Thank you to Alcatel for sending the products. The honest opinions are my own.
The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 is a lot of phone with a small price. It is very competitively priced at a steep discount from the flagship phones we all know. Coming in at a price under $250 I was interested to see how this budget friendly smartphone compared to its competition.
As I took the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 out of the box, I really liked how it looked, it is a pretty big phone at 5.5” but is surprisingly thin. An often overlooked aspect is how a phone feels in your hand, the Idol 3 fits nicely, it is nicely balanced, but it feels a bit light. The casing of the Idol 3 is all plastic (part of the reason it is so light), but it looks nice. Some of the lower priced phones have a cheap plastic-like feel to them, the Idol 3 looks really good. The plastic backside looks like it is a metal, it actually looks like a brushed aluminum and it has a little texture to the touch.
The Idol 3 sports an Android 5.0 Lollipop Operating System and looks and runs like your typical Android phone. After using the Idol 3 for a couple of days I was very happy with its performance. The Idol 3 does everything well. There were a couple of features which I became really fond of.
- The Idol 3 is the first smartphone (and only that I know of) to be truly reversible. I know that sounds funny, but you can turn the phone upside down and the screen will flip, some phone do this part, but the unique aspect is that you can answer the Idol 3 with either side by your ear. This is thanks to a mic and headset on each end of the phone. This is especially convenient for when the phone rings and you can just pick it up, regardless of what side it top or bottom. I no longer had to pay attention to which end was up when I put the phone in my pocket or placed it on the table. There is technically a top and bottom, you can differentiate with the camera and the buttons on the side, but the reversible function is unique and a nice added bonus.
- I also really like the ability to turn the phone on and lock the phone simply by double tapping the screen. This is a function which is growing in popularity and is handy since the buttons can change spots on you due to the reversibility function. It works about 90% of the time, maybe I don’t always push down hard enough? But it is a welcome function.
- Screen brightness – this is a 5.5” phone and I was very impressed with the brightness. I was able to see the screen very easily even in direct sunlight.
- Dual Front JBL Speakers – this is a nice function, music and video sound is pretty good, not amazing, but definitely above average. The included JBL headset is a nice bonus and the earbuds perform very well.
My time with this budget friendly phone also showed a battery that was pretty good, not great, but good. I am very tough on my phones, and use them a lot between music, email, text and calls. My other Android phone which I use normally has a battery that would last me til about 6 pm until I would need to recharge, with the same usage, the Idol 3 started to give me my low battery warning around 5, so pretty close. I am confident that this would last longer than this for the average user though.
The Idol 3 is a budget friendly phone which performs great for daily use, there are some areas for improvement which some people may notice, but I still need to point out. The Idol 3 has a slower frame rate loading rate, which can lead to some very minor issues when playing games or anything with quickly loading and changing screens. You also notice this when you are swiping back and forth, but again, this is very minor and barely noticeable.
Also, the cameras on the Idol 3 are made up of a 13MP on the back and an 8 MP in the front. These are great high MPs for a smartphone and the picture taking quality of the Idol 3 is above average, although the pictures seem to come in just a tad dark, I have been playing with the settings to try and figure this out, but haven’t come across it yet.
Overall, the Idol 3 has been a very pleasant experience. It is a budget friendly phone, and some may confuse it with an entry level smartphone. I don’t really believe it is entry level, I think this is a great smart phone for someone who is a savvy user who pays attention to the bottom line. You get a lot out of this phone, I am shocked at all that it has to offer at its price of under $250. To top it off, the Idol 3 comes unlocked and works on any GSM carrier – like AT&T and others.
If you are in the market for a phone that can do everything the flagship phones can do, but don’t want to spend the big bucks or be under contract, the Idol 3 is a must for you to check out. You will be happy you did.