Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra Review

Interface and functionality

Alcatel uses a simple interface overlay on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, seemingly based on the Go Launcher, with rounded icon corners and standard homescreens/app drawer layout. It looks trim, and doesn't try too hard with a bunch of unnecessary widgets or excessive animations and transparencies that would bog down the processor.

The software engineers at Alcatel have preloaded a few utility apps like Skype, Torch, Deezer, two radio apps, network share options, and have integrated connectivity switches in the notification bar for quick access to the most used settings.

The stock keyboard is TouchPal, which is one of the very good keyboard apps in the Play Store. It is pretty comfortable to use with one hand on the 4.7” screen, and provides Swype-style functionality for keying things in quicker.

Processor and memory

The 1.2 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6577 processor is a rather basic silicon that is not going to wow you neither with its benchmark scores, nor with UI fluidity or app loading times. It's alright for a daily driver, but 720p screens and 8 MP cameras are the maximum it supports, so it feels like it's spreading itself a bit too thin with the Idol Ultra. That's especially true with heavy games, where the relatively weak GPU is struggling, but the interface performance is rather slow as well.

We get 1 GB of RAM, which is the bare minimum for decent multitasking, and 16 GB of internal storage, of which 13 GB are user-available, meaning you won't find much bloat and customizations on the handset. The lack of memory expansion slot is a bummer, so you have to learn how to make do with what's available on the phone.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra29886763367 / 3.2 fps1296 / 393
Huawei Ascend P65228142202509 / 22 fps1462/453
LG Optimus F75708109172038 / 18 fps2192 / 614

Internet and connectivity

Web pages often exhibit tiling or a slow to render while panning around in the default Mozilla Gecko-based browser, indicating slow redraw rates, likely caused by the combination of weak GPU and unoptimized software. Alcatel also provides the stock Chrome browser that comes with Jelly Bean, where you can't sideload Adobe Flash.

The Idol Ultra supports European/Asian 3G frequencies, with up to 7.2 Mbit/s download speeds. We also get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and FM Radio with RDS.

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