All eyes might be on its BlackBerry division, but TCL's other smartphone brand, Alcatel, continues to chug along featuring competitively priced mobile phones. The Alcatel Idol 5 is the latest smartphone launched by the company, which comes a few months after the release of its sibling in the Idol 5s earlier this year. Typically, the "S" version of a handset comes second, but it's the opposite with Alcatel's strategy this time around. Given the fierce battle that's constantly being waged in the sub-$200 range, the Alcatel Idol 5 needs to be more than "good enough" to stand a chance against its peers.

Design



With last year's phones, the Alcatel Idol 4 and 4s, and their premium designs, the company really stepped up its game. The same can be said here with the Idol 5, which is flaunting a solid build quality thanks to its metal body and high-polished aluminum edges. There's also a sense of symmetry too that we like about the design, evident in its antenna lines and dual front-firing speakers. And speaking of those speakers, they're incredibly clear and robust – delivering powerful tones that's sure to raise attention. For the price and all for the handset, it's especially comforting to know that it retains a level of premium without the premium cost.

Alcatel IDOL 5

Alcatel IDOL 5

Dimensions

5.83 x 2.83 x 0.3 inches

148.1 x 71.9 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.19 oz (147 g)

Motorola Moto G5

Motorola Moto G5

Dimensions

5.68 x 2.87 x 0.37 inches

144.3 x 73. x 9.5 mm

Weight

5.13 oz (146 g)

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches

143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48 mm

Weight

oz (0 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.3 x 71.3 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Alcatel IDOL 5

Alcatel IDOL 5

Dimensions

5.83 x 2.83 x 0.3 inches

148.1 x 71.9 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.19 oz (147 g)

Motorola Moto G5

Motorola Moto G5

Dimensions

5.68 x 2.87 x 0.37 inches

144.3 x 73. x 9.5 mm

Weight

5.13 oz (146 g)

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches

143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48 mm

Weight

oz (0 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.3 x 71.3 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)



UNI360 VR Goggles



Available separately at $49.99, the UNI360 VR Goggles provides users a taste of that VR experience. Improvement have been made to their year's headset, which features a 120-degree field of view, a focus adjustment knob, and now universal compatibility with most devices. While experiencing VR on-the-go using the Idol 5 is there for the convenience, it still pales in comparison to the more immersive experiences you get with either the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View headsets.

Display


Without question a mid-ranger competitor, the Idol 5 packs a 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The specs are what you'd expect for a device in its class, so we're pleased with its accompanying good qualities. Details are sufficient, colors tend to skew a natural tone, and clarity is retained at varying viewing angles. Seriously, we have few complaints about the display here, which too, does nicely for the VR experience.

FEATURED VIDEO

IDOL 5
  • Display 5.2 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek Helio P20 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2850 mAh
  • OS Android 7.0 Nougat

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