Alcatel Idol 4s Review — Budget is Beautiful

This is the Alcatel Idol 4s. It packs a punch and does it’s job well, all while staying under the radar of budget phones. What makes this phones worth buying? Let’s get into that.

Design

First off, the Idol 4s has a 5.5” AMOLED display coming in at a 1440×2560 resolution. It actually looks really good — colors are vivid and loud, while staying accurate. Surprisingly, it gets pretty bright, too. Normally with cheaper phones, you find the display is pixelated and lacking in more ways than one, but that isn’t the case with the Idol 4s. This screen looks great. Hardware wise, the Idol 4s looks great. It has a metal edging around the entire body along with a glass back. The design doesn’t scream budget at all, which is awesome. It feels pretty good in the hand, too.

Performance

The second area it excels in is performance. The Idol 4s has 3GB of RAM, which is more than normal for a phone at this price. Although the processor is a Snapdragon 652, it doesn’t act like it. Everyday tasks are smooth and quick. There will be a couple small hiccups after a while, but nothing to really complain about.

Fingerprint Scanner

The Idol 4s does, in fact, have a fingerprint scanner. It works most of the time but is a little hard to find. The back is the same material as the fingerprint sensor, making the sensor hard to find. It doesn’t help that it’s flush with the phone’s body. It isn’t extremely fast and you’ll get a successful entry around 7 out of 10 times.

Boom Key

Amongst other interesting features built into the Idol 4s, is the Boom Key. The Boom Key is fascinating, to say the least. It doesn’t really have an effect on everyday use, but it’s there. It does things like take a picture while the phone is locked, or show a weather animation on the home screen. One useful thing it does is “enhance” audio. It does make the audio a lot louder and it sounds pretty good. These speakers are an incredible 3.6W — so they get loud. The fact that they’re dual speakers makes them a lot louder. Overall, these speakers are pretty incredible, for a phone. When you do hit the Boom Key, the audio becomes clearer, weirdly enough. Other than that, the Boom Key is kind of gimmicky.

Camera

The camera is actually pretty good. Budget phones usually have a half-baked, or barely-baked camera, but the Idol 4s delivers pretty miraculously. Clarity is good and colors are vibrant, of course to compliment the screen.

Virtual Reality

Now, the Idol 4s comes with a cool VR headset. It’s a little difficult to adjust and takes some time to put on, but when you get it just right, it’s really comfortable. While VR on the Idol 4s isn’t necessarily amazing, it doesn’t hurt that the VR headset comes along with it. VR is a little jerky and not the best looking. In fact, I might have gotten a headache right after using it. Nonetheless, the headset is comfortable and it’s great that it’s included free of charge.

Summary

Overall this phone is a solid option for anyone, after considering the specs, price, and performance. Normally I don’t enjoy using budget phones, but with the metal and glass build on the Idol 4s, it didn’t feel like it was a budget phone. Also, be sure to watch our video review below to learn more about the Idol 4s.