- Joshua Vergara , Android Authority
With its simple, elegant design, decent specifications, solid camera, and fantastic audio experience, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is one of the best budget-friendly smartphones out there.
- Hayato Huseman , Pocketnow
Alcatel OneTouch has done a tremendous job with the Idol 3, and it’s set a new standard for all budget smartphones to measure up to.
- Vibrant and bright display
- Clear and loud speakers
- Good camera
- Processor slowdown when multi-tasking or downloading apps
- Hard to use one-handed
- No quick or wireless charging
Alcatel has struggled to break into the mainstream smartphone with their previous releases. However, the OneTouch Idol 3 is the first phone Alcatel has released that impressed reviewers. Priced for the budget-minded consumer, the phone doesn't have top of the line specs, but it does offer what Android Central calls, "…one of the best experiences you'll find under $250."
To keep the phone on the lower end of the price spectrum, Alcatel opted for an all-plastic body for the OneTouch Idol 3. While not a premium material, experts found the phone fairly easy to grip thanks to the fake metal edges and brushed plastic back. They also describe it as quite solid due to its slight heft and thickness. Still, at 6 inches they did find it a bit of a challenge to use with one hand.
Much of the Idol 3's size is due to the 5.5 inch display, 1080p IPS display. While not as detailed as the 1600p display offered on the Nexus 10, experts note the resolution is perfectly fine for the average consumer. Besides a good resolution, they note it also offers excellent color accuracy, good viewing angles and excellent bright light legibility.
One the biggest advantages the OneTouch Idol 3 has over other similarly priced phones is its dual front-facing speakers located above and below the display respectively. Experts describe the audio as "crisp" and quite loud though they add it still misses some detail, namely in the lower registers.
Inside, the Idol 3 comes with a 1.5 Ghz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. For the most part critics did not experience crashes though they did notice some sluggishness when opening apps or unlocking the screen. They also noticed a significant slowdown when multi-tasking or downloading multiple apps. Despite this, most critics don't think the occasional slowdowns detracted from the overall experience. Along with the processor and RAM, the Idol 3 also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 2,910mAh battery. The battery itself lasted reviewers a full 8-9 hours of heavy usage. Unfortunately it does not come with the added benefit of quick or wireless charging.
Software-wise, Alcatel kept Android as close to stock as possible with a couple modifications; the most noticeable being the "reversible" mode. This allows the display to re-orient itself so things work when the phone is flipped 180-degrees. While standard for iOS devices it is fairly new for Android and something many critics appreciated.
Around the back of the phone is the 13MP main camera. It comes equipped with autofocus and LED flash. For the most part, critics were able to produce colorful and clear shots whether in close-up detail or faraway objects in natural lighting. CNET notes, "I was satisfied enough with the quality to share pictures…with friends and family." Even in low-light situations most experts were impressed with the overall quality although the flash did tend to blow-out the scenes.
While there are a few drawbacks to the Idol 3, reviewers still highly recommend it. Slash Gear states, "…it's a winner." Tech Radar adds, "If you're willing to live with some imperfections for an excellent price, there's no reason this phone can't be good enough for you"
Reviews (7.4/10 Avg. rating)
Very bright display, superb speakers and an all-day battery in a sexy frame
Decent device for the price point
While I had an overall positive experience with these devices, I’m struggling to figure out exactly where they fit. If you’re in the market for a cheap phone, you could certainly do much worse than the 4.7-inch Idol 3. It’s tiny, the battery life is fine, the camera is fine, and the software is inoffensive. If someone came up to me and told me they need a phone for less than $200, this is where I’d point them, but then I’d remember the Moto G is the same price point at $180 and arguably offers more bang for your buck.
Then we get to the 5.5-inch mode... Full review
A bold budget phone that can tango with the best
The knee-jerk reaction to phones beneath the $300 mark is to expect the worst; trade-offs are basically understood as inevitable. That’s true to some extent for the Idol 3, yet Alcatel’s handset bucks more than a few budget phone strictures. It’s plastic, but quite durable. It sports a beautiful display and excellent speakers. And it runs a vanilla version of Android with features that only augment, not change or restrict, the software experience. The Idol 3’s a package, all in all, that you’d expect several price brackets above its MSRP.
The Idol 3... Full review
A budget Android phone with a unique feature
A very good and well specified device that has a unique talent at a bargain price
A great mid-range option
If you don't have the cash for a high-end phone, the Alcatel is a great mid-range option for $249 unlocked. You can swap providers on a whim, as long as they're GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile, or any provider on their network). The Idol 3 has everything most smartphone customers are looking for: a decent camera, a fast, modern interface with the newest software, and a full-HD screen. Plus, it has dual forward-facing speakers, and a symmetrical design that lets you use the phone either right-side-up or upside-down. Whichever way you take it out of your pocket, you're good to go. The Idol 3 is also... Full review
A pleasant surprise
When is a flagship smartphone not a flagship? When the vendor is Alcatel – at the moment. The Idol 3 looks the part, and largely acts the part, but performance is more choppy than you’d expect in a top-of-the-range smartphone.
Still, Alcatel’s phones are getting better, and the company seems to be progressively addressing our criticisms with each iteration. For just £200 SIM-free, the Onetouch Idol 3 is a phone you can be extremely happy with. However, we’re banking on the next version to be the handset that gets our solid, full-throated recommendation.... Full review
A budget phone with flagship specs
Quality stuff from a budget phone
If this is what we can expect from a phone with an MSRP of $250, we’re going to have higher expectations from everyone else going forward. Quite simply, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a testament to what can be achieved by a phone that’s on a budget. From what we’ve experienced in the past with Alcatel’s portfolio of smartphones, we weren’t coming into this with high hopes, but the outcome, surprisingly enough, awakens us to realize that the company can make GOOD phones – and this one certainly lives up to that claim. Considering that you’re only pa... Full review
Best pure purchase on the market
At a time when many phone makers find themselves changing their flagship phones for change’s sake to help justify keeping their high price points, there continues to be a need for phones like the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. Instead of building for an eternal tomorrow, Alcatel realizes that it’s 2015, and that there’s too much capable smartphone tech for it to be unavailable to wide swaths of people. It also doesn’t tie you into the limiting pitfalls of a carrier contract.
The low-end doesn’t have to be a dumpster fire when so much of the high-end is div... Full review
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Phone drops calls and opens to home page
Drops calls when touched and opens the home page.
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