Alcatel Idol 4S – Camera
The Idol 4S’s 16-megapixel rear camera is good enough for general use, but doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the quality of cameras on top-end handsets.
The f/2.0 aperture isn’t particularly wide by today’s standards, but in regular light the rear camera works well and photos taken are more than good enough for sharing on social media. The focusing and shutter response are also fairly fast, meaning in decent lighting you won’t have to worry about missing your shot.
I’m a fan of the fact that Alcatel has baked Fyuse directly into the phone’s camera app. Fyuse is a nifty feature that lets you capture 360-degree photos and share them on Facebook, or via email. It may sound gimmicky, but I found it an absolute blast to use, and pretty much the only reason I ever bothered picking up the VR headset when testing the Idol 4S.
The 360-degree photos can be viewed on a regular smartphone or VR headset and let you look around the captured image – which makes them a great choice for holiday photos or particularly memorable nights.
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The camera isn’t the best around
But it’s not terrible
And doesn’t oversharpen or exaggerate colours
But it’s dire in low light
Things quickly fall apart in low light, however. In even moderately dim conditions the camera all but falls apart. Images shot in dark environments suffer from noise and the focusing becomes horribly sluggish. The dual-LED flash helps, but using it means you’ll be left with unnatural-looking pictures.
The 8-megapixel front camera is a little more impressive. Selfies look sharp and are of high enough quality for social media. The inclusion of a front flash also makes the camera usable in low-light environments, such as bars and clubs. Video can be recorded at 1080p Full HD, which makes it more than good enough for video calling.
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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.