The budget smartphone market in 2015 has pretty much exploded in terms of the available options. There are several very awesome options including the ASUS ZenFone 2, Huawei P8 Lite, the Moto X Play, and more. The most popular options however include the Moto G 2015, and the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. The Idol 3 launched early this year as a 5.5″ inch, $250 phone that blew many users away, myself included. Now, the Idol 3 has a little brother in the form of the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 4.7″. This model keeps the same design and the same awesome features, but cuts the price down even further and makes it even more pocketable. Is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
- 4.7″ 1280×720 IPS HD Display
- Snapdragon 410 Processor
- 1.5GB RAM
- 16GB Storage (with microSD support up to 32GB)
- 13MP Rear Camera/5MP Front Camera
- 2,000 mAh battery
- Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
- Stereo Front Facing JBL Speakers
Hardware & Display
Just like the 5.5″ Idol 3, this model does not at all feel like a budget device. It’s thin, easy to hold, and feels very good. While yes, it’s not metal, it doesn’t lose any points for that. The phone is still very slick, but you’re unlikely to drop it since it’s so small. There’s not much to talk about with the hardware, but there’s plenty to talk about with the size. At 4.7″, this is a small phone, and that’s really refreshing. In a world full of huge phablets, it’s nice to see someone offering a decent phone at a small size.
At 4.7″, the display on this phone doesn’t need to be super high resolution, so it isn’t. The 4.7″ 1280×720 IPS panel on this phone is great. While not quite as good as the 5.5″ model, it does retain good viewing angles and it gets quite bright. While not the best display out there, you certainly won’t be dissapointed.
Software & Performance
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 comes with a near-stock Android build out of the box, even though it is just a bit behind with Android 5.0.2. The difference here is that the 4.7″ Idol 3 is running on a Snapdragon 410 processor as opposed to the Snapdragon 615 found in the 5.5″ model, and it’s also down half a GB of RAM with only 1.5GB packed inside. Regardless, performance is relatively solid. It’s not a super fast phone, but it gets the job done. I didn’t see too many performance hiccups under normal usage (a few apps open, social media/messaging in the foreground), and gaming was pretty good on casual games.
One of the biggest highlights of budget phones nowadays is battery life. Since they don’t have high resolution screens, the battery inside doesn’t have as much power being drained. That’s just as true as ever on the Idol 3 4.7″ as this phone will easily power you through a day, if not much more. Typically I’ll get through one full day of use (about 15 hours) with about 35%-45% of my battery remaining. That includes a couple hours of screen on time which is made of social media, a video here or there, and some light casual gaming.
I’m going to keep this section pretty brief. The Idol 3 4.7″ brings a rear mounted 13MP that is good. Is it great? Eh, not really, but considering the price it’s good. There are a few sample images below if you’re interested.
Overall the Idol 3 4.7″ is good, but where it’s great is in the speaker department. I can summarize this in just two words, but I think it’s expressed a bit better in GIF.
The dual, front facing stereo speakers on the Idol 3 4.7″ are amazing. This phone may be small, but it is loud. The audio that comes out is crisp and clear and sounds awesome, and it’s just really, really, loud. There are only so many ways to say it, these speakers are just amazing.
So why did I give this phone the title “Moto G Killer”? Simply put, it has a better display, better speakers, and is still comparable (if not the same) on just about every other level. If you’re choosing between the 2015 Moto G and this, it’s a tough call, but if you’re shopping for a phone and you have $180 to spend, it really comes down to these two. They are both great, but personally, I think the Idol 3 gives the Moto G a run for it’s money.
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 4.7″ is available direct from the manufacturer or from Amazon for $179 unlocked. It’s compatible with GSM carriers only. TL;DR, this is the best competition out there to the Moto G, and it’s better in quite a few ways.