Alcatel Introduces Two Amazing Devices

Alcatel may be quite unpopular, but it wants to be taken
seriously as a manufacturer of quality, relatively low-cost Android
smartphones. Last year, the company took the first step to establish
this reputation with the Onetouch Idol 3 — a device that cost $249 (around N65,000)
but offered nearly everything you’d expect from handset double its
price. This year, it’s trying to build on this good first impression
with two new Idol handsets, the pricier of which signals the
company's entry into the high-end market.

The Idol 4 is the direct successor of last year’s model and the
lower-specced of the two, with a smaller 5.2-inch 1080p display; an
octa-core processor; a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera; and 3GB
of RAM. The more up-market Idol 4S has a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560
display, a faster processor, a 16-megapixel camera, and the same
3GB of RAM. The screens on both devices pop (although the IPS
display on the Idol 4 is outdone by the vivid AMOLED on the 4S),
and performance seemed solid after our few minutes poking
around. However, the Idol 4 only comes with 16GB of internal
memory, and the Idol 4S with only 32GB. In both cases this is
expandable, but it's still a pretty poor show for these ambitious

The design looks flowing and assured, but isn't the most exciting.
The design of the phones might strike some as a little bland (they
were a bit too rounded for my taste), but the build quality is
certainly impressive, and the chrome-looking trim that ran around
the edge of the Idol 3 has been upgraded to real aluminum. Apart
from this, the main design change is the addition of a physical
button on the right-hand edge of both devices — the "Boom Key" —
which looks almost identical to the power button on Sony’s Xperia Z
series. It’s a programmable button and can operate a range of
functions, from taking a picture when the phone is locked to
boosting the bass when listening to music.

These commands are all selected from presets at the moment, and
although Alcatel says it’s working on allowing users to map any
function onto the Boom Key, it’s still only a minor selling point for
the Idol 4 and 4S. It might be useful to have the extra shortcut
occasionally, but for most commands you want quickly there’s
already an on-screen option. The button’s placement also makes it
feel distractingly crucial, and during my brief hands-on with the 4
and 4S I instinctively reached for it multiple times to try and unlock
the screen.


Much more interesting is Alcatel’s wheeze to make the packaging
for the Idol 4S do double duty as a VR headset. (The Idol 4,
unfortunately, does not get the same treatment.) Its plastic
construction isn’t going to impress anyone, but that’s not really the
point. It’s light and sturdy, and although I didn’t have the chance to
wear it for any length of time, it felt comfortable enough. This isn’t a
VR headset that’s going to transport you seamlessly to a virtual
world, but you can certainly use to try out any 360-degree videos
you find online, or experiment with the Google Cardboard app. The
temptation of having a first taste of VR might be enough for some
customers to choose the 4S over other, similar devices, and at the
very least it’s nice to be like a child again — finding the packaging
just as interesting as its contents.
Unfortunately, only the high-end Idol 4S comes with the VR headset

The bad news, though, is that neither the Idol 4 nor the 4S are going
to be bargains. US pricing has yet to be announced for either device,
but it’s expected that the Idol 4 will come in at around €280 (that’s
about $310), while the 4S will leap up to about €450 (that’s $500).
While we praised the Idol 3 for being a bargain at the price, if these
estimates are correct, then the phone’s successors are less
obviously good value for money. However, they do feel like pretty
fantastic devices apart from that — with great screens and mature,
polished design. We’ll have to wait to spend a little more time with
them both to find out whether Alcatel has done enough to earn its
graduation to a higher price range.

Culled from : The Verge

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I'm a Computer Science Student of The University of Port Harcourt and a Chelsea Fan. I love RnB and A little Trap Music. Tech flows in my veins. I love to have fun with friends and I read a lot. 

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