Note: We may earn commissions (at no cost to you) if you buy through links on our site. Learn more.
NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest cell phones or compare used prices.

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 review

7.4/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 currently has an Informr score of 7.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 24 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Vibrant and bright display
  • Clear and loud speakers
  • Good camera

What's bad

  • 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"

Operating system
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
13+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Tom's Guide

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 is one of the best smartphone deals yet. For just $250, you get a very bright display, superb speakers and an all-day battery in a sexy frame. The front and back cameras also performed well, though you'll definitely want to use the flash in low light. Among midrange unlo...

- Cherlynn Low, Tom's Guide

While I had an overall positive experience with these devices, I’m struggling to figure out exactly where they fit. If you’re in the market for a cheap phone, you could certainly do much worse than the 4.7-inch Idol 3. It’s tiny, the battery life is fine, the camera is fine, and th...

- Mark Burstiner, TechnoBuffalo
Digital Trends

The knee-jerk reaction to phones beneath the $300 mark is to expect the worst; trade-offs are basically understood as inevitable. That’s true to some extent for the Idol 3, yet Alcatel’s handset bucks more than a few budget phone strictures. It’s plastic, but quite durable. It spor...

- Kyle Wiggers, Digital Trends
iPhone Download Blog

This is a budget smartphone that’s not going to blow you away in any particular area outside of sound quality. But its a very solid phone that’s a good value at only $249.99 unlocked. Like I noted during my Moto G review, if you’re looking to test the Android waters, or just need a...

- Jeff Benjamin, iPhone Download Blog

I have been very impressed with the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 5.5″. I think the package that you get for the money spent is awesome, and if you are looking for a mid-tier handset at a fraction of the cost of some of the bigger more expensive players, then it is hard to over look this device. Com...

- Garry Clark, Coolsmartphone

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Alcatel released the One Touch Idol 3 on June 29, 2015.

Alcatel backs up the One Touch Idol 3 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your One Touch Idol 3 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.


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.

Quick view

Screen Size

The Alcatel One Touch Idol 3's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

1.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8939 Octa core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

13+ MP

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

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

16 GB

Internal memory is 16 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), 2910 mAh battery. Alcatel's performance ratings are 780 minutes.

One Touch Idol 3 Specs

Release date June 29, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
2100/800/900/1800 /2600 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Octa core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.39 W/kg
Body: 1.42 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2910 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 780 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 25 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.3 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm (6 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 141 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
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, One Glass Solution
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 Unknown
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, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
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 Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
13+ megapixels
4x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Face detection, Geotagging, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Smile detection, Scene detection, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
8+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, MIDI, MP3, OGG
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
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 Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, Twitter, Adobe Reader, Office Suite, Evernote, Flipboard, Clean master, Shazam, Dropbox)
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 Reviews
Where to buy Alcatel One Touch Idol 3
Suggest a correction