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Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows review

7.8/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 7 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Premium design
  • Great audio quality
  • Massive internal storage
  • Included VR headset
  • All-day battery life
  • QuickCharge 3.0 support

What's bad

  • Limited carrier availability
  • Limited app availability
  • Weak low-light camera performance
  • Questionable resolution for VR use
  • No NFC support

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a contender for the top of the Windows 10 phone rankings. With a quick glance at the specs, it’s clear that the Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows is set to shuffle the rankings. But does the phone have what it takes to hold its own at the high-end of the price brackets?

Reviewers have been testing out this latest release and reviews are rolling in! Let’s see what’s good and bad about this new VR-ready device.

The Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows might look familiar. That’s because the phone already has an Android version available. There’s also the latest BlackBerry DTEK60 sporting the same design. But the Windows version isn’t a simple variant—It’s a whole new phone.

Fortunately, the metal and glass design is still classy looking and a hit with reviewers. Pocket Lint noted, “Those glass surfaces have subtle curves towards their edges, so [they] look elegant, but it's not quite enough to stop the phone feeling like a big shiny block in your palm.”

One area where reviewers had a few issues as the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. Many noted that it was hard to find with its small size and lack of haptic feedback. Many also noted delays in fingerprint recognition. NeoWin said, “The fingerprint scanner on the IDOL 4S is satisfactory. It can feel a bit slow when using it to wake the device, although it certainly feels faster if you're already on the lock screen.”

Flip the phone over and it continues to look the same as it’s Android cousin. However, while the phone used a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, the resolution is only 1080p. Pocket Lint was pleased with the screen overall, but noted, “On a phone this large the Full HD resolution does start to look a little bit rough around the edges compared to some other flagships.”

The big problem with the display came when reviewers snapped on the VR headset included with the phone. While the fit was great, and the effect worked, most reviewers mentioned pixelation issues and a lack of supported VR apps on the Windows Store. Pocket Lint said, “The 1080p screen isn't sharp enough, while the motion and animations aren't quite smooth enough to make it a pleasant experience. It's more a fun additional feature than a genuinely good experience.”

While the screen loses a few points compared to the Android version, the processor gets a significant boost. The Windows version sports a 2.15GHz quad-core Snapdragon 810 processor and 4GB of RAM—though only 3.5GB are accessible by the phone. Performance reviews were mostly positive in both normal operation and Continuum mode. PC World declared, “I could stack and stack applications in the background without any apparent slowdown, and everything I threw at the Idol 4S ran fluidly.”

With 64GB of storage and microSD support, there’s zero worry about having enough room for your favorite apps and media either.

Reviewers were torn on the 21MP rear camera. While they all noted it was an acceptable camera—most felt they lacked the detail and low-light performance of previous Windows models. Windows Central summed up opinions well, saying, “While I think the rear shooter is okay for regular users, it will be hard to convince Lumia fans otherwise. That's a shame for what is otherwise a fantastic phone.”

However, there was no debate about the battery life on the phone. The 3,000mAh battery lasted every review a full day with ease. A full charge clocks in under 2-hours thanks to USB Type-C and QuickCharge 3.0 support. There’s little to worry about keeping your phone running throughout the day.

Overall, reviews are positive. While the phone carries the same potential pitfalls as other Windows phones, it offers a powerful flagship option with a few VR goodies at a fair price. NeoWin’s verdict reflected other reviews, saying, “For [the price], you're getting an elegantly designed Windows phone with a vibrant display, powerful internals, and a bundled VR headset. If you were looking for a new Windows phone, this is it.”

Operating system
2.15 GHz
Screen Size
21+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


There's no doubting the hardware capability of the Idol 4S - we've seen it at work several times on Android. What's disappointing in the Windows 10 version is the lack of optimisation from a software standpoint. With its slow loading - and that's despite a hardware boost - it can be quite an off-put...

- Cam Bunton, Pocket-lint

The Idol 4S with Windows 10 is a competent phone. The specifications are modern enough that it feels future-proofed for the upcoming Windows 10 software updates expected in 2017, it meets the expectations of a modern smartphone, and it is possible to live with the mobile version of Windows 10 and ha...

- Ewan Spence, Forbes

The Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 is a powerful and beautiful Windows phone that's actually designed with consumers in mind. It's an extremely pleasant device to use, although it's not without its shortcomings.

- Rich Woods, Neowin
Windows Central

The Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows 10 is a fine phone, physically, but a huge part of the experience comes down to the second half of the name: with Windows 10. There's no denying that the current situation with Windows 10 Mobile: it's in a barely-registering distant third place behind Android and iPh...

- Daniel Rubino, Windows Central

Your consumers Windows phone choices boil down to two: the Microsoft Lumia 950 or the Alcatel Idol 4S. The Lumia 950’s superior camera offers a significant edge. I’ll back any phone that delivers outstanding battery life, however, and the Idol 4S’s silky-smooth performance compleme...

- Mark Hachman , PCWorld

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Alcatel released the Idol 4S with Windows on November 10, 2016.

Alcatel backs up the Idol 4S with Windows with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Idol 4S with Windows has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Alcatel support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Alcatel's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

The Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

2.15 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad core 2.15 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Windows 10 operating system (OS).

21+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 21+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery.

Idol 4S with Windows Specs

Release date November 10, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
1700/1900/700/2100 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 10

Compare Windows Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad core 2.15 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.8 W/kg
Body: 0.27 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 17.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.4 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm (6.1 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 152 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Dragontrail glass
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
21+ megapixels
4x digital
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, Exposure compensation, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
8+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Front camera flash
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows Reviews
Where to buy Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows
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