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Alcatel Idol 5S
Alcatel Idol 5S
Alcatel Idol 5S
Alcatel Idol 5S

Informr score
The Alcatel Idol 5S currently has an Informr score of 6.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 5 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review


A phone is only useful if you can use it. If you don’t mind charging in the middle of your day, or don’t use your phone heavily, the phone offers a level of polish that is hard to find in the budget market. However, for many, the short battery life makes the Idol 5S a pass. 

What's good

  • Attractive, sturdy design
  • Bright, detailed display
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • Decent camera
  • Near-stock Android experience

What's bad

  • Weak battery
  • No rapid charging
  • Slippery finish
  • No NFC

Typically, when a manufacturer releases a new phone, you can count on upgrades to the previous model. The Idol 5S is a weird exception to this rule. Apart from software, many of the features are a downgrade from the Idol 4S.

However, with that comes a reduced cost—especially if you spring for the Amazon-sponsored model. So, with the price drop, is the 5S still an attractive option?

Looking at the phone, you’d never guess it was a budget option. The metal frame and glass back look expensive. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the rear and two front-facing speakers. You’ll also find USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Grip and smudging issues aside, reviewers all loved the design and materials used for the Idol 5S. The curved edges made it comfortable in the hand while the fingerprint scanner’s accuracy and placement made it simple to use. However, there’s no NFC support, so you can’t use it to make mobile payments.

Around front, you’ll find a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD panel. While a step down from the panel on the 4S, the screen offers plenty of detail for the size and enough brightness to stand up to direct sunlight while you’re on the go. Color reproduction was hit-or-miss in reviews. Fortunately, you’ll find settings to tune the colors to your preferences.

While slightly slower than the processor in the 4S, the 2Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 625 used in the 5S offers enough punch to perform basic tasks and gaming with ease. There’s also 3GB of RAM to help speed up response times and smooth out multitasking. Reviewers had no issues with delays or stuttering during normal use. However, some noted issues with VR content.

The phone includes a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing lens. In good lighting, the cameras appear to take detailed shots with plenty of contrast. While reviewers noted that color was often muted, many still found the images acceptable for the price of the phone. As with most budget phones, it struggles as lights dim. However, you’ll find a wealth of camera features to help make the most of the low-light shots if you’re feeling adventurous.

Shipping with Android 7.1 Nougat, there is no confirmation if the phone will receive additional updates. However, apart from adding gesture support and other minor features, Alcatel left the software stock and didn’t fill the phone with pre-installed apps and bloat.

With 32GB of internal storage and microSD support for cards up to 512GB, there’s little worry about running out of space. There are also dual front-facing speakers to help you get the most out of your media and games.

While the previous downgrades worked to cut cost without impacting the experience, reviewers all agreed that cutting the battery to 2,620mAh was a mistake. Most reviewers could last a full day with light usage. However, moderate usage might leave you searching for a charger. Heavy usage is out of the question unless you have access to a charger throughout the day.

To further complicate matters, though the phone uses USB Type-C, there’s no support for any of the many rapid charging protocols. So you’ll want to plug in every night to avoid surprises.

Overall, reviewers were cautious to recommend the Idol 5S. CNet sums up concerns well, saying, “The Alcatel Idol 5S is a good phone, but its Achilles' heel is its mediocre battery. While it's a deal breaker for me personally, it may not be for others.” Android Authority is less critical, saying, “... the Alcatel Idol 5S is a gorgeous looking phone with a price point that makes it feel like you’re getting something far more premium.” 

Operating system
Operating system
2 GHz
2 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
12+ MP, f/2
12+ MP, f/2
2620 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Alcatel Idol 5S is a good phone, but its Achilles' heel is its mediocre battery. While it's a deal breaker for me personally, it may not be for others. If you can get past charging it more frequently, it is otherwise a wonderful phone for the price.

- Patrick Holland, Cnet
Digital Trends
Digital Trends

The Idol 5S offers a lot of phone for a very reasonable price.

- Adam Ismail, Digital Trends
Android Authority
Android Authority

At the end of the day, the Alcatel Idol 5s is a gorgeous looking phone with a price point that makes it feel like you’re getting something far more premium. Still, it would’ve been even better if they managed to keep the specs on par to its predecessor – while still coming in at a...

- John Velasco, Android Authority
PC Magazine
PC Magazine

The Alcatel Idol 5S offers a nice design and solid performance for an attractive price that's subsidized by Amazon Prime ads, but it falls a bit short of similarly priced alternatives.

- Ajay Kumar, PC Magazine
Tom's Guide
Tom's Guide

The Alcatel's Idol 5S style, bright display and sweet sound bring it so close to being a great value, but weak battery life holds it back.

- Sam Rutherford, Tom's Guide

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Alcatel Idol 5S user manual here.

Alcatel backs up the Idol 5S with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Idol 5S has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Alcatel support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Alcatel's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

The Alcatel Idol 5S's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system (OS).

12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ MP, f/2 camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 512 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2620 mAh battery. Alcatel's performance ratings are 1200 minutes.

Idol 5S Specs

Release Date July 10, 2017
Regions Available USA
Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.61 W/kg
Body: 1.32 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 512 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
12+ Megapixels, f/2
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, Phase detection, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
8+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Front camera flash
Video Recording Parameters
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel Density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Dragontrail glass, 2.5D glass
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2620 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to 320 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Cellular) Up to 459 minutes
Talk Time Up to 1200 minutes
Standby Time Up to 31.8 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Aluminium
Colors Crystal Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.9 x 7.1 x 0.7 cm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 149 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Stereo
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Additional Information Other Names (AKA):
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Alcatel Idol 5S Reviews
Where to buy Alcatel Idol 5S
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