We have kindly been sent the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3, 4.7″ to review. The Idol 3 is a budget smart phone by Alcatel One Touch. Its available in two sizes (4.7″ and 5.5″). There are also slight specification differences between the two. Since I am reviewing the 4.7″ Lets take a look the specifications relevant to this model.

Specifications:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 Quad core processor @1.2 GHz
  • 1,024 MB of RAM
  • Qualcomm Adreno 306 GPU
  • 8 GB of onboard storage
  • Support for microSD cards up to 128 GB
  • 2000 mAh Li-Ion non removable battery
  • Connectivity: 4G,3G,2G,NFC,Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi
  • Front facing speakers by JBL
  • 13 Megapixel rear camera
  • 5 Megapixel front facing camera
  • 4.7″ 720p IPS display (1280 X 720 with 312 PPI)
  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop) (At time of this review)

Design:

The Idol 3 (both models are the same design) is a very beautiful phone (The best looking phone from Alcatel I have seen yet). The phone is made from plastic, but in all honesty, Alcatel seem to have a done a great job in making this phone look and feel premium despite its low price bracket.

 

IMG_20150808_203231675                           IMG_20150808_203020509           IMG_20150808_203045280

 

Around the front we have the screen surrounded by a tiny bit of bezel and above and below the boundaries of the screen we have the two front facing JBL speakers. Within the top bezel of the screen we have a small LED notification light, a proximity sensor and the phones front facing 5 Megapixel camera. The way the front of this phone has been designed really makes it stand out compared to other phones in its price bracket.

Around the back of the phone is the camera and led flash situated in the top left corner. Further down and aligned to the middle is the Idol logo

Heading to sides of the phone and on the left side is the sim/microSD tray with the power button sitting just above it. Heading to the right side we see the volume rocker sitting on its own at the top.

Along the top of the phone is the 3.5″ Audio jack to the left and a small microphone to the right, whilst on the bottom Alcatel have placed both the USB port and other microphone to the right side.

Surrounding the phone on both the back and front and overlapping the sides a bit is a gorgeous looking chrome trim that is interrupted in the centre of the phones frame by a dark grey strip that sort of adds a sandwich design element to the phone (Chrome trim: Grey strip: Chrome trim). This part of the design yet again adds a touch of premium feeling to this phone.

Another great thing about the design of this phone is that Alcatel have designed it to be used and look great, whichever way you pull it out of your pocket (In Alcatel’s own words: It rocks, even upside down)

Holding the phone is also a pleasure as it only weighs 110 grams, This makes the phone really light and when holding it you for the first time, it feels like you are holding a phone with no battery in it. It really is that light. It is worth noting that the 5.5″ model is slightly heavier as it has a bigger battery.

Performance:

Whilst the Idol 3, 4.7″ isn’t going to knock the socks off of more powerful phones available, it certainly does pack a punch against phones that already dominate the budget phone market. During my time with it the Idol 3 has performed really well, my only issue is that in some cases Alcatel’s custom user interface can be a tiny bit lag full if running the phone strenuously, however given its specs this really isn’t that bothersome. Unless you’re a power user, this phones performance will be enough to please you.

When playing games the Idol 3, 4.7″ shows no struggle in using its mid range specifications to their fullest potential. Playing games like Temple Run 2 and Minion Rush, the Idol 3 was quite comfortable with the demands of each game. I then decided to take it up a notch and try a game that was more intense on the GPU. The game I used for this was Need for Speed Most Wanted. The Idol 3, 4.7″ handled this game with ease and surprisingly during play I had no lag or graphic problems what so ever. Even with the mid range GPU on tow this phone was able to the play the game smoothly. The JBL front facing speakers also make game play an amazing experience on this phone with in-game music and sound effects coming out crisp and clear.

User Interface:

I am a huge fan of Stock Android compared to the skins overlaid on top of it by O.E.M’s. Now whilst this phone is running a custom U.I on top of Android 5.0.2, it’s the closest your going to get to stock Android, without using a launcher, a Nexus device or a phone by Motorola. What I love about this User interface is that Alcatel have kept it simple and plain by only changing app icons and tweaking some other minor stuff that is not really noticeable and because of this it feels like I’m using stock Android with only a few minor adjustments. The screenshots below show the Idol 3’s U.I side by side with the stock Android U.I of my Moto X.

 

Stock android settings menu
Stock android settings menu
Settings Menu on Idol 3
Settings Menu on Idol 3
Stock Android Launcher
Stock Android Launcher
Launcher found on the Idol 3
Launcher found on the Idol 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen:

The screen on the Idol 3. 4.7 is a 720p IPS display capable of producing 312 PPI. Whilst this may seem a bit low considering other phones in this price bracket have started to be shipped with 1080p screens, Alcatel have done a great job in making the best of their 720p panel. Images are sharp and the display is clear and bright. When used outside, the display, unlike some other phones in this price bracket, was brilliant, I had no issues with visibility and was over all impressed by the fact I did not have to tilt the phone all sorts of angles just to see what a text messaged said.

Battery:

The Alcatel Idol 3, 4.7″ has a non user removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery. In use I have managed to use the phone to run apps and games all day long and ended the day with 30% battery life left, which is pretty normal for me. Using the phone moderately got me though a day and a half which is really impressive. I don’t expect batteries to last more than a day or two of use-age and in my opinion this battery is satisfactory. It will decrease faster however if you are watching videos or using other battery intensive apps all day long as I learnt, again this was expected. The only major downside is that the battery isn’t user removable, so replacing it in the future or carrying a spare around aren’t options.

Those JBL Speakers:

So impressive, I have had to give them their own section in this review. As I mentioned before in the specification and in the gaming part of the performance section, the Idol 3 uses two front facing JBL speakers. These were the first thing I tested as soon as I had set the phone up. I wanted to test them so bad, that the first app I fired up was YouTube. Needless to say, I felt completely blown away by the sound these speakers threw out at me from the first song I played from my list (Bad Blood 😉 ). The speakers were loud, the music was clear, crisp and bass-full and they also seemed to have a slight 3D sound feeling to them which is amazing. Check out the recording below for a small sample. (Taylor Swift-Bad Blood- Youtube)

 

Also included with the Idol 3, 4.7″ is a brilliant pair of JBL headphones, that produce brilliant, clear and crisp audio. So not only do you get JBL front facing speakers with this phone, you also get JBL earphones to. BONUS !!!

Camera:

The rear camera of the Idol 3 is a 13 Mega-pixel camera, using a Sony produced sensor. Thanks to its 13 Mega-pixels this camera is quite capable of producing some very decent shots, especially if you like to take loads of day time photos. In low light situations the camera doesn’t exactly perform at its peak, however it is still capable of capturing some great shots thanks to its LED flash.

Taken in low light with flash enabled
Taken in low light with flash enabled
Taken in low light with flash disabled
Taken in low light with flash disabled

 

 

IMG_20150808_214149

IMG_20150808_214126

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capturing video was also a fantastic experience particularly during the day time with shots clear and decent enough for a smart-phone, however in low light the camera still doesn’t perform as-well as it can in daytime shots. However it is still a decent camera and is brilliant to use for both photos and videos. I have done a few videos with the Idol 3 in the daytime and all were impressive.

The front facing camera is a 5 Mega-Pixel camera, perfect for those moments where you just want to get a selfie. I don’t tend to use front facing cameras unless I’m doing a Skype call, so to test this one I did a Skype call and the results were great my image was clear enough to my friend on the other side of the net. The image was clear enough for a Skype call and I had no issues to be concerned about.

 

Pros:

  • Great phone for a great price
  • Amazing battery life
  • beautiful design
  • Those amazing front facing JBL speakers
  • Clean U.I

Cons

  • Slight lag of U.I in certain circumstances
  • Even for a mid range phone, 8GB built-in storage just seems too little

Overall:

The Idol 3, 4.7″ may be a budget phone, but in my opinion it is one of the best budget phones you can buy right now and if certain specifications such as the screen resolution put you off but other things impress you, you can pay an extra £40 and get the 5.5″ with slightly better specifications for £200, meaning the 4.7″ is an amazing low price of £160.

This phone has earned 4.9 out of 5 stars meaning, we give it a Gold Reviews Insider Star. It has earned this thanks to its amazing performance, low price and gorgeous design.

This phone is an absolute bargain and is completely amazing for the price. You can buy it here:


Or alternatively you can read more about or buy the 5.5″ here:

       

 RI Gold star temp

http://i2.wp.com/reviewsinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/IMG_20150801_132624498.jpg?fit=576%2C1024http://i2.wp.com/reviewsinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/IMG_20150801_132624498.jpg?resize=150%2C150Dominic ChapmanMobile phonesAlcatel Idol 3.4.7",Alcatel Idol 3review,Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review,Idol 3 reviewWe have kindly been sent the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3, 4.7' to review. The Idol 3 is a budget smart phone by Alcatel One Touch. Its available in two sizes (4.7' and 5.5'). There are also slight specification differences between the two. Since I am reviewing the 4.7'...