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Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review

Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha

Posted: , by Victor H.



Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review
Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review
Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review
Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review
Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha Review

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha (also known as the Idol α) is a phone that you won’t mistake for any other - it features an outstanding design with a sleek body outfitted with translucent strips of plastic on the top and bottom. It’s something for those who value singularity in style and at the same time don’t want to spend a fortune on a device.

If - for a moment, though - we forget about the stylish looks of the Idol Alpha, you’d see that in it’s essence, this is nothing but a fairly typical mid-range phone: it features a 4.7” 720 x 1280-pixel display, a quad-core MediaTek system chip, and a 13-megapixel camera. It lacks 4G LTE connectivity and expandable storage, but those are trade-offs that might be acceptable if Alcatel has priced this right, and if it delivers for all else. So does it? Let’s take a look.

In the box:

  • User Manual
  • microUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • In-ear headphones


The exquisite design with a set of two translucent strips of plastic make it look like no other phone out there.

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha is an exquisite phone with diamond-cut edges, aluminum mainframe and sides (it’s got a plastic back, though), as well as a stylish and unique translucent plastic strips on the top and bottom. The plastic strip on the top even lights up to show you missed notifications, a way more impressive way to draw your attention to the phone than a single LED light.

All of this shows meticulous attention to detail, and the whole phone feels solidly put together as well - it’s one of thinnest phones out there (measuring 0.29”, or 7.5mm), and it’s pleasingly lightweight. The OneTouch Idol Alpha is sized to fit well in most pockets and, while it’s not perfectly well suited for single-handed use, it feels compact enough. Altogether, this is clearly a device for those who value a phone that is stylish and unlike any other, but without being over-the-top kitsch.

The Idol Alpha uses capacitive navigation keys, but weirdly, the buttons are not marked – instead, you can see the button labels on the translucent plastic strip below the actual buttons. You get used to it quickly, but it's just a weird decision that is hard to justify in any meaningful way.


The 4.7-inch 720p display has colors that look good, but not perfect. Reflections make it hard to read outdoors.

The Idol Alpha comes with a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, translating into a pixel density of the quite reasonable 312ppi. The display definitely does not lack much in terms of sharpness, and it’s hard to notice any pixelization at all, but if you compare it against, say, a 1080p display of a similar size, you’d notice that making out smaller fonts is a bit harder on the display of the Idol Alpha.

In terms of colors, the screen is not bad at all. Color temperature is excellent at 6750K, so white are very good, not blueish. Gamma is also excellent at 2.24. However, colors are somewhat oversaturated and not correct – they are poppy but not natural, as you can see in our color charts below, resulting in average color error (delta E) of 6.21, which is definitely not true to life image. If you are not color purist though, the screen looks pretty good!

The Idol Alpha screen can get reasonably bright to 486 nits, and that’s hugely important for comfortable outdoor viewing. However, at the same time, it’s also very reflective, so overall, outdoors, you’d need to stare with a bit of extra effort to be able to read what’s on the display. In addition, we should note that the screen cannot get dim enough for comfortable reading at night - it’s lowest brightness is still too high at 76 nits, a level that will disturb your eyes if you use it in a dark environment.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha 486
Samsung Galaxy S4 289
LG G2 438
Sony Xperia Z 440
View all

  • Options

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 09:36 3

1. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Wow... now thats a unique design

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 09:52 4

2. iLoveAmexica (Posts: 47; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)

@xperia sp

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 10:00

4. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Really? How? Only transparent part looks like an idea from xperia but design is totally different

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 10:07 3

6. buccob (Posts: 2740; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Looks like an Xperia SP and iPhone 5s had a baby

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 10:35

7. lee480 (Posts: 197; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


posted on 15 May 2014, 06:02

16. Looser99 (Posts: 62; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)

Unique indeed, alas the design has been wasted on the wrong phone ! They could atleast have provided the phone with a snapdragon 400 chipset for their high price demand

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 10:00 3

3. Anshulonweb (Posts: 438; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

$500 for this phone......go home Alcatel you are drunk...

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 10:02 2

5. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Yeah, may be a mistake, there is nothing worth 500$... 200$ is reasonable

posted on 27 Apr 2014, 20:58

15. Rydsmith (unregistered)

O_o you realize most phones are $500+ right?

They are just subsidized by your phone provider now....or you are paying them out over 2 years.

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 11:58

8. alumoyo (Posts: 369; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)

Translucent or Transparent?

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 13:24

9. RandomUsername (Posts: 808; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)

I want to see a drop test!!!

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 15:07 1

10. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Thats not a bad idea

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 15:44

11. xoxoGeorges (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Ugh if Alcatel's chips weren't so bad. They make really well built and designed phones.

posted on 27 Apr 2014, 08:16

13. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3822; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

Alcatel doesn't make chips.

posted on 25 Apr 2014, 19:05

12. Edward_bly (Posts: 278; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)

Not a big fan of their UI

posted on 27 Apr 2014, 20:11

14. garyII (Posts: 160; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)

Alcatel has one of the best looking UI and hardware design...for example like this Alpha and Hero

posted on 11 Mar 2015, 15:59

17. mirexcool (Posts: 65; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Bought at Aliexpress. Satisfied! s.click.aliexpress.com/e/VJ2rjEMrZ

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PhoneArena rating:
Display4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13.1 megapixels
Quad-core, 1200 MHz
Size5.43 x 2.62 x 0.30 inches
(138 x 66.6 x 7.5 mm)
4.14 oz  (117 g)
Battery2000 mAh, 20 hours talk time

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