On June 21st, I was lucky enough to attend a great event announcing a partnership between Toronto FC (TFC) and Alcatel OneTouch. Alcatel and TFC definitely know how to make an impression. The swag bag consisted of 2 tickets to the game later that day, a TFC jersey, Scarf and my new favourite phone – the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3! And I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts on the phone.
The idol 3 has a competitive price point at around $350 CAD through Bell, Telus and Videotronunlocked which is a huge steal!
While not providing any innovating design statements, the Idol 3 has a surprisingly premium feel. A thin bezel allows the 5.5-inch screen to take center stage. It may have a plastic back, but a brushed steel effect on the back offers a premium feel. The phone is thin measuring at 7.4mm making it comfortable in anything your rocking that day. Two front facing microphone speakers placed at the top and bottom on the phone make the phone easy to answer upside down or right side up. A simple change in the settings and the screen becomes completely reversible. There is expandable storage up to 128gb with the Micro SD slot sharing the same spot as your sim card. As an iPhone user, it was dope being able to pop a $10 SD card and increase my storage. One knock on the design is that thin power and volume rocker buttons placed at the top of the phone makes single hand use difficult.
This phone has 5.5 inch IPS LCD display with 1080p resolution. This isn’t a Super AMOLED or Retina+, but the screen provides crisp video with satisfying colour reproduction.
Camera: The Idol 3 rocks a 13MP rear facing camera and 8MP wide-angle front facing camera (great for selfies). This camera could definitely be better. For most of my shots, I used VSCO to smooth out images. With a Manual mode, the camera does offer customization for more experienced shooters. Both rear and front-facing cameras can shoot 1080p video.
The idol 3 offers great sound, with 2 front-facing enhanced JBL speakers. I found that while using Spotify, Netflix and Youtube sound was surprisingly loud without getting distorted. The added benefit of front facing speakers allows you to always hold the phone comfortably in your hand without drowning the sound in your hands.
Battery life is solid, using battery intensive apps regularly, I found I got about 14 hours, easily lasting me a full work day. In the settings menu, you can look at high/low periods of battery use and adjust your usage accordingly.
Overall: I really enjoyed using the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 for the last week and a half. This is a great version of Android Lollipop. The design is streamlined. A lightweight phone but still feels solid in the hand. The 5.5-inch screen and speakers were sweet, offering louder than expected sound and crisp video. Occasionally I found the screen to jitter and pause but, overall the processing power was excellent and apps generally ran smoothly. This phone offers great value with a mid-level price and premium features. If you’re looking for a genuine flagship phone but rather pay a mid-level price the Idol 3 is a surprising and satisfying choice .