Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 Review - Software and Performance Review

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – Software

The Idol 3 runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Alcatel’s custom skin on top. The core Android features will be familiar, but there are additions, some of which are better implemented than others. There’s the useful double-tap to wake, which has popped up on LG’s phones, and extra shortcuts in the lockscreen menu to jump more quickly to features such as the camera, calculator and to add contacts.

Here, it’s the addition of the reversible mode that’s most interesting. A screen orientation-switching feature ensures that, regardless of which way up your phone is when you pull it out of your pocket, the UI will arrange itself correctly. It’s far less gimmicky than it sounds – and is most useful when you’re answering calls in a rush.

Alcatel has added its own app store-front and revamped some of its native applications, with its music app receiving the biggest focus. It works like a standard music player, where you can browse and queue up tracks, but Alcatel has also worked with DJ software creator Mixvibes to integrate a DJ feature. So when you flip the app into landscape, for example, you’ll see two decks with some basic functions such as matching BPM cues, scratching and the ability to record mixes. It’s a fun application, but unless you’re obsessed with music, you’re likely to ignore it.

Ultimately, it’s a familiar Android experience, which is easy to use despite some of the extra software quirks.

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – Performance

Powering the Idol 3 is a Qualcomm 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 CPU. It’s partnered with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 405 GPU. This setup is more than capable of handling basic tasks, but it’s when the Idol 3 is put under more strain that it begins to show signs of a struggle.

Running the Geekbench 3 benchmarks, it scored on average 2.058 on the multi-core tests, which, when compared to the Snapdragon 810-based HTC One M9 (3,959) and the Exynos-powered Samsung Galaxy S6 (4,547), doesn’t sound all that impressive. For gaming, we put it to the test with Real Racing 3, one of the more graphically demanding games on the Google Play Store. The Idol 3 was capable of running it smoothly, with no sign of a drop in frame rates.

When running multiple apps, performance can is laggy. Opening the browser and performing a basic search becomes too much for the phone to handle and it’s slow to respond. Switching between apps is laboured as well. Power-users will be let down by these shortcomings; but if you’re not planning to overwhelm the Idol 3 with many tasks at once then it should be fine.

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