Alcatel unveils Idol 4

Alex Kidman 21 February 2016


Alcatel’s latest handset unveiled at Mobile World Congress expands on the concepts introduced in the Idol 3.

At Mobile World Congress, Alcatel has launched its latest premium handset, the Alcatel Idol 4. Alcatel general market has always been in the more affordable spaces in the market, with the Idol range representing the top of its particular premium tier. (Alcatel has rebranded its phone range from Alcatel OneTouch.)

In Australia, the Idol 4’s predecessor, the Idol 3, is an exclusive to Dodo. We reviewed the Idol 3 recently; you can read that review here.

The Idol 4’s local pricing and availability hasn’t been announced as yet, but Alcatel has announced the key features it hopes will make the handset a solid proposition for those unwilling to spend the $1,000+ price points of the most premium handsets.


The Idol 4 will come in two variants; the basic Idol 4 itself, and the Idol 4S, which comes with a larger display screen. Like the Idol 3, the Idol 4 series sells itself on being "reversible", with no fixed buttons and the ability to display screen icons whether or not the phone is technically upside down.

Alcatel’s promise with the Idol 4 is that this reversible nature now extends to the speakers. The inbuilt 3.6 Watt speakers are JBL-produced, with JBL headphones in the box. Alcatel is also offering a contextually sensitive button option which it’s dubbing the "Boom" key, which can be used to provide preset sound equalisation, as a photo capture key from standby or to drop the handset into a virtual 3D mode.

The Idol 4S is the Idol 4's bigger brother, with a more powerful processor and larger battery. At a specification level the Idol 4S might appear to have a worse front camera, but Alcatel's using an "ultrapixel" camera there, similar to the pitch that HTC had with its HTC One handsets for better visual clarity in low light, which could in theory lead to more palatable selfies.

Speaking of things in 3D, in "selected markets", the Idol 4 will ship in a box that converts into a VR headset with a very similar look to that of the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headset, although it’s not clear if we’ll see that particular option in Australia when the Idol 4 launches. We'll update as soon as we've had a chance to have some proper hands-on time with the new handsets.

Here are the core specifications for the Idol 4 and Idol 4S with comparison to the existing Idol 3 handset.

AlcatelIdol 3Idol 4Idol 4S
Screen size5.5in5.2in5.5in
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 615Qualcomm Snapdragon 617Qualcomm Snapdragon 652
Rear camera13MP13MP16MP
Front camera8MP8MP4MP
Resolution1920 x 10801920 x 10802560×1440
Display density401ppi423ppi534ppi

Check out all of our coverage from Mobile World Congress 2016.

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