Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ Review
The dual SIM phone has one of the best call qualities we've heard, especially the microphone part.
The Idol X+ sports quite a decent earpiece, with the sound slightly muffled, but clean, full, and without audible distortions, even at the highest volume. The two noise-canceling microphones on the handset are the element that really shines when it comes to call quality, though. They picked our voice very loud, clear, and with discernible intonation, when relaying it to the other side.
The sealed 2500 mAh battery unit in the Idol X+ is on the lower end for capacity in this category, btu still 20% larger than what we had on its predecessor. This might have warranted a thicker handset, but Alcatel still cites 12 hours of talk time in 3G mode - quite decent, compared to the smartphone average. Standby is less than typical, though, at about 10 days, since the handset has to maintain two network connections at once. Alcatel also claims 36 hours of continuous music playback from the Idol X+, which sounds credible, as it's not that big of an achievement in a day and age where some phones cite a 100 hours. We actually had the Idol X+ top the 6-hour mark of screen-on time in our gruelling battery test, which is a very good result, meaning that the phone can last you about two days with average usage. The result is higher than the endurance of the Idol X with almost exactly the percentage difference in battery capacity.
When the OneTouch Idol X came last year, it was the thinnest, lightest, and cheapest 5” handset with a good 1080p display. Its Idol X+ successor, however, will have a steeper climb ahead of it. Granted, the phone has remained relatively compact, and has received important processor, battery capacity and storage upgrades, but the $400 launch price has remained unchanged. This puts it in direct competition with last year's flagships, like the LG G2 or the Galaxy S4, which can now be found in the same price range.
The Idol X+ fights back with enhanced audio output and the JBL headphones included in the price, as well as stellar call quality and dual SIM functionality, but the software part pulls it back in the murky mainstream. It runs an older version of Android, with a shady chance for update to KitKat or beyond. Thus, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ remains a very good handset for the asking $400 price, but it will have to work harder for the money, compared to its predecessor.
Software version: 4.2.2-01001