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Alcatel One Touch Idol Review

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Interface:

The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, so it won't be running the latest Android version out of the box. Nevertheless, having no lock screen widgets isn't that big of a deal. The user interface has been slightly modified, but as a whole, it does feel stock-ish and there aren't changes that we don't like. Alcatel has replaced the lock screen, the icons, and has also tweaked the notification bar, but that's pretty much all that has been changed.

The lock screen added by Alcatel has shortcuts to the camera, messaging, and phone apps for convenience, although it would have been more convenient if users had the freedom to pick these manually. The notification bar comes with toggle switches allowing one to quickly change many of the phone's settings. There's a data counter widget as well, keeping track of both SIM cards' data consumption.

Lock screen - The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review

Lock screen

   

The Alcatel One Touch Idol ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean


Using the on-screen keyboard on the Alcatel One Touch Idol we can type effortlessly both quick text messages and lengthy emails. Its keys are large enough and well spaced out. Alternatively, there's SwiftKey 3 pre-loaded for those who aren't entirely happy with the stock keyboard.

On-screen keyboard - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
On-screen keyboard - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review

On-screen keyboard



Software:

In terms of software, not a whole lot has been thrown in, but the Backup application seems quite handy. In a nutshell, it uploads the user's data to a Dropbox or Box.net account so that it can be restored at a later time in case that is needed. Backup data can be stored offline as well right on the phone's internal storage. Photos, apps, contacts and system settings can all be included in the backup file.

The Media Share app is another handy addition. Using DLNA tech, it allows the smartphone to be used as a media server, streaming content to other devices. Browsing for media files shared over the network is also an option.

The My Tracks app can be fun to play with. Basically, it uses the GPS radio on the smartphone to track your location constantly, thus creating a map of the path you've traveled throughout the day.

The Backup application - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
Media Share - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
My Tracks app - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
Alcatel One Touch Idol Review

The Backup application

Media Share

My Tracks app

 


Dual SIM features:

There are two versions of the Alcatel One Touch Idol, and the one we are using for this review has a couple of SIM card slots. Yes, it is a dual SIM, dual stand-by device, allowing the services of two carriers to be used at the same time. For example, one of the cards can be assigned to handle voice calls and text messages, while the other keeps the phone connected to the internet over 3G. The phone can't keep both SIM cards active simultaneously, however, meaning that if one of them is used for a phone call, the other one will be deactivated until the call is ended.


Processor and Memory:

Alcatel has chosen to put a humble MediaTek system-on-chip inside the One Touch Idol, which has surely helped with keeping its production costs down. The silicon in question is the MT6577, with a dual-core CPU clocked at 1GHz. There is one gig of RAM in there as well, which is a fair amount.

Overall, the smartphone’'s real-life performance is acceptable, but it is still a relatively weak device, as you can see from its poor benchmark results. We often noticed choppiness while browsing through menus and home screens, but thankfully, serious lags are uncommon. Avoiding live wallpapers is one way of keeping the phone's performance on par. As for its gaming capabilities, casual games run fine on the Alcatel One Touch Idol, but advanced titles with 3D graphics and fancy visual effects may be choppy at times.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD) Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Alcatel One Touch Idol 2893 6303 405 / 3.6 fps 1360 / 416
Google Nexus 4 4757 16749 4917 1375 / 600
LG Optimus L7 II 2823 6674

Samsung Galaxy S III 5335 15152


The dual SIM version of the Alcatel One Touch Idol has 16GB of storage, out of which 13GB are available for storing apps, music, photos, and other stuff. That should be enough storage for casual users, but those who like to take lots of photos may run out of space relatively quickly. Unfortunately, there is no microSD card slot present on the device as that is only available on the handset's single SIM variant.


Internet and connectivity:

The stock web browser on the Alcatel One Touch Idol actually runs better than we though it would. Even heavy web pages are rendered quickly, although they might need some time to load completely. Navigation features, such as pinch to zoom and tap to zoom also work perfectly fine, and we can quickly switch between opened pages. We also tried the Chrome internet browser, but it wasn't as great in terms of performance and responsiveness.

The stock web browser on the Alcatel One Touch Idol - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
The stock web browser on the Alcatel One Touch Idol - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review
The stock web browser on the Alcatel One Touch Idol - Alcatel One Touch Idol Review

The stock web browser on the Alcatel One Touch Idol


There is no 4G connectivity on the Alcatel One Touch Idol. Instead, there's just a humble 3G radio capable of achieving peak download speeds of 7.2Mbps. Naturally, the smartphone comes with Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The FM radio has not been omitted either.

7 Comments
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posted on 01 Jul 2013, 03:55

1. FlushGordon (unregistered)


Overpriced for what it is

similar spec'd China brands go on sale for 40 - 50 percent cheaper

posted on 01 Jul 2013, 04:40 1

2. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 913; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


"The phone does have a cheap feel, however, and our fingers can easily tell that the phone's entire shell is made of colored plastic."

The Galaxy S4's shell is also entirely made of plastic but i have never seen you guys complain about that.. Ohh wait.

posted on 01 Jul 2013, 06:09 1

3. superkuiken (Posts: 51; Member since: 24 Mar 2013)


You guys should have reviewed the OneTouch Idol Ultra, as this device is already an old one.

posted on 01 Jul 2013, 08:49

4. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 357; Member since: 07 May 2012)


please review the blu life play
http://www.gsmarena.com/blu_life_play-5359.php

posted on 01 Jul 2013, 09:48

5. predator93 (Posts: 122; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


"the LG Optimus L7 II would also be a great alternative to the One Touch Idol as it comes with a better screen and a faster processor."
I own an L7 II dual and its processor (Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon) is definitely weaker when compared to MTK 6577.

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 03:41

7. kennethmanabat (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Hi guys, just wanna ask if you have some information about MHL support for this device? Because I tried using a somewhat generic micro USB to HDMI adaptor, and guess what, it didn't work. So yeah, if anyone could clear this up, that'd be great. Thanks

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 12:07

8. jcnieves (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Sep 2013)


My Idol phone is great as long as you don't install the official Facebook app. Everything is responsive that way. The battery barely last an entire day in constant use, you need to charge it about leaving home after work, not until you go to sleep so you basically need to have it plugged in to a power source. The phone is made with plastic so does the Galaxy S4 so don't complain about that, the "feels cheap on the hand" is also true for the Galaxy phones family, be fair. All phone are overpriced if you compare them with the Chinese phones, come on guys!

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Display4.7 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (234 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
MediaTek MT6577, Dual core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size5.24 x 2.66 x 0.31 inches
(133 x 67.5 x 7.9 mm)
3.88 oz  (110 g)
Battery1800 mAh, 7.2 hours talk time

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