Alcatel surprises with two new smoking hot phones: Idol 4S and Idol 4 blend metal and glass with affordability

Can you say Alcatel and a great-looking phone?

Admittedly, that's not what comes to mind first, but Alcatel, a joint venture company between France's Alcatel-Lucent and Chinese TCL, has just unveiled its new Idol 4 series with two new phones: the Idol 4 and Idol 4S, and both look smoking hot. The pair features a metal frame and glass body with some accents that make them stand out in the crowd.

While the two phones share very similar looks and visual style, they are different in size and performance power. The Alcatel Idol 4S is the more powerful of the two, a 5.5" device with a Quad HD display and running on the Snapdragon 652 system chip, while the Alcatel Idol 4 has a 5.2" handset with 1080 x 1920-pixel screen and is powered by the Snapdragon 617 chip.

Obviously, these are not high-end, super expensive phones on the same level as the upcoming Galaxy S7 and LG G5, but they are rather aimed at budget-conscious buyers. A nice bonus that you get with these phones is that their retail box actually transforms into a virtual reality (VR) headset that you can plug the phone into.

So what are these Alcatel Idol 4 and Idol 4S all about? 

Let's take a quick look at their spec sheet:

Idol 4S
Idol 4
PlatformAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions153.9 x 75.4 x 6.99 mm147 x 72.5 x 7.1 mm
Display5.5” QHD AMOLED (1440 x 2560)5.2” FHD (1080 x 1920), IPS LTPS
SoCSnapdragon 652Snapdragon 617
Cameras16MP rear cam, 2K video
8MP front cam w/ flash
13MP rear cam, 1080p video
8MP front cam
with microSD support
with microSD support
Battery3000 mAh2610 mAh

Both phones support quick charging, a nice extra feature. The Idol 4S battery can fully recharge in 1.6 hours, while the Idol 4 battery cell can be recharged in just 1 hour.

Another great bonus that you don't get on every phone, but you do get on the Alcatel Idol 4S and Idol 4 are powerful dual stereo speakers (2 x 3.6 Watts).

What about 4G LTE connectivity? The phones come with support for different bands: the Idol 4S features FDD LTE B1/3/7/8/20/28A, while the Idol 4 features FDD LTE B1/3/7/8/20/28A/38/40. Obviously, lacking are support for AT&T (bands 2, 4, 5, 17) and T-Mobile 4G LTE bands (2, 4, 12), so the phones are not intended for sale in the United States, but rather in Europe and rest of the world.

Price and release date

The 5.2" Idol 4, being the cheaper of the two, is expected to carry a price of just around $280, while the 5.5" Idol 4S comes at a higher price of between $400 and $500, still way below your typical $650 flagship pricing.

source: Alcatel

Related phones

Idol 4
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, Octa-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2610 mAh(15h talk time)
Idol 4s
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(13h talk time)



1. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Curious on how 652 handles 2k screen.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Poorly of course.

5. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

The Snapdragon 652 is great on the CPU-side - faster than Snapdragon 810, but it does lag behind on the GPU, so it won't be great for sure.

23. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Does anyone know how the 652 compares vs the 808/805?

29. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011 Benchmarks say it's just a little bit behind the LG V10 (S808), which handles its 2K screen wonderfully. Performance won't be an issue.

2. nscian2

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Why are phone makers using the snapdragon 617. I understand the lower power consumption but not being 64bit annoys me

8. TyrionLannister unregistered

617 is 64-bit.

4. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

But whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy 5.2 inches? Why the hell couldn't they stick to 4.7 and 5.5 like on previous model and besides QHD on 652 will be probably an overkill. I hope that after 5se more phones will come with smaller screens

28. Jairus24

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 20, 2012

5 to 5.2 inches are the sweet spot for screen size.

32. dodger

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

You got that right, 5 - 5.2 inches is perfect for me as well!

6. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

The back of the idol 4S looks a lot like the S6/7

13. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Color reminds me of black sapphire from the latest Samsung devices.

21. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 927; Member since: May 07, 2014

You mean the glass on the back? Apart from the glass, it looks nothing like the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7. BTW Samsung was not the first to stick a glass on the back of the phone.

7. TyrionLannister unregistered

I'm more excited about the idol 4. 4s has almost the same specs as last year's flagships, and costs the same too. So not too impressive.

15. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

I agree. You'll probably be able to pick up last year's flagships for a cheaper price later on the year anyways.

30. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Any idea how the SD 652 performs compared to the SD 801?

31. TyrionLannister unregistered

652 is pretty close to the performance of 808 in GPU, so definitely better than 805. In CPU, it's even better than 810, and doesn't throttle as often. It's pretty much expected as cortex A72 are better than A57.

9. stardomains

Posts: 29; Member since: Nov 05, 2015

Why does Alcatel know how to do speakers and the big flagship don't?

10. Tziggy14

Posts: 625; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

That's toi expensive for a phone with Snapdragon 652 chips.

11. TerryTerius unregistered


14. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

I'd say $400 is a good price, but not anything above that.

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

better get SD820 equipped Mi5 for that price

12. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

I hope the idol 3 gets marshmallow soon :(

16. Romantico3pe

Posts: 179; Member since: Sep 14, 2015

Why amoled whyyyy???? People should love burn in and oversaturared screens

17. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

I used to think the same way, but after getting the S6 I don't think I can go back to IPS. Besides, I haven't had any problems with burn in so far.

27. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

only iSheep hate amoled anyway... but they'll change their mind as soon as iPhone use amoled

18. monoke

Posts: 1185; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Now this is how u design a phone! Lg and htc take note.

19. RaulBlas

Posts: 47; Member since: Mar 31, 2014

No fingerprint scanner?

20. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 927; Member since: May 07, 2014

Great Looking phone, Dual front facing speakers, modest specs. Plus that VR box idea is great.. I will definitely buy the 4s.

22. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

The big question is, will they support LTE in the U.S.?

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