Specs summary

Screen
5.5"

The Alcatel Idol 4S's screen is 5.5 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 MSM8976 Octa core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

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

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Alcatel's performance ratings are 17.5 days standby time, 800 minutes (2G), minutes (3G).



Alcatel did a bang up job on the Idol 4S, but ultimately there are better phones for the same price.

- Jason Cipriani , GreenBot 

If you're tired of smartphones that all look, feel, and act the same, the Idol 4S is a breath of fresh air.

- Ajay Kumar , PC Magazine 

Reviews summary

7.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 21 reviews

What's good

  • Beautiful display
  • microSD support
  • Android Adoptable Storage
  • QuickCharge 3.0
  • Excellent speakers

What's bad

  • Half-baked VR headset
  • Price
  • Inconsistent cameras
  • Slippery back
  • Mid-tier processor will age quickly

Alcatel turned heads with the Idol 3, but many were let down but the build quality. With the Idol 4S, Alcatel is beefing up design polish while including enticing extras--namely the VR headset. But with the mid-tier market as competitive as ever, is the 4S a good value?

We’ve scoured the best review sites on the web so you don’t have to! Let’s see what they’re saying!

Looking at the phone, all reviews agreed that the 4S is a step up from the typical Alcatel build quality and design. You’ll find an aluminum chassis with glass accents and virtually zero plastic. There’s a few design points that set the phone apart--though reviews were mixed on whether this was a good thing. Phone Scoop noted, “Alcatel put the screen lock button at the top of Idol's left edge, and it annoys me just as much as it did on last year's phone.”

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Other reviewers found that while the glass back looked great, it caused some issues. Android Police said, “Overall, I like the way this phone looks, though I am less of a fan of the way it feels: a bit sharp in the hand and really effing slippery.” However, the phone includes a bumper case and tempered glass screen protector to help you survive drops and slips.

Flipping around to the front of the phone, you’re greeted with a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel running at 2560-by-1440. Phone Scoop declared, “There's no question the screen is attractive. It has gobs of pixels, plenty of brightness, and good viewing angles.” A few reviewers questioned the brightness of the display, with Stuff noting, “You’ll need to step into the shade to see things properly outdoors.”

Powering the display, you’ll find an eight-core Snapdragon 652 processor. Specs-wise, this is firmly mid-tier and reviews matched. 3GB of RAM will help with multitasking. Tom’s Guide said, “The Idol 4S' Snapdragon 652 processor isn't the speediest CPU, but it was plenty fast for most activities.” Digital Trends agreed, saying, “in our time using the Idol 4S, we have not experienced any stutters, lag, or issues. Switching between apps is quick, and so is triggering applications like the camera.”

To ensure there’s room for all your apps, movies and other content, the phone offers 32GB of onboard storage. MicroSD card and Android Adoptable Storage support means you can add an additional 512GB of seamless storage.

Unforunately, if you’re looking to snap pictures often, reviews on the 16MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens are mixed. PC Magazine said, “Pictures I took outside during a sunny day were clear, with minimal noise and grain. But pictures taken at the same location on a cloudy day were filled with noise and grain, and were often too dark, with trees and buildings cast into shadows and the sky overexposed.” While the camera appears capable of taking great pictures, reviews indicate that getting it to do so predictably is tricky.

The 3,000mAh battery in the Idol 4S rated average by most reviewers. The Verge noted, “The battery is also able to last a full day between charges for me, and the quick charging feature lets me top up in a hurry. The quick charging feature also works with any Qualcomm-certified charger.”

One area where the phone really shined was audio. The dual front-facing speakers surprised most reviewers. Android Police said, “This is easily among the very best speaker arrays I've ever listened to on a smartphone.” Stuff agreed, saying, “You’ll be blown-away by just how loud they can go - forget pairing it to a Bluetooth speaker, you can fill a small room with sound just using the phone by itself.” Reviewers also noted that the grills on both sides of the device allow you to listen to music, or even take calls, with the phone face down.

While the phone includes a VR headset, reviews weren’t great. Most noted fit issues and the lack of focus controls led to a disorienting experience for many. In the end, most reviews agreed that if VR is your main reason to buy the phone, you might want to pass.

Overall, reviews were positive. The biggest issue brought up by most was price. The Verge summed things up well, saying, “I have a lot of good things to say about the Idol 4S: it’s well made, performs well, and doesn’t have any major flaws. But I can say that about other phones that are priced similarly, which makes it tough for the Idol 4S to separate itself, even with its included VR viewer.”


Reviews (7.4/10 Avg. rating)


Notebookcheck

A good mainstream smartphone with a great chassis and bright display

from Notebookcheck

Can the Alcatel One Touch Idol 4S compete with the rivals? Not quite. The smartphone can actually justify its price with the stylish chassis, the good display, and the comprehensive accessories, but the competitors have fewer drawbacks. The Idol 4S suffers slightly from the mediocre voice quality, the bad front camera and the comparatively bad results in the performance and runtime tests.

Read full review

Can the Alcatel One Touch Idol 4S compete with the rivals? Not quite. The smartphone can actually justify its price with the stylish chassis, the good display, and the comprehensive accessories, but the competitors have fewer drawbacks. The Idol 4S suffers slightly from the mediocre voice quality, the bad front camera and the comparatively bad results in the performance and runtime tests.

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What Mobile

A reasonably cheap VR companion

from What Mobile

The Alcatel Idol 4s is a solid handset that offers good performance in a convenient package which is tailored for virtual reality. Both this and the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 are very close in terms of features… and it’s really a matter of preference0 which one you pick.

Read full review

The Alcatel Idol 4s is a solid handset that offers good performance in a convenient package which is tailored for virtual reality. Both this and the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 are very close in terms of features… and it’s really a matter of preference0 which one you pick.

Read full review

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Talk Android

A flagship phone in mid-range clothes

from Talk Android

I think Alcatel really missed the mark with the Idol 4S. There were a few button placement complaints, which are very minor. It had a lot going for it — the screen, the snappiness and even the software. As unfortunate as it is, the camera is really what makes or breaks a phone. If you don’t have a good camera, no one is going to buy it. And that’s where I feel Alcatel has really missed the mark. If it did have a good camera, Alcatel could have had a high-end device that could easily compete with the likes of the Galaxy S7, even without the flagship level specs on paper.

Read full review

I think Alcatel really missed the mark with the Idol 4S. There were a few button placement complaints, which are very minor. It had a lot going for it — the screen, the snappiness and even the software. As unfortunate as it is, the camera is really what makes or breaks a phone. If you don’t have a good camera, no one is going to buy it. And that’s where I feel Alcatel has really missed the mark. If it did have a good camera, Alcatel could have had a high-end device that could easily compete with the likes of the Galaxy S7, even without the flagship level specs on paper.

Read full review

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Recombu

A great-value package

from Recombu

The Idol 4s faces stiff competition at the £400 price point from the likes of the Sony Xperia X, OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy A5, but it’s definitely got plenty of appeal thanks to a solid pair of cameras, decent battery life and a gorgeous Quad HD screen - something most rivals can’t boast.

Read full review

The Idol 4s faces stiff competition at the £400 price point from the likes of the Sony Xperia X, OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy A5, but it’s definitely got plenty of appeal thanks to a solid pair of cameras, decent battery life and a gorgeous Quad HD screen - something most rivals can’t boast.

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Gadget Review

Great proponent of the exceptional value for money in smartphones today

from Gadget Review

Overall, Alcatel did an excellent job with its follow up to the successful IDOL 3 last year. The 4S’ construction is as impressive as top-end smartphones that come close to double the cost, and performance isn’t too far behind. That said, it doesn’t completely keep up, with a slower fingerprint scanner and inferior camera quality.

Read full review

Overall, Alcatel did an excellent job with its follow up to the successful IDOL 3 last year. The 4S’ construction is as impressive as top-end smartphones that come close to double the cost, and performance isn’t too far behind. That said, it doesn’t completely keep up, with a slower fingerprint scanner and inferior camera quality.

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Cnet

Not quite the deal it hopes to be

from Cnet

Alcatel's Idol 4S comes packed with features and accessories. It has a high-end design and build, a great camera, impressive display and a convenience button dubbed the Boom Key.

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Alcatel's Idol 4S comes packed with features and accessories. It has a high-end design and build, a great camera, impressive display and a convenience button dubbed the Boom Key.

Read full review

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G Style Magazine

A well put together product

from G Style Magazine

I like where Alcatel has come from and how they have tried to fit into the affordable mid-tier market. The IDOL 4S gives you just about everything you could want in a smartphone from a bright vibrant display to dual facing speakers to throwing in a VR headset. It does have some competition in its price range and I think it being around the $350 mark would do it more justice.

Read full review

I like where Alcatel has come from and how they have tried to fit into the affordable mid-tier market. The IDOL 4S gives you just about everything you could want in a smartphone from a bright vibrant display to dual facing speakers to throwing in a VR headset. It does have some competition in its price range and I think it being around the $350 mark would do it more justice.

Read full review

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GreenBot

There are better phones for the same price

from GreenBot

This is a tough one. Alcatel put out a device that’s reasonably fast, has a strong battery, and offers a fun VR experience out of the box. Had this device been released a year ago at this price point, it would be a no brainer, and I would say the Idol 4S is a device worth spending $400 on. But it wasn't, and in the last year, there have been some truly excellent phones released around this price.

Read full review

This is a tough one. Alcatel put out a device that’s reasonably fast, has a strong battery, and offers a fun VR experience out of the box. Had this device been released a year ago at this price point, it would be a no brainer, and I would say the Idol 4S is a device worth spending $400 on. But it wasn't, and in the last year, there have been some truly excellent phones released around this price.

Read full review

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Android Community

Getting the most from the mid-range

from Android Community

The Alcatel Idol 4S is a 5.5-inch mid-ranger from a company that's spent the time to refine its design and hardware. You get access to a fantastic camera with manual features and Hi-Fi audio. The phone offers an excellent display, even outdoors, and provides battery life that will easily get you through the day.

Read full review

The Alcatel Idol 4S is a 5.5-inch mid-ranger from a company that's spent the time to refine its design and hardware. You get access to a fantastic camera with manual features and Hi-Fi audio. The phone offers an excellent display, even outdoors, and provides battery life that will easily get you through the day.

Read full review

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Mobile Choice

Brilliant value for money and more

from Mobile Choice

This is a fantastic product. From form-factor to display to camera and battery life, I cannot fault it. But for the processor- ever so slightly under-powered when you use it alongside the VR headset and while gaming.

Read full review

This is a fantastic product. From form-factor to display to camera and battery life, I cannot fault it. But for the processor- ever so slightly under-powered when you use it alongside the VR headset and while gaming.

Read full review

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date August 3, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
700/2100/800/900 /1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 MSM8976 Octa core 1.8 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.16 W/kg
Body: 1.16 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Headphones, Manual, Standard Battery, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Wi-Fi Surfing Time Unknown
3G Surfing Time Unknown
4G Surfing Time Unknown
Talk Time 800 minutes
3G Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 17.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Gold, Dark Gray, Rose Gold, Metal Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.4 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm (6.1 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 149 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density 534 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
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
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 No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
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
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallett No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Self-timer, HDR, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Front camera flash
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, WAV, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Alcatel One Touch Idol 4S

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Alcatel Idol 4S Reviews
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