Alcatel One Touch Idol X

Introduction

French manufacturer Alcatel has traditionally been known for producing

basic phones; if you wanted anything above texting and calling and

rudimentary web browsing then you had to look elsewhere. That’s all set

to change with yet more additions to the company’s One Touch range, launched

at Mobile World Congress 2013.

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Leading the range is the One

Touch Idol X, a quad-core 5-inch Full HD handset. But can Alcatel really

compete in the cut-throat world of high-end touchscreen smartphones? We

went hands-on with the One Touch Idol X to find out.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X – Design

There

are certain things we’ve come to expect with budget smartphones and one

of them is that design will be compromised. This often results in

devices which feel cheap and plasticky, and which could all too easily be the butt of “Yo mama so ugly” jokes.

The One Touch Idol X bucks

this trend by looking every bit as good as most of the high-end phones available on the market

today. At just 7.1mm thick it’s 0.5mm slimmer than an

iPhone 5 and a whole 1.5mm thinner than the Galaxy S3. On top of that

the Idol X sports a tiny screen bezel, just 2.4mm thick which makes it

one of the most compact 5-inch phones out there.

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Available in a variety of colours the soft-touch

plastic on the back of the Idol X is pleasing to hold and gives the Idol X some additional grip that’s sorely lacking in the

majority of phones on the market today. It also gives the phone a surprisingly

premium feel, unlike the sensation of smooth plastic which often feels

cheap.

Dan Dery, Alcatel’s Chief Marketing Officer told Trusted

Reviews that the One Touch range isn’t designed to compete directly with the Galaxy S3

and iPhone 5, rather it’s about providing consumers with

“simple, easy to use and easy to choose” phones and creating “devices

for people”. This seems like a sensible marketing angle to us, however good design will be paramount if Alcatel is to

be successful with their One Touch range of smartphones.

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X – Screen

As

with the One Touch Star, Alcatel have surprised us with the quality of

the screen on the Idol X. The 5-inch 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display is

stunning, and not just for a budget phone either. Unlike on some AMOLED

displays colour reproduction is excellent, with full HD content also looked particularly lively. . Viewing angles are also very good with no noticeable colour shifts.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X

Alcatel One Touch Idol X – Software and Performance

With

a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM on board the Idol X runs Android 4.2.1

Jelly Bean smoothly with no apparent jerkiness when opening apps

or scrolling quickly through the phone. There’s no lag with

multitasking either, as we’d expect with that much power under the hood. 

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In

terms of storage the Idol X offers 16GB of internal memory, which can be increased by

32GB thanks to the addition of a microSD card slot, which should be sufficient for all but

the most content hungry users. 

One concern we do have One Touch

X, as with so many smartphones, is battery life. It’s impressive that

Alcatel have managed to cram a 2000mAh battery into such a slim phone, however that 5-inch Full HD screen and quad-core processor will doubtless be power

hungry and we can imagine the battery draining fast. We’ll have to wait until we

can perform our own battery tests before we have a true indication of how

long it can last.

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In terms of user interface, there’s not much to differentiate the One

Touch Idol X’s version of Android from the vanilla offering so those

used to Jelly Bean shouldn’t have a problem getting to grips with it at all.

There are presently conflicting reports on whether the UK version of the One Touch X will be 3G

or have 4G capability. We’d expect to see a 3G offering for the UK market,

but 4G for the Asian market which has a more developed 4G

infrastructure.

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X – Camera

With

an 8-megapixel camera the Idol X won’t exactly be cutting edge when it

comes to mobile photography. We don’t expect good performance in low-light

conditions either, however the camera should be perfectly adequate for basic

snapshots. Full HD video recording will also feature. A 13-megapixel dual-SIM

version of the phone (sans microSD slot) will also be produced, but it’s

unlikely this version will appear in the UK, US or Europe.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X 3

First Impressions

It’s

safe to say that we were impressed with the One Touch Idol X prototype

we got our hands on and with a potential price of under £250 (TBC) it

looks to be an absolute bargain. The four colour options and sleekness

of design will appeal to the style conscious who don’t necessarily want

to spend more than twice the money on an iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 for

features they’ll never use such as NFC, 4G or (the much mooted)

eight-core processor. Barring an issue with battery life we expect the

Idol X to be a heavy hitter in the mid-range phone category. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review soon.