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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S

Summary

Our Score:

6

Pros

  • Cute design
  • Has a camera flash

Cons

  • Dreadful battery life
  • Not great value SIM-free
  • Low screen resolution for the price

Key Features

  • 4.7-inch 960 x 540-pixel screen
  • Android 4.3
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU
  • Manufacturer: Alcatel
  • Review Price: £170.00

What is the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S?

Other than being a mouthful, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S is a reasonably low-cost 4G phone. You can find it on contracts of around £12 a month, or SIM-free for £170.

After 2013’s Alcatel OneTouch Idol S impressed many with its low price and 720p screen, we had high hopes for the Idol 2 Mini S. However, some lesser core specs and very poor battery life mean it feels like a retrograde step back that offers little next to something like the Moto G 4G – which is actually cheaper SIM-free.

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2 Mini S 9

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S – Design

The Mini S is a cute little phone, with a much neater design style than the entry-level models from Samsung and Sony with which it competes, such as the Sony Xperia E1 and the aged Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.

OneTouch’s team has clearly made this an aim, because even its construction style is different to most other entry-level phones. Rather than using a removable plastic back cover, the Idol 2 Mini S’s is glued in place. We're pretty sure it's glued because we could hear the rear plate pulling against the adhesive when we first got hold of the phone and misguidedly tried to pull the back off. Oops.

SEE ALSO: Best Phones Round-up

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2 Mini S 19

While the finishes of the phone’s sides and back have a metallic glint – the sides are faux brushed aluminium – the phone’s outer parts aside from the screen are all plastic. It's a more solid phone than some available for under £15 a month on contract.

However, the design looks a little less impressive when you consider the Mini S costs £170 SIM-free. That’s £25 more than the 4G edition of the Moto G. While both phones provide a reasonable baseline build for budget models, the ergonomics of the 4.5-inch Motorola are slightly better thanks to its curvier form.

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2 Mini S 31

By rejecting a pull-off plastic battery cover, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S has to add little slots in the phone to accommodate the SIM card and a memory card. These sit under little plastic flaps that you could easily mistake for buttons on the left side.

While they wouldn't fit design-wise within a high-end phone, their matter-of-factness works in the Idol 2 Mini S. There’s no faffing about with a paperclip-like tool, as there is on an iPhone 6.

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 2 Mini S 13

A plastic body and these little flaps give away that the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 Mini S isn’t a high-end phone, but it looks and feels fairly good regardless. We checked out the light blue version of the phone, but it’s also available in black and white in the UK.

Another little hardware choice to mention is that the Mini S has light-up soft keys below the touchscreen, where many budget phones now tend to use software keys built into the touchscreen to reduce costs.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

RobJN

November 24, 2014, 8:37 pm

The problem with this review is that the price it has been judged against is wrong - even on the day of publish. It's available on Carphone Warehouse for £130 - a full £40 less that the "review price". Any chance of getting an update?

Pav

November 25, 2014, 11:09 am

New CPW price £109 + £10 and just got it, main downside it's battery but still keep alive by midnight. I like its design, excellent bright screen and fast web browsing and performance. I prefer idol mini 2s more then 1st gen moto g which a had before.

Qt

November 27, 2014, 12:36 pm

I think this review is flawed and, as usual, biased towards the moto G.

Having used both phones extensively I far prefer the Alcatel to the Moto G.

Before deciding on some budget phones for my daughter and nephew as xmas presents I tried all the best reviewed budget phones. Moto G 4G, Sony E3, EE KESTREL, Sony M2, Nokia Lumia's etc. I'd never even heard of the Alcatel before seeing it on the website and neither had the staff at any of the carphone warehouses I visited while trying to track one down. I purchased my Alcatel for only £89 on a EE PAYG upgrade at cpw. Cheaper than EE KESTREL. I didn't expect much but was blown away in every respect. The only things I would agree with is battery life is not quite as good as Moto G but the same as EE Kestrel. Also, the screen is excellent but not quite as sharp as a 720p, and the backlight can sometimes be too bright but the control for that is easy enough and it means it's great in bright daylight. In my experience auto brightness on any phone or device never truly works and I always adjust it manually.

The Alcatel is fast and slick in operation and with no lag, hangs or freezes to date. There is no bloat ware or games pre-installed on my device. Only a few Alcatel apps like backup which is excellent. The camera is better than both v1&2 Moto G and burst mode is excellent. I really can't fault this phone and if it had a better camera I would have this phone as my 2nd daily driver.

The battery is more than acceptable at this price and an external battery for a few pound charges it easily.

This phone is seriously good looking and feels great in the hand. Only 7 mm thick, has easily accessible card slots and did I mention it has its own version of LG's double tap to lock/unlock!

After spending 3 weeks with this phone I believe this phone for its current price is the bargain of the year and while it won't get upgraded to kit Kat or lollipop most people won't care or even know what the difference will be.

I have it to daughter and as a fellow gadget geek she is very happy with it.

Best phone under £150. Fact.

P.S. In case you're wondering what My experience with phones are, I have a nexus 7, 64gb One Plus One, Samsung Galaxy note 4, had a nexus 5, and wife has an IPhone 6.
I know my phones too.

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