Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 (Unlocked)

27 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 (Unlocked).

Alcatel is in the business of producing dirt-cheap smartphones, and has been for years now, but with few exceptions, you get what you paid for—at best cheap, at worst dirt. Moreover, owning the phone that goes along with such an, ahem, bargain can be frustrating later on, even after you contract period has expired and you discover that it isn’t so easy to just up and leave — the damn thing’s been locked to your current carrier!

This means that thanks to the dual speakers and mics you can pick it up any way you want and the display and even the front-facing camera will adjust to fit whichever way you are holding the phone. So it’s no wonder that there has been an increase in the number and quality of smartphones being sold unlocked and contract-free, direct from manufacturers.

While Alcatel’s been known for cheap, practical smartphones, they’ve outdone themselves with the Idol 3, which offers many flagship features in a sleek and impressive package. The Alcatel Idol 3 hits some of the major hallmarks that users look for in a flagship device and it does so at a fraction of the price of the competition. It sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 16GB of storage, microSD support, a 13-megapixel camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter and 2GB of RAM.

There are only three physical buttons including a volume rocker and a power button, the design is both minimalist and elegant but not necessarily striking. I’ve never been into the big-phone/phablet thing (probably because of my childishly small hands) and have been irked just as much by their weight as by their size. There’s very little in the way of overlays to diminish performance here and even Alcatel’s built-in themes and icons are friction-free in that they don’t get in the way of the experience.

Another simple and clever feature is how Alcatel managed to incorporate the SIM Card slot and the microSD card slot into one tray; again it is simple but makes for good design that’s both convenient and economical. “We’ve always differentiated ourselves by challenging the expectations of what consumers experience for their money,” said Steve Cistulli, Senior Vice President & General Manager of North America for Alcatel Onetouch. “With Idol 3, we’ve partnered with top brands like Qualcomm, JBL and Technicolor to bring a truly flagship experience at an accessibly affordable price. Designed to be sold as an unlocked device, the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 looks and feels like an Android flagship device that’s comparable to more expensive 5.5-inch Android devices. A clutter free user interface, full access to Lollipop apps and features as well as a great camera, processor and dual speakers as well as the 1080p HD display will meet and even surpass expectations of users looking for an unlocked and LTE-capable Android phone. The blacks, while not as inky as on a Samsung Galaxy are still deep enough that space scenes don’t look like they’ve been passed through an Instagram filter. Alcatel claims that Technicolor (the company that gets the credit at the end of almost every movie) has tuned the screen’s attributes, so maybe this explains it.

Alcatel OneTouch teamed up with the guys at Technicolor to make sure the color accuracy on this panel was as close to perfect as they could possibly get. Not “Oh my god I can’t believe it’s a phone,” good, but more like “Y’know, I could totally watch a whole movie and not be totally annoyed by it” good, which is, well, good! Just in case you use your phone for actual phone calls, you’ll appreciate knowing that call quality was very good, and that those dual speakers make for excellent hands-free volume levels. They won’t necessarily impress audiophiles, but they are a lot better than Apple’s Earpods, substantially better than a pair of Sennheiser CX 300s I have lying around, heck, they even sound better than a custom pair of Sculpted Eers.

No, but it’s nice to know that you won’t be throwing these earbuds away at the first opportunity (or if you do, LMK – I’ll send you my mailing address). Basically taking stock Android or AOSP and adding in features to it, instead of slapping your own UI on top like Optimus UI, EMUI, Sense, or Touchwiz. Alcatel touts that it’s made by Sony and has a 13-megapixel resolution, but this is simply more proof that megapixels are irrelevant to photo quality. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means – the Idol 3’s photos are plenty good enough (especially if you’ll be running them through the inevitable filters of Instagram) but I think it’s safe to say this is one of the components that Alcatel saved some money on.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with just about every aspect of the camera.As far as modes go, we have auto, HDR, Pano, Manual Mode, Time-Lapse, Scanner and Face Beauty.

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