Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Introduction


One of the biggest surprises this year has been Alcatel. That’s not an understatement because they can be given credit for starting this whole focus on the “premium” mid-range market with the introduction of its Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 5.5-inch back in May, showing us exactly what budget-conscious devices are capable of delivering. Taking nearly everything about what that particular smartphone has to offer, and repackaging it in a significantly smaller chassis, what we have now is the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch – a smartphone that’s sure to pique interest with its hard-to-overlook $180 outright cost.

The package contains:

  • Alcatel Onetouch 3 4.7-inch
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Get start guide
  • Stereo headphones
  • Important information

Design

Compact and sleek, its diminutive size is so refreshing in an age of phablets.

There’s really nothing really new with its design that we didn’t get otherwise with its larger-sized sibling, other than the obvious fact that they’ve just shrunken its size down tremendously to make it incredibly compact. And that’s what’s so great about its design, since it feels like the perfect size in our hand – allowing us to comfortably stretch our thumb to reach all four corners of its display. Best of all, it’s decently constructed with its plastic matte finished chassis, and it’s remarkably lightweight at 110g.

Just like before, it features all the same ports and buttons found on the 5.5-inch version – so that includes its volume controls on its right edge, microUSB port and mic on the bottom, 3.5mm headphone jack and noise cancelling mic on the top, and the power button and combinational microSD/microSIM slot on the left. Thankfully, it too retains the same pair of front-firing JBL Audio by Harman speakers.

 

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Front view | Side view
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7
5.3 x 2.59 x 0.3 inches
134.6 x 65.9 x 7.55 mm
3.88 oz (110 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7")

Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto X Style
Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite


Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review

Display

Mesmerizing to the eye, its rich colors and potent glow makes us think it’s an AMOLED we’re dealing with here.

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch is fashioned with a 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 IPS LCD display that leverages the same Technicolor Color Enhance Technology to give it a potent, iridescent glow. And that’s arguably one of its highlight characteristics, just because it behaves similarly to AMOLED screens in the process – so that means getting that deep black color, superb viewing angles, and saturated colors.

The screen by and large dishes up the same respectable qualities from before, but when it comes to color accuracy, it wouldn’t be classified as perfect. Rather, it has a colder toned ~7300K color temperature, gamma value of 2.14, and colors that are a bit overblown under the sRGB color spectrum chart. The colors of magenta, in particular, show more deviance as they’re influenced by the color blue.

Regardless of that, the end result can’t be overlooked, as it produces a potent 606-nit luminance that enables us to view it in all sorts of lighting conditions. The best part about it all, the display just bears this mesmerizing glow that catches our attention the moment we look at it.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 606
(Excellent)
22
(Poor)
1:1083
(Good)
7301
(Good)
2.14
3.55
(Good)
3.86
(Good)
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 70.3%
72.7%
78.4%
2.7%
2.8%
6.8%
1.3%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Introduction


One of the biggest surprises this year has been Alcatel. That’s not an understatement because they can be given credit for starting this whole focus on the “premium” mid-range market with the introduction of its Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 5.5-inch back in May, showing us exactly what budget-conscious devices are capable of delivering. Taking nearly everything about what that particular smartphone has to offer, and repackaging it in a significantly smaller chassis, what we have now is the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch – a smartphone that’s sure to pique interest with its hard-to-overlook $180 outright cost.

The package contains:

  • Alcatel Onetouch 3 4.7-inch
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Get start guide
  • Stereo headphones
  • Important information

Design

Compact and sleek, its diminutive size is so refreshing in an age of phablets.

There’s really nothing really new with its design that we didn’t get otherwise with its larger-sized sibling, other than the obvious fact that they’ve just shrunken its size down tremendously to make it incredibly compact. And that’s what’s so great about its design, since it feels like the perfect size in our hand – allowing us to comfortably stretch our thumb to reach all four corners of its display. Best of all, it’s decently constructed with its plastic matte finished chassis, and it’s remarkably lightweight at 110g.

Just like before, it features all the same ports and buttons found on the 5.5-inch version – so that includes its volume controls on its right edge, microUSB port and mic on the bottom, 3.5mm headphone jack and noise cancelling mic on the top, and the power button and combinational microSD/microSIM slot on the left. Thankfully, it too retains the same pair of front-firing JBL Audio by Harman speakers.


Front view | Side view
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7
5.3 x 2.59 x 0.3 inches
134.6 x 65.9 x 7.55 mm
3.88 oz (110 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7")

Motorola Moto G (2015)
Motorola Moto G (2015)
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.48 inches
142 x 72.4 x 12.2 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G (2015)

Motorola Moto X Style
Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite


Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review

Display

Mesmerizing to the eye, its rich colors and potent glow makes us think it’s an AMOLED we’re dealing with here.

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch is fashioned with a 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 IPS LCD display that leverages the same Technicolor Color Enhance Technology to give it a potent, iridescent glow. And that’s arguably one of its highlight characteristics, just because it behaves similarly to AMOLED screens in the process – so that means getting that deep black color, superb viewing angles, and saturated colors.

The screen by and large dishes up the same respectable qualities from before, but when it comes to color accuracy, it wouldn’t be classified as perfect. Rather, it has a colder toned ~7300K color temperature, gamma value of 2.14, and colors that are a bit overblown under the sRGB color spectrum chart. The colors of magenta, in particular, show more deviance as they’re influenced by the color blue.

Regardless of that, the end result can’t be overlooked, as it produces a potent 606-nit luminance that enables us to view it in all sorts of lighting conditions. The best part about it all, the display just bears this mesmerizing glow that catches our attention the moment we look at it.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 606
(Excellent)
22
(Poor)
1:1083
(Good)
7301
(Good)
2.14
3.55
(Good)
3.86
(Good)
Motorola Moto G (2015) 449
(Good)
19
(Poor)
1:1116
(Good)
7440
(Good)
2.27
5.87
(Average)
4.04
(Average)
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 70.3%
72.7%
78.4%
2.7%
2.8%
6.8%
1.3%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Motorola Moto G (2015) 86.6%
84.2%
83.1%
7.6%
1.3%
32.7%
14.4%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

A customized Android experience with near-stock apps and reversible function.

While some parts of the interface appear stock Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, Alcatel’s customized experience is most notable for its reversible user-interface – where the entire interface is flipped when the _phone_ is rotated a full 180-degree in our hand. It’s accompanied with a snazzy flipping animation too, but the function is there primarily to distinguish it from other custom UIs. Beyond that, we’re greeted with all of Material Design’s influences in many of the native apps, but more importantly, the foundational functions of Android are all present here.

Indeed, the experience functions enough for most people to get by without any issues. However, it doesn’t have the same diversified added features that make other custom skins, namely TouchWiz and LG’s UI, so agreeable for power users.

Processor and Memory

The Snapdragon 410 does nicely against basic tasks, but it’s not endowed to handle demanding stuff.

Just like the display, there’s a slight reduction with its processing hardware. For this, Alcatel has chosen to go with a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC coupled with 1.5GB of RAM and the Adreno 306 GPU. Superficially, it has no problems handling the light and trivial tasks, but it’s clearly not endowed with the powers to handle operations that are far more demanding – such as gaming and heavy multi-tasking.

Although it’s advertised with 16GB of internal storage, that tally out of the box comes out to 11.86GB of free space. For some, that’s extremely limiting, but at least there’s a microSD card slot to supplement it.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 35438
Motorola Moto G (2015) 22406
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 22181
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 966
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1224
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 885
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 2147
Motorola Moto G (2015) 2186
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 1904
Sunspider
Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 1272
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1361.8
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 1657.1
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 23.5
Motorola Moto G (2015) 9.6
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 9.4
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 12.6
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.9
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 3.9
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 800
Motorola Moto G (2015) 581
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 536
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 681
Motorola Moto G (2015) 528
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 474
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 2597
Motorola Moto G (2015) 1554
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 1444
View all

Internet and Connectivity


On the surface, the _phone_ delivers a good web surfing experience we can’t complain about. It has all the characteristics we find favorable for the experience, like its speedy page loads, decent handling of page rendering on the fly, and responsive navigational controls. Fine text might seem quaint and tough to distinguish when pages are viewed in their entirety, but that’s nothing that pinch zooming can’t fix.

Traveling abroad isn’t an issue with this one, especially when it’s accompanied with a decent range of LTE band support. Still, it lacks the necessary radios to make it compatible with the CDMA networks here domestically – so Sprint and Verizon customers are out of the mix. Despite that, we find all the usual suspect of connectivity features here, so that consists of aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and also NFC.



Camera

It’s okay enough to use, but don’t expect much out of its low-light performance.

Thus far, nearly every part of the phone in the specs department has been dulled down a bit compared to its bigger version. However, they’ve kept the rear camera untouched at 13-megapixels, which is well within the scope of what other phones in its class offer. Meanwhile, we have a wide-angle 5-megapixel camera on the front, which means it’ll have enough room to accommodate several people in your selfies.

Looking into the camera interface, we really like what Alcatel has in store for us, seeing that it boasts several shooting modes and manual controls. Its manual mode, in particular, even provides us access to adjusting the shutter speed and focus parameters, which we normally don’t get in most budget-conscious smartphones.


Even though it’s not outstanding, the camera produces enough likable results when the shooting conditions are ripe. That means plentiful light in the shot, so photos have enough of that striking appeal to transfer them over to actual printouts. The details might be a little bit subdued in tone, but colors remain mostly neutral. As much as we normally like how HDR photos come out with contrasting scenes, this one actually just boosts the exposure – giving it a more washed out tone. And finally, its low lighting performance is underwhelming, which isn’t a shock honestly, as digital noise and splotchy details invade the shot.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 3.1
6.3
520
425
Motorola Moto G (2015) 3.4
5
658
641
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 4.2
No data
528
448
View all

When it comes to its video recording quality, which tops out at 1080p capture, our biggest complaints include its distorted audio recording and its choppy movement. The video is recorded at about 23 fps, which should be enough for a fluid video, but sadly, the actual footage does not exhibit that expected smoothness of motion.


Multimedia

Those dual front-firing JBL speakers don’t disappoint, especially when it’s backed by some serious substance.

Alcatel once again places us into the DJ role with its music player, a novel treat that actually takes a different approach to the usual experience. Impressively enough, its dual front-firing JBL speakers don’t disappoint with their deafening 78.9 dB output. More than commanding in presence, its quality is undoubtedly resounding – though, it’s a little bit sharper toned at the loudest setting.

We can’t complain about its video watching experience either, since its dual front-firing speakers, smooth performance, and saturated color tones all combine together to offer us an immersive experience. For some, however, they might find the smaller screen size somewhat of a challenge.



Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 0.406
Motorola Moto G (2015) 0.377
Huawei P8 lite 0.26
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 78.9
Motorola Moto G (2015) 78.5
Huawei P8 lite 79
View all


Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Call Quality

With the strong volumes of its earpiece and speakerphone, we relatively have no major issues holding conversations.

Volume never comes into question with this one, mainly because both the earpiece and speakerphone pumps out enough power to easily handle phone call conversations in almost any situation. Even though there’s a slight hissy tone with voices through the earpiece, it’s nothing that diminishes the overall quality to the point of making it unusable. On the other end, however, there are no issues at all.

Battery

It’s a dainty 2000 mAh batter inside this one, but it surprisingly delivers better-than-average results.

Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch Review
Due to its smaller 2000 mAh battery cell, it’s not a surprise that it falls just a little short of what its 5.5-inch sibling produced in our custom battery test. Specifically, this 4.7-inch edition still manages to put up a better-than-average mark of 7 hours and 25 minutes, which translates to an easy one-day of normal usage.

Alcatel claims that it can achieve a recharge of 2.5 hours. We’re happy to report that does better in our testing, where it tops off at only 109 minutes.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 8h 3 min (Excellent)
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 7h 25 min (Good)
Huawei P8 lite 5h 30 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Motorola Moto G (2015) 251
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7") 109
Huawei P8 lite 136
View all

Conclusion


We can’t stress enough about its pricing! At $179.99 outright, the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch offers good value in such a compact package – more so when there are so many qualities we like about it. The svelte construction and its compact size are perhaps the biggest standouts.

Alcatel helped established this new movement of “value” phones on a budget with the introduction of its 5.5-inch model earlier in the year. This 4.7-inch version follows in a similar manner, too. Right now, its biggest rival is arguably the 2015 Moto G, another phone that’s priced at $180. Unless you really need that water-resistant construction, the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 4.7-inch makes for one compelling argument with its slimmer package, bright screen, and hard-to-beat cost.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 5.0.2
Build Number: ACV-UEV3
Kernel Version: 3.10.49




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