Alcatel Idol 4 First Impressions: A Value For Money Android Smartphone

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Alcatel Idol 4 is now official in the Indian market at a price of Rs. 16,999. The smartphone will be available on Flipkart and will fight the likes of Motorola Moto G4 Plus, OnePlus X, LeEco Le Max 2, Samsung Galaxy J series handsets and other smartphones priced under Rs 17,000.

Alcatel Idol 4 First Impressions

Here is what we think about the new budget Android smartphone.

SEE ALSO: Alcatel Idol 4 Launched in India at Rs. 16,999; Comes Bundled with VR Headset and JBL Earphones

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Phone’s box doubles up as a VR headset

The first thing you will notice about the Alcatel Idol 4 is its unique packaging. The smartphone ships with white plastic box that is also a VR headset and also includes a pair of JBL earphones. The VR headset is designed well but we will test in the detailed review of the smartphone to give a final verdict.

Design and Display

From the initial expressions, we have to say, Alcatel Idol 4 does look and feel good in hands. The smartphone has an aluminum frame and glass on back and front with a glossy finish that is a fingerprint magnet. The rear can also get scratches easily, so I recommend a case for it in everyday usage.

What I really liked about the handset is its compact form factor. Alcatel Idol 4 easily fits in one hand and will please consumers who are not fond of bulky handsets with large displays.

The 5.2-inch IPS LCD display offers a resolution of 1080p and is quite bright. The colour tones are natural and viewing angles are also good.

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Audio

Audio is one of the key selling points of Alcatel Idol 4. The smartphone has reversible speakers, the first of its kind that makes it stand out from the competition. It doesn't matter how you hold or keep the handset on a flat surface, the audio will keep coming through. It's quite simple, if the handset display is facing upwards, the two speakers unit on front, one at the top of the display and other at the bottom will play audio, and if the smartphone is placed upside down, then the rear speaker unit will start playing the audio.

The 3.6 watt speaker units offer clear and loud audio but they don't handle bass very well. However, you can tweak the audio with the phone's inbuilt settings.

Besides, you also get JBL earphones in the package, which offers decent quality sound.

SEE ALSO: Alcatel Idol 4 First Impressions Video

 

Software and Boom Key

Alcatel Idol 4 runs on Android 6.0 marshmallow and is mostly stock Android. The smartphone has a neat software trick that Alcatel calls reversible UI. It changes the screen interface according to the smartphone's orientation. So you can hold the smartphone in any orientation and the screen UI will modify itself as per the situation.

Another highlight or I would say an attempt to differentiate the handset from the lot is the addition of a dedicated key to enhance the smartphone usage experience in everyday life. And this attempt kind of works as well. The smartphone has a circular button on the right side- Boom key, which can be programmed for music, camera, interface, etc. The key gives you instant access to camera. Pressing and holding the button, even if the handset is in standby mode puts the camera into burst mode to take photos in quick succession.

The Boom key also optimizes the audio and enhances the clarity, audio and bass levels. However, I feel that this is something a phone should offer without any trigger button. Besides, the Boom key adds effects in videos you play, artistically shuffles the photos in the gallery for instant sharing and creates a 3D effect (parallax UI effect) for the launcher.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo K6 Power First Impressions

 

Camera

Alcatel Idol 4 has a 13MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash. The camera has no shutter lag and pictures come out to be decent. The camera uses a f/2.0 aperture and is also equipped with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF).

The front 8MP camera is not among the best shooters we have seen around in this price point.

We will talk more about the camera performance and will show the sample shots in the detailed review of the smartphone.

 

Hardware

The Alcatel Idol 4 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and is backed by a 3GB RAM. The smartphone has 16GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 512GB via microSD card. The smartphone has a 2,610 mAh battery unit.

SEE ALSO: LG V20 First Impressions video

We didn't notice any stutters in the initial testing but the real performance will be tested in detailed review of the smartphone.

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