Saturday, July 4, 2015

Product Review: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (with sample photos)

I am a fandroid, and that's a fact. But that doesn't mean that I'd be impressed by any android smart phone. Of course, I would still go for the price, specifications and performance, surfing speed included. As a consumer, I have improved my buying habit through the years. Although this particular brand I'm going to be reviewing now is something that I didn't purchase myself. I just had the opportunity to receive this unit from Alcatel for review. I received a prototype of Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and it didn't come with the usual packaging as how it's sold in the market so no unboxing will take place right now.


Nothing from its plastic casing is obsessive about except the back cover's finish, which is matte. I have fondness of gadgets that have matte finish only for two things - they don't catch fingerprints and are grip-friendly. Seeing a lot of fingerprints in a phone is one of my pet-peeves because it makes a unit so cruddy. It's 7.4mm thin and it is lined with faux metal around it that gives the user a good clutch.

The first microphone and headphone jack are situated on the top while the power button can be found on the left-hand side of the phone and below it is the tray for both sim card and micro SD card. Across are the volume buttons.

The second microphone on the bottom gives this model from Alcatel the reversible feature that allows you to speak on the phone with the top side down. If some smart phone users struggle with telling which side should they speak on because of the usual symmetrical designs that confuse them which side is up, Idol 3 defeats that minor dilemma as it is again, reversible.


Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 comes in two variants. The larger variant has a 5.5-Inch Full HD IPS display while the smaller one (which is the one I got) has a 4.7-Inch 720p display. It's running on Android Lollipop and comes with other pre-loaded applications like Facebook, Facetune Lite, Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote, Deezer, Viber, Youtube, among others. 


You can easily access the setting by swiping down your fingers from the top if you want to go directly to the settings. Android Lollipop allows multiple accounts so you can just tap the user profile photo to switch to another account. Its sensory motion feature is relatively sensitive.  


I learned that Alcatel teamed up with JBL to offer similar superb sound quality experience as HTC's The One. Both of Idol 3's speakers are facing front. To be honest, the first feature that caught my attention was the sound quality and NOT its design. Turning it on for the first time and experiencing the brilliance of the sound was a feeling that I can replicate with when Supercell gives me free gems in Clash of Clans. That's exactly the feeling. That's a person gets when he/she expects the least from something, in my case, from Alcatel. I was like "Whoaw! Where did the sound come from?"


Idol 3's battery life can be sustained up to 72 hours in standby mode but would only last 8-10 hours in adamant usage such as checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter back and forth, continuous online gaming (like Clash of Clans) and watching Youtube videos. Charging period is approximately 2 hours and a half before it gets fully charged. 


Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3's 13 megapixel camera can produce photos most point and shoot cameras' can. Its clarity and sharpness is something you might want to rave about. I just notice that shooting outdoors especially at noon gives the camera a variation when it comes to color quality. When capturing slightly facing the sun, it would give you a little dim photos. Unlike when you are capturing away from the direction of the sun, the photos are brighter. I guess, photography geeks have a better explanation than what I have here. 

Photo taken at 12 noon.
Photo taken at noon from a house's window.
Front camera sample (Indoor - Natural lighting)
Now, who would complain about the 8MP front-camera? I guess, this is created to produce more better selfies with the right lighting. It doesn't even have a text mode feature but it was able to legibly capture a decent photo with lots of texts in it. 

Notice the quality of the cactus photo below. You'll get this exact quality that blurs the rear subject if you tap the screen twice to auto-focus the main subject.
Back camera (Outdoor - Natural lighting)
Idol 3's camera has several modes you can choose from:
  • Auto mode
  • HDR
  • Pano
  • Manual mode
  • Time-lapse
  • Scanner
  • Face Beauty
Back camera (Outdoor - Natural lighting)
You can shoot videos with good quality at 1080p too. How awesome could that be? I am also contemplating vlogging using this phone. I have yet to know if the quality remains the same after several transportation process from one device to another though.


For less than $300, this sweet baby right here is offering a lot at a fraction of the most major's mobile flagships' worth. It didn't beat major forerunners but Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3's deserves a red carpet for surprising majority of the market. 

The OS was quite sluggish and it already shut me off thrice while watching Youtube videos. Plus the fact that it only comes in dark grey and no blue, white, black or hot pink units will be available as of this writing. 

But hey! It's like looking for a dupe for MAC lippies, I have found a dupe for mobile device's leading brands. We are talking about less than $300 here for all the strengths aforementioned. I can live with a few imperfections with this price, what do you say?

Disclaimer: This unit was sent to me for review. My opinions are my own and purely based on my experience using the product.

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