Alcatel Idol 4S Review
Interface and Functionality
And Boom (key) goes the dynamite
Alcatel delivers the Idol 4S running Android 6.0.1, and while it can't resist the urge to fancy-up the interface a little bit, the company's additions aren't too extreme as Android UI overhauls go. We get some gesture commands, lockscreen shortcuts, and a cute Amazon Fire Phone-like fake 3D effect when you tilt the handset, but the big deal here is what can be done with the phone's hardware Boom key.
All that is pretty straightforward, but then there's the general “Boom effects” feature, which is nothing short of confusing. Rather than continuing to give the Boom key very specific functionality, setting it to Boom-effects mode results in different operation depending on what app you're in. It can enhance voice clarity in calls, apply special effects to a video, turn on bass enhancement in music playback, or even trigger a nitro boost in a racing game. But by trying to do so much, it can be hard to keep track of just what it's supposed to do at any given time.
Another feature whose implementation leaves a little to be desired is the phone's fingerprint scanner. The rear placement isn't our favorite to begin with, but the more serious issue is the scanner's difficulty at recognizing authorized prints. It always gets there eventually, but a minimum of two scans to unlock quickly became the norm, with three or four not unheard of before the scanner would finally let us in.
Processor and Memory
One of the best-performing Snapdragon 600-series phones to date
When we first heard that Alcatel was bringing us a phone with a quad-HD display and a Snapdragon 600-series processor, we had our doubts; was performance going to suffer just so Alcatel could wow us with all those pretty pixels? But this ain't your momma's Snapdragon, and the Idol 4S runs the Snapdragon 652 (née 620). Qualcomm changed the name in order to emphasize just how advanced this chip is compared to other 600-series Snapdragons, and it's not lying.
For instance, comparing benchmark results with the Snapdragon 617-powered Moto G4, the Idol 4S pulls in scores that are twice as high in many tests. Real-world usage of the phone similarly reflects the power of the 652 chip, with smooth scrolling and fast response times. And while it still has a ways to go to catch up with top-shelf silicon like the Snapdragon 820, it's an extremely solid choice for a budget handset like the Idol 4S.
Alcatel gives the phone 32GB of internal storage, which is both a good amount and more than we'd necessarily expect, as well as the ability to boost that even higher with a microSD card. And to the company's credit, there's a prominent file explorer that ships with the phone, helping you keep an eye out for big files eating up that space.
We're also happy with the decision to hook the Idol 4S up with 3GB of RAM; it's not clear 4GB would offer an appreciable performance benefit, and this feels like a bit of a sweet spot.
AnTuTu Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 82146
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 50288.33
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 47205
Sony Xperia E5 32392.33
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 2610
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 1080
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 1460
Sony Xperia E5 987.66
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 4862
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 3238.66
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 2856
Sony Xperia E5 2626.66
JetStream Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 52.364
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 24.459
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 21.993
Sony Xperia E5 19.728
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 24
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 19
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 18
Sony Xperia E5 15
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 9.5
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 7.2
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 4.5
Sony Xperia E5 6
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 1570
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 1012.66
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 1001
Sony Xperia E5 583
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 1499
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 743
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 719
Sony Xperia E5 538
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Alcatel Idol 4s 4988
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 4120.33
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 3142
Sony Xperia E5 1440.33
Nothing fancy, but still solid LTE band support
The Idol 4S is being sold as an unlocked handset, and it's got the radio compatibility to work with your choice of T-Mobile or AT&T's network – all their LTE bands are supported. If you live elsewhere or are planning to go with another carrier, keep in mind that we're looking at LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 17.
The phone supports Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC connectivity.
Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 6:38 AM 0
Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 21, 2016
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 7:29 AM 2
Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 10:24 AM 0
Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 25, 2009
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 8:25 AM 1
Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 8:39 AM 0
Posts: 18; Member since: May 02, 2016
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 9:22 AM 0
Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 25, 2009
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 11:28 AM 0
Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012
posted on Aug 10, 2016, 6:42 PM 0
* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.
PhoneArena Comments Rules
A discussion is a place, where people can voice their opinion, no matter if it is positive, neutral or negative. However, when posting, one must stay true to the topic, and not just share some random thoughts, which are not directly related to the matter.
Things that are NOT allowed:
- Off-topic talk - you must stick to the subject of discussion
- Trolling - see a description
- Flame wars
- Offensive, hate speech - if you want to say something, say it politely
- Spam/Advertisements - these posts are deleted
- Multiple accounts - one person can have only one account
- Impersonations and offensive nicknames - these accounts get banned
Moderation is done by humans. We try to be as objective as possible and moderate with zero bias. If you think a post should be moderated - please, report it.
Have a question about the rules or why you have been moderated/limited/banned? Please, contact us.
Send a warning to post author
Send a warning to Selected user.
The user has 0 warnings currently.
Next warning will result in ban!
Ban user and delete all posts
Message to PhoneArena moderator (optional):
- 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)