Specs summary

Screen
5.5"

The Alcatel Idol 4S's screen is 5.5 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 MSM8976 Octa core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Alcatel's performance ratings are 17.5 days standby time, 800 minutes (2G).



Alcatel did a bang up job on the Idol 4S, but ultimately there are better phones for the same price.

- Jason Cipriani , GreenBot 

If you're tired of smartphones that all look, feel, and act the same, the Idol 4S is a breath of fresh air.

- Ajay Kumar , PC Magazine 

Reviews summary

7.4/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 21 reviews

What's good  

  • Beautiful display
  • microSD support
  • Android Adoptable Storage
  • QuickCharge 3.0
  • Excellent speakers

What's bad  

  • Half-baked VR headset
  • Price
  • Inconsistent cameras
  • Slippery back
  • Mid-tier processor will age quickly

Alcatel turned heads with the Idol 3, but many were let down but the build quality. With the Idol 4S, Alcatel is beefing up design polish while including enticing extras--namely the VR headset. But with the mid-tier market as competitive as ever, is the 4S a good value?

We’ve scoured the best review sites on the web so you don’t have to! Let’s see what they’re saying!

Looking at the phone, all reviews agreed that the 4S is a step up from the typical Alcatel build quality and design. You’ll find an aluminum chassis with glass accents and virtually zero plastic. There’s a few design points that set the phone apart--though reviews were mixed on whether this was a good thing. Phone Scoop noted, “Alcatel put the screen lock button at the top of Idol's left edge, and it annoys me just as much as it did on last year's phone.”

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Other reviewers found that while the glass back looked great, it caused some issues. Android Police said, “Overall, I like the way this phone looks, though I am less of a fan of the way it feels: a bit sharp in the hand and really effing slippery.” However, the phone includes a bumper case and tempered glass screen protector to help you survive drops and slips.

Flipping around to the front of the phone, you’re greeted with a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel running at 2560-by-1440. Phone Scoop declared, “There's no question the screen is attractive. It has gobs of pixels, plenty of brightness, and good viewing angles.” A few reviewers questioned the brightness of the display, with Stuff noting, “You’ll need to step into the shade to see things properly outdoors.”

Powering the display, you’ll find an eight-core Snapdragon 652 processor. Specs-wise, this is firmly mid-tier and reviews matched. 3GB of RAM will help with multitasking. Tom’s Guide said, “The Idol 4S' Snapdragon 652 processor isn't the speediest CPU, but it was plenty fast for most activities.” Digital Trends agreed, saying, “in our time using the Idol 4S, we have not experienced any stutters, lag, or issues. Switching between apps is quick, and so is triggering applications like the camera.”

To ensure there’s room for all your apps, movies and other content, the phone offers 32GB of onboard storage. MicroSD card and Android Adoptable Storage support means you can add an additional 512GB of seamless storage.

Unforunately, if you’re looking to snap pictures often, reviews on the 16MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens are mixed. PC Magazine said, “Pictures I took outside during a sunny day were clear, with minimal noise and grain. But pictures taken at the same location on a cloudy day were filled with noise and grain, and were often too dark, with trees and buildings cast into shadows and the sky overexposed.” While the camera appears capable of taking great pictures, reviews indicate that getting it to do so predictably is tricky.

The 3,000mAh battery in the Idol 4S rated average by most reviewers. The Verge noted, “The battery is also able to last a full day between charges for me, and the quick charging feature lets me top up in a hurry. The quick charging feature also works with any Qualcomm-certified charger.”

One area where the phone really shined was audio. The dual front-facing speakers surprised most reviewers. Android Police said, “This is easily among the very best speaker arrays I've ever listened to on a smartphone.” Stuff agreed, saying, “You’ll be blown-away by just how loud they can go - forget pairing it to a Bluetooth speaker, you can fill a small room with sound just using the phone by itself.” Reviewers also noted that the grills on both sides of the device allow you to listen to music, or even take calls, with the phone face down.

While the phone includes a VR headset, reviews weren’t great. Most noted fit issues and the lack of focus controls led to a disorienting experience for many. In the end, most reviews agreed that if VR is your main reason to buy the phone, you might want to pass.

Overall, reviews were positive. The biggest issue brought up by most was price. The Verge summed things up well, saying, “I have a lot of good things to say about the Idol 4S: it’s well made, performs well, and doesn’t have any major flaws. But I can say that about other phones that are priced similarly, which makes it tough for the Idol 4S to separate itself, even with its included VR viewer.”


Reviews (7.4/10 Avg. rating)


Notebookcheck

A good mainstream smartphone with a great chassis and bright display

from Notebookcheck
Can the Alcatel One Touch Idol 4S compete with the rivals? Not quite. The smartphone can actually justify its price with the stylish chassis, the good display, and the comprehensive accessories, but the competitors have fewer drawbacks. The Idol 4S suffers slightly from the mediocre voice quality, the bad front camera and the comparatively bad results in the performance and runtime tests... Full review
What Mobile

A reasonably cheap VR companion

from What Mobile
The Alcatel Idol 4s is a solid handset that offers good performance in a convenient package which is tailored for virtual reality. Both this and the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 are very close in terms of features… and it’s really a matter of preference0 which one you pick... Full review
Talk Android

A flagship phone in mid-range clothes

from Talk Android

I think Alcatel really missed the mark with the Idol 4S. There were a few button placement complaints, which are very minor. It had a lot going for it — the screen, the snappiness and even the software. As unfortunate as it is, the camera is really what makes or breaks a phone. If you don’t have a good camera, no one is going to buy it. And that’s where I feel Alcatel has really missed the mark. If it did have a good camera, Alcatel could have had a high-end device that could easily compete with the likes of the Galaxy S7, even without the flagship level specs on paper.Full review

Recombu

A great-value package

from Recombu
The Idol 4s faces stiff competition at the £400 price point from the likes of the Sony Xperia X, OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy A5, but it’s definitely got plenty of appeal thanks to a solid pair of cameras, decent battery life and a gorgeous Quad HD screen - something most rivals can’t boast... Full review
Gadget Review

Great proponent of the exceptional value for money in smartphones today

from Gadget Review
Overall, Alcatel did an excellent job with its follow up to the successful IDOL 3 last year. The 4S’ construction is as impressive as top-end smartphones that come close to double the cost, and performance isn’t too far behind. That said, it doesn’t completely keep up, with a slower fingerprint scanner and inferior camera quality... Full review
Cnet

Not quite the deal it hopes to be

from Cnet
Alcatel's Idol 4S comes packed with features and accessories. It has a high-end design and build, a great camera, impressive display and a convenience button dubbed the Boom Key... Full review
G Style Magazine

A well put together product

from G Style Magazine
I like where Alcatel has come from and how they have tried to fit into the affordable mid-tier market. The IDOL 4S gives you just about everything you could want in a smartphone from a bright vibrant display to dual facing speakers to throwing in a VR headset. It does have some competition in its price range and I think it being around the $350 mark would do it more justice... Full review
GreenBot

There are better phones for the same price

from GreenBot
This is a tough one. Alcatel put out a device that’s reasonably fast, has a strong battery, and offers a fun VR experience out of the box. Had this device been released a year ago at this price point, it would be a no brainer, and I would say the Idol 4S is a device worth spending $400 on. But it wasn't, and in the last year, there have been some truly excellent phones released around this price... Full review
Android Community

Getting the most from the mid-range

from Android Community
The Alcatel Idol 4S is a 5.5-inch mid-ranger from a company that's spent the time to refine its design and hardware. You get access to a fantastic camera with manual features and Hi-Fi audio. The phone offers an excellent display, even outdoors, and provides battery life that will easily get you through the day... Full review
Mobile Choice

Brilliant value for money and more

from Mobile Choice
This is a fantastic product. From form-factor to display to camera and battery life, I cannot fault it. But for the processor- ever so slightly under-powered when you use it alongside the VR headset and while gaming... Full review

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