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6.7/10
Informr score
The Alcatel Idol 5 currently has an Informr score of 6.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 9 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

If you’re looking for a decent camera, and don’t mind trading battery life to get it, the phone appears to offer a good value. But ultimately, it will depend on what’s important to you. 

What's good

  • Sturdy, comfortable design
  • Bright, colorful screen
  • Respectable camera
  • microSD card support
  • Rapid charge support
  • Dual front-facing speakers

What's bad

  • Weak battery
  • So-so performance
  • Only 2GB of RAM

Alcatel’s Idol series typically represents the best Alcatel offers. However, in the case of the Idol 5, they’re switching things up and targeting the mid-tier market. While it makes cuts from the popular Idol 5S in terms of materials and specs, it appears to offer a compelling value.

The aluminum unibody was a hit with reviewers—both in terms of comfortable use and overall quality. However, if you’ve never used an Idol phone, the button layout might take time to adjust to. Instead of placing the power button on the top or right like most phones, the power button sits to the left, opposite the volume rocker and the Idol’s “Now Button.”

This configurable button puts a range of phone features at your fingertips. For example, reviewers found it handy for launching the camera and engaging the shutter.

You’ll also find that the USB Type-C port on the bottom is offset to the side. A few reviewers found this caused problems while using the phone with accessories—such as car mounts—and charging the phone.

Around front, things return to a more normal arrangement. The 5.2-inch 1080p LCD panel features slim bezels to each side and a meatier top and bottom bezel. This helps to accommodate the dual front-facing stereo speakers. However, unlike many similarly priced models, you won’t find a fingerprint scanner.

Reviews on the screen are great for the price point. There’s plenty of brightness on tap for outdoor use, good viewing angles, and crisp detail. However, when used with the advertised VR headset, some reviewers felt the 1080p resolution fell short of expectations.

Powering the phone,  you’ll find a 1.3Ghz octa-core MediaTek P20 processor. While it’s a budget-conscious choice, there were little mentions of slow down or stuttering while doing common tasks or casual gaming. However, with only 2GB of RAM, multitasking and high-end games suffer.

If you need more than 32GB of internal storage to keep everything you need on hand, microSD support for cards up to 128GB makes upgrading cheap and easy.

The phone ships with Android 7.0 with no promise of Android 8.0. So if having the most up-to-date software is important, the Idol 5 is a hard pass. On top of this, many reviewers complained about an abundance of uninstallable preloaded apps taking up resources.

The phone includes a 13MP rear camera and a front-facing 5MP lens. Reviews on the camera are positive considering the price range. The phone captures well balanced, though dim, images. Details were strong in well-lit shots but quickly fell as the light waned.

Some reviewers complained about the 2800mAh battery struggling to reach the end of the day on a single charge. However, the PumpExpress 2.0 rapid charging feature on the phone will give you a speedy top up, refilling 50% of your charge in only 30 minutes.

Overall, phones in this price range are all about balance. The verdicts from reviewers reflect that. Tom’s Guide says, “There are certainly worse budget phones than the Idol 5. Given the wealth of alternatives that deliver better value, though, there's no reason to settle.” Phone Scoop was more positive, saying, “Alcatel did a fine job with the Idol 5. The handset is attractive, made from quality materials, and delivers the right mix of value for the dollar.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Digital Trends

The Alcatel Idol 5 is an excellent option for those looking for a good phone under $200. Unlike some of its competition, the device offers a decent camera – a feature that most budget handsets seem to ignore in favor of things like battery life.

- Christian de Looper, Digital Trends
Tom's Guide

Alcatel has brought its attractive, but-flawed Idol 5S to Cricket as an exclusive to the prepaid carrier, but the new phone makes too many compromises to offer any appeal beyond its low price.

- Adam Ismail, Tom's Guide
Talk Android

With the Idol 5, the overall package is just greater than the sum of its parts. I simply can’t get over how good the user experience is for the price (both phone and network). I’ll likely run with this setup well into 2018. It’s just the principle of the thing.

- Erik Slaven, Talk Android
Android Headlines

Alcatel isn’t known for making the most premium smartphones on the market, but that hasn’t stopped them from delivering a good quality smartphone. The Idol 5 is a great device and it only costs $200 at full retail, and that’s a huge plus, if you’re willing to switch to Cricke...

- Justin Diaz, Android Headlines
G Style Magazine

For $200 you are getting a smartphone that feels well crafted and not cheap. It has great sounding dual speakers; natural feeling display and quick charging for battery life.

- Jason Million, G Style Magazine


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The Alcatel Idol 5's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.3 GHz

There is a MediaTek MT6753 Octa core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2800mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2800 mAh battery.

Idol 5 Specs

Overview
Release date September 1, 2017
Regions available USA, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
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 size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor MediaTek MT6753 Octa core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.43 W/kg
Body: 1.05 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2800 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 459 minutes
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 21 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Metal Silver, Metal Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.8 x 7.3 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 155 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 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 Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, 2.5D glass, 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) Yes
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, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Zero shutter lag, Time lapse mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
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
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Alcatel Idol 5 Reviews
Where to buy Alcatel Idol 5
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