Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 Review: Inexpensive but not cheap!

Although it is inexpensive, it is not cheap!
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a flagship model from Alcatel and it seems that the company got it right this time. The phone promises to be one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market so let’s see if it delivers.

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Design
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 features a plastic case with a light brushed finish, curved corners, thin bezels and faux metal edges. When we reviewed the Zenfone 2, the plastic casing gave out a cheap vibe, unlike the Idol 3 which despite the fact that it’s also a mid-range phone and also has a plastic casing, looks elegant and even if not premium looking, the phone actually looks good.

The phone is relatively lightweight (4.96oz), measures 6.01 x 2.96 x 0.29 inches and it offers a reasonable amount of grip.
On the top of the OneTouch Idol 3 you can find the microphone and the headphone jack, on the left side rest the power button and the SIM card slot and on the right side you can find the volume buttons.
Note: The microSD slot is incorporated into the SIM card slot.
The dual front stereo speakers are loud enough and are able to provide an above-average audio experience.
Thanks to the dual microphone feature, no matter how you are holding the phone, the call quality stays the same.

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Display
The OneTouch Idol 3 has a 5.5 inches IPS LCD panel display with a resolution of 1920x1080p and a pixel density of 401 ppi. The 1080p display translates into a better battery life.
Note: The display uses Dragontail Glass (comparable but not as hard as Gorilla Glass).

The display features fairly accurate colours, has strong viewing angles and thanks to the colour enhance technology, the display becomes adaptive and improves contrast and colour rendering, resulting sharp, highly detailed images.
On direct sunlight, the display is sufficiently bright to allow undisturbed use, the maximum brightness being higher than what you can find on the likes of Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6.
The display is really great considering the price of the phone, but don’t get us wrong, there is still room for improvement.

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Performance
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 sports a 1.5GHz 64-bit Qualcomm octa-core Snapdragon 615 CPU, backed by an Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB DDR RAM, 16GB native memory and a possible addition of up to 128GB through the microSD slot.
The Idol 3 is a bit underpowered and although some games did run without lag, multitasking is sluggish, opening and running some apps was somewhat delayed, being forced to wait one or two seconds.
Although performance-wise it may not be on the Zenfone’s 2 level, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 delivers a reasonable experience of what you may expect from an inexpensive medium-range phone.

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Software
The Idol 3 features an almost stock version of Android Lollipop 5.0.2 covered by Alcatel’s custom skin. Although Alcatel added some parts and modified others, this interface will definitely satisfy the “purist” users.
One of the first features you will encounter is the familiar double tap to wake (also found on LG), followed by a pretty much innovative interface feature that flips and rearranges itself correctly depending on how you hold the phone.
Other features worth mentioning are the OneTouch Mix app (lets you mix streaming and local song tracks), FaceTune, WPS Office and more.

Camera
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 has a 13-megapixel with Sony IMX214 sensor rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera. The rear camera is decent, in good light is able to shoot some good photos, with a high amount of detail and good colour accuracy.
In low-light the camera was able to shoot some surprisingly good photos as well, especially thanks to the electronic image stabilization feature.
As expected, the shutter speed is somewhat slow and the image quality is not as high as what you may find on the considering the price tag, the camera is able to surprise you by capturing some great, high-quality photos.

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The camera app is inspired by the Android stock app and has several handy options: HDR, Auto-Mode, Manual-Mode (for example you can set the exposure or focus), Time-Lapse, Panoramic, Scanner and Face-Beauty.
The front camera was a pleasant surprise as you can shoot some impressive photos with the right lighting.
The video shooting on the other hand was not as high quality as we expected and although you can film 1080p videos, the scenes lacked some detail.

Battery Life
The Idol 3 features a non-removable 2910 mAh battery. On medium to high use, you can get 24 hours before needing recharging and on high to extreme testing, the phone managed to reach almost 5 hours.
Also, the phone does not feature the Quick Charge feature.

Conclusion
The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 gets things right where it matters the most for many users. Although it may not feature the performance of ASUS Zenfone 2, the great design, the above-average speakers and the decent camera definitely make the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 one of the best mid-range phones offering great value for the money.

Check the product here:

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

8.2

Performance

7.0/10

Design

8.5/10

Display

8.4/10

Camera

8.5/10

Battery Life

8.5/10

Pros

  • Attractive Design
  • Adaptive, Rearranging Interface
  • Above-Average Speakers
  • Great Price
  • 8-megapixel front camera

Cons

  • Sluggish Multitasking
  • Missing Quick Charge Feature
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Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.

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