The majority of smartphone makers update their most popular lineups once a year and Alcatel is no different. The OneTouch Idol 3, which was one of the best budget smartphones of last year, debuted at MWC 2015 so we knew a successor would make an appearance some time soon. And we were not wrong. The manufacturer made Idol 4 series official announcing the Idol 4 and 4S at MWC 2016, this time without OneTouch name.
The new Alcatel Idol 4 and 4S boast pretty impressive specs and will ship with a little surprise. Just remember not to throw out the box.
Just like it did last year, this time Alcatel also unveiled two variants of the phone. On the outside both models look pretty much the same aside from the size; it’s inside where crucial differences lie.
Alcatel Idol 4
As it’s expected of a successor, the Idol 4 brings a number of improvements over the Idol 3 in key areas. For starters, the phone has a bigger and, more importantly, sharper screen – the display measures 5.2 inches diagonally and offers Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution. The brains of the device is a more powerful octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor assisted by 3GB of RAM and there is 16GB of on-board storage expandable up to 512GB via microSD slot. Camera setup includes 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front shooters and power is provided by a 2,610 mAh battery.
Alcatel Idol 4S
The Idol 4S is more premium than the Idol 4, though both phones share some of the specs. This model sports a bigger 5.5-inch AMOLED screen offering Quad HD 1440×2560 pixel resolution, which is the highest resolution currently used in smartphones, and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 652 chip. Like the Idol 4, the 4S also comes with 3GB of RAM but has 32GB of internal memory plus there’s microSD slot compatible with up to 512GB cards. The device is equipped with a 16-megapixel main camera and the same 8-megapixel selfie sensor as the Idol 4, but packs a more capacious 3,000 mAh battery.
Both, the Idol 4 and 4S also come with several cool and pretty handy improvements. Probably the most useful will be the Boom Key which is a physical button that will prompt the phone to perform different actions depending on which app, if any, you are currently using. For example, if you press the button in standby mode, it will open the camera app and take a photo, while holding the button will put the camera into burst mode. The button can also be used for shuffling photos for instant sharing when pressed in the gallery, adding special effects when watching a video, broadcasting a video while recording and many more.
Bonus! VR viewer
That’s not all. Alcatel prepared a little surprise for Idol 4 and 4S users – the box in which your phone will arrive doubles as VR viewer. The viewer is made of plastic so it should be pretty durable and the side that touches your face is lined with foam padding to prevent any discomfort while wearing. The phone is locked by two clips and there’s a semi-transparent rear cover to prevent the device from falling out of the viewer in case the locks fail. The Idol 4 and 4S will be pre-loaded with a VR store app and a VR demo app, though any Google Cardboard app should run seamlessly on the viewer.
Both models will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box and will be available in four color options: Gold, Dark Gray, Rose Gold and Metal Silver. At the moment it’s still unclear when the phones will go on sale and how much they will cost.