Onethouch Idol 3 is equipped with a IPS LCD 5.5-inch screen with a 720 x 1280 pixels. Thanks to the Technicolor Color Enhance technology, the colors are vibrant, and color quality remains the same even in bright conditions.
Brightness is excellent and contrast is good, but when held in diagonal the image loses quality and colors fade.
Alcatel One Touch Idol’s main feature is reversibility. At this year MWC, Acatel publicized that One Touch was the first reversible smartphone ever, meaning it’s possible to use it upside down.
The screen will adjust itself automatically if the “reverse” icon was chosen on quick settings.
This is a very good idea, since it spares us the trouble of having the phone on the right position all the time in order to use it. But I didn’t use the reverse functionalities many times, since the conventional way of holding the phone is carved deep down in our memory. Perhaps after some time users will be able to leave behind old habits, and casually hold their Idol 3 upside down without noticing they are doing so.
The dual SIM technology is another important feature. It makes it possible to the phone to get two SIM cards at the same time. If before the dual SIM technology was directed to the corporative user, now smartphone companies are releasing dual SIM smartphones to common users.
We must acknowledge this is very useful when handling two different numbers, for instance a work number and a personal number.
Interface and Performance
The Idol 3 comes with Lollipop 5.0. When we began using the smartphone, Lollipop 5.0 was displayed right immediately after initialization, but after a while a notification popped up and lollipop 5.0.2 was downloaded. For this reason, the tests were conducted with Lollipop 5.0.2.
Many companies choose to make available a skin for their interface. I was pleased when I notice Alcatel kept things simple and gave us a smartphone true to the Lollipop Android’s stock version. There are not skins, but Alcatel filled One Touch 3 with Apps from other companines, such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Flipboard, Evernote, Adobe Reader, AVG Anti-virus, and WPS Office. Google apps were not left out, so you can find Chrome, Hangouts and Calender apps on the smartphone. Alcatel saves users a lot of time if they use these apps, because users don’t have to install them all over again.
However, if you don’t like these apps you can easily uninstall them, just like any other app installed from Google Play Store.
The only visible difference is the apps’ icon design. The remainder of the interface, such as the notifications tab and quick setup, is mere stock Android Lollipop. As usual in Google’s Lollipop OS, you can have access to the settings sliding two fingers on the screen, and change the user by pressing the avatar. So, if your kids play on your cell phone, you can create a new avatar and install their games under this new avatar, protecting your documents from being lost or altered while kids are playing games.
Alcatel Onetouche Idol 3 comes with the new One touch Streem functionality, which displays weather forecast, calendar, news, and apps chosen by Alcatel.
Idol 3 should be run smoothly thanks to theQualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53, quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 processor and 2GB RAM, but a few-second delays can take place when moving from an application to another, and sometimes delays took place even when we were just scrolling up or down. However, Apps not working at all were a rare incident.
Trying to assess how Anatel Onetouch 3 runs, we submit it to the usual benchmark tests. You can read the results at Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 – Benchmarks. Taking into consideration the benchmark results, we can say Alcaltel has a similar performance to Samsung Galaxy 4 while it’s bit behind Asus Zenfone 2.
The 2,910 mAh battery is Acatel’s main asset. Having automatic screen brightness, GPS, wireless and mobile data on, the battery worked for many hours without having to be recharged.
Beside all that, I used Idol 3 greatly, making phone calls, texting, checking emails, and using apps. The battery recharge cycle happened every one day and a half, which is nowadays an acceptable, good performance.
The only thing we should deplore is the fact Quick Charge is absent from Onetouch 3. According to Alcatel, if the battery is very low it’ll take about two hours to recharge the battery. On the other hand, if the battery is around 25%, it’ll take 1h30m to be fully recharged.
If you are a photograph enthusiast and are considering to buy an Idol Onetouch 3, you should know the Onetouch 3 comes with a 13MP back camera with Sony sensor, which records 1080p resolution videos, and also with an eletronic image stabilizer.
You’ll get very satisfactory results with Idol Onetouch 3. It takes around 1 or 2 seconds to focus, and even in poor light environments the results are satisfactory. The photos are not sensancional but they won’t dissapoint you.
Idol 3 has a camera-related app, which will help you to explore you artistc talent. It includes three options: time-lapse, HDR, and panoramic view.
If you can’t resist to take selfies, Alcatel is equipped with an 8Mp camera. And this camera can get very satisfactory results in low light and bright environments. We should stress that the lenses’ opening angle is a bit bigger than other cell’s from the same price range. Nobody will be left out from your selfies.
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 falls into the medium range performance smartphone category—but it displays such a good performance, if it were not for its specs, nobody would tell it’s not an upscale smartphone. However, Idol 3 is not trying to be something else than a medium range price smartphone. It aims to live up to the expectations of medium range performance smartphone users—and it does great job.
However, Alcatel didn’t go easy on client’s pockets when charged the price for this smartphone: it costs around 300€. With less money, you perhaps can get a phone to live up to your needs, such as an Asus Zenfone 2.
- Full Touch HD Screen
- Two microphones
- Reversible mode
- Just one color is available
- No Quick Charge
Note: Review made by Paula Marques in android-emotions.com and translated by Anderson Antunes