Google IO 2016 Coverage

Alcatel really hits the high-end with the Idol 4 series

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Newly-rebranded Alcatel is starting its year with a new flagship to join put its new name on. Last year, Alcatel OneTouch released the Idol 3 which surprised everyone and earned praise from critics and consumers. The Idol 3 basically came out of nowhere and proved to be an excellent phone for those wanting to get away from carrier commitments but not lose quality by only spending a few hundred dollars. It really showed the world what you could have for less than $300. Now the company is back with the Idol 4 series, two phones acting as the Idol 3’s successor for 2016. The Idol 4 and Idol 4S are thin, made with metal frames and glass backs, and have slight texture to give that premium look and feel.

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Alcatel’s Idol 4 series exceeds what the Idol 3 was ever capable of with an entirely new design in addition to well-thought software improvements. Aside from metal and glass being at the forefront, Alcatel heavily invested in areas to make the Idol 4 and Idol 4S multimedia beasts.

There’s a new button called the Boom Key to augment photography, the gallery, videos, music, games, and the overall user interface. Pressing the Boom Key can take photos while the phone is on standby, shuffle photos in a gallery, add effects to videos, broadcast live video, send sound to nearby devices, amplify gaming, and enable a 3D effect on the launcher.

Display and sound quality on the Idol 3 was pretty good, but Alcatel is raising its own bar with the Idol 4 and Idol 4S. The processors from the Snapdragon 600 series are of the latest variety, the displays have special Qualcomm Assertive Display technology for easily viewing in all lighting, and the speakers are once again optimized to be loud and clear because of a paternship with JBL and Waves.

The company is simultaneously launching two devices belonging to the same series because consumers may be willing to pay a slightly higher price to get a more powerful product. While the Idol 4 and Idol 4S are similar in terms of overall build quality and software, other areas differ. The Idol 4 has a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display and the Idol 4S’ measures 5.5 inches with Quad HD resolution. The bigger of the two also switches the display technology to the very attractive AMOLED. And although they both have 3GB of RAM, the Idol 4S uses a stronger processor. Photography will be a bit different, too, because the Idol 4 has lesser-yet-capable 13MP rear camera and the Idol 4S’ is 16MP.

Despite having a larger battery inside the Idol 4S, Alcatel implemented Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology in the Idol 4 as well to have the phones fully charged in a jiffy.

Alcatel Idol 4 specifications:

  • 5.2-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 (MSM8952) processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage with microSD card slot for up to an extra 512GB
  • 13MP / 8MP cameras
  • 2610mAh battery
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Alcatel’s software overlay
  • 147 x 72.5 x 7.1

Alcatel Idol 4S specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 (MSM8976) processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with microSD card slot for up to an extra 512GB
  • 16MP / 8MP cameras
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Alcatel’s software overlay
  • 153.9 x 75.4 x 6.99mm

Both the Idol 4 and Idol 4S will be sold in Gold, Dark Gray, Rose Gold, and Metal Silver. Alcatel did not state what pricing for the Idol 4 series is or even when you can expect to be able to purchase the either phone. We’re hoping pricing for the Idol 4 is around $300 just like its predecessor was. What we know for sure is that the Idol 4S will ship in innovative packaging capable of transforming into a virtual reality headset.

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About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a student at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studying marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.