- Processor slowdown when multi-tasking or downloading apps
- Hard to use one-handed
- No quick or wireless charging
Alcatel has struggled to break into the mainstream smartphone with their previous releases. However, the OneTouch Idol 3 is the first phone Alcatel has released that impressed reviewers. Priced for the budget-minded consumer, the phone doesn't have top of the line specs, but it does offer what Android Central calls, "…one of the best experiences you'll find under $250."
To keep the phone on the lower end of the price spectrum, Alcatel opted for an all-plastic body for the OneTouch Idol 3. While not a premium material, experts found the phone fairly easy to grip thanks to the fake metal edges and brushed plastic back. They also describe it as quite solid due to its slight heft and thickness. Still, at 6 inches they did find it a bit of a challenge to use with one hand.
Much of the Idol 3's size is due to the 5.5 inch display, 1080p IPS display. While not as detailed as the 1600p display offered on the Nexus 10, experts note the resolution is perfectly fine for the average consumer. Besides a good resolution, they note it also offers excellent color accuracy, good viewing angles and excellent bright light legibility.
One the biggest advantages the OneTouch Idol 3 has over other similarly priced phones is its dual front-facing speakers located above and below the display respectively. Experts describe the audio as "crisp" and quite loud though they add it still misses some detail, namely in the lower registers.
Inside, the Idol 3 comes with a 1.5 Ghz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. For the most part critics did not experience crashes though they did notice some sluggishness when opening apps or unlocking the screen. They also noticed a significant slowdown when multi-tasking or downloading multiple apps. Despite this, most critics don't think the occasional slowdowns detracted from the overall experience. Along with the processor and RAM, the Idol 3 also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 2,910mAh battery. The battery itself lasted reviewers a full 8-9 hours of heavy usage. Unfortunately it does not come with the added benefit of quick or wireless charging.
Software-wise, Alcatel kept Android as close to stock as possible with a couple modifications; the most noticeable being the "reversible" mode. This allows the display to re-orient itself so things work when the phone is flipped 180-degrees. While standard for iOS devices it is fairly new for Android and something many critics appreciated.
Around the back of the phone is the 13MP main camera. It comes equipped with autofocus and LED flash. For the most part, critics were able to produce colorful and clear shots whether in close-up detail or faraway objects in natural lighting. CNET notes, "I was satisfied enough with the quality to share pictures…with friends and family." Even in low-light situations most experts were impressed with the overall quality although the flash did tend to blow-out the scenes.
While there are a few drawbacks to the Idol 3, reviewers still highly recommend it. Slash Gear states, "…it's a winner." Tech Radar adds, "If you're willing to live with some imperfections for an excellent price, there's no reason this phone can't be good enough for you"