Alcatel OneTouch has quietly been developing some fairly competitive smartphones on the market for a number of years. While generally a lot of these devices have gone unnoticed by consumers who are blinded by the flashy and successful marketing efforts of Apple, Samsung and others, Alcatel OneTouch have been able to prove that you can put out a device that performs exceptionally well, but also comes with a reasonable price. Much like the Nexus 5 device, these devices start at nearly half the cost of other feature phones.
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ smartphone has a 5″ 1080p IPS screen that offers 16M colors. That screen performs exceptionally well in nearly all conditions – in low light it adapts and provides vibrance without being blinding, in the midday sun, visibility decreases slightly, but is bright enough to be able to see clearly. The screen is also nearly to the edge of the phone, making it feel like the entire device is one big screen. Fingerprints and streaks are minimized on the screen thanks to an oleophobic coating. The back is plastic and feels quite slippery, so you may want to buy a case or a non-slip grip.
The camera in the Alcatel OneTouch+ is a 13.1MP, capable of shooting 1080p30FPS video and with built in encoding for H.264, MP4, XVID and other codecs, it makes it very easy to upload video to your favourite video host. WHile it does include an LED Flash, it is rather ineffective at medium and long distances. At close distance, it does work but seems to wash out the image excessively. As the world shifts into higher resolution, it would be nice for them to upgrade future devices for 1440p or even 4K, support 60FPS and improve the capabilities of the flash.
The device itself runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.4.2 and features a Quad-Core 1.5GHz Cortex-A7, with WiFi, DLNA, Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM Radio, a microUSB, and sensors that include an accelerometer, proximity sensors and a compass. While the device generally performs quite well, I do notice that the startup time is significantly longer than some other smartphones. Startup on the Idol X+ was 40% longer than the startup on my Nexus 5. Additionally, while the phone responds well – it does have some stutters and occasions where you experience some lag.
In terms of battery performance, the phone has a 200mAh battery, capable of 340 hours of standby time, which translates to 7 hours of talk time. After a full days use of tweeting, photos, and web surfing, I arrived home with 30%+ battery remaining. Comparing that to my Nexus 5, which generally sits in the 20% range, and my HTC M8 at 15%+. Granted that could be due to the fact the phone is new, and my other devices have had months of usage.
Overall, the Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ Smartphone is ideal for anyone who needs an inexpensive alternative to the traditionally expensive smartphone market. Available new at $350 at several carriers in Canada including Telus and Koodo, the phone offers good performance, a decent camera, good battery life, and all the features the more expensive options offer. For a 50% decrease in price, you do trade off some performance but if price is a concern, performance shouldn’t be.