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::>Smartphones > 2014 > 09 > ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

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Republish review

05-09-2014


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ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA smartphone: review and testing

Chinese company TCL Communication which owns the brand ALCATEL ONETOUCH, continues to conquer the world market of mobile devices, bringing new and quite interesting smartphones and other smart-products that have not only relevant technical specifications, but also boast a pretty interesting look. A prime example is recently tested models ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL X+ and ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL MINI which left a lot of positive impressions.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

This time for testing we have smartphone ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA with a quality 4.7-inch HD IPS-display, quite productive 4-core processor MediaTek MT6589 and 13 megapixel module of the main camera. But we suggest to begin with a review of the technical characteristics of new item:

Producer

TCL Communication

Model

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, monoblock

Communication standard

2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (UMTS)

900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 Кb/s), EDGE (236 Кb/s), HSDPA+ (up to 42 Мb/s), HSUPA (up to 5,76 Мb/s)

Type of SIM-card

Micro-SIM

CPU

MediaTek MT6589: 4-core ARM Cortex-A7, up to 1,2 GHz, L2 cache- 1 МB

Graphics adapter

IT PowerVR SGX544MP, up to 286 MHz

Display

IPS, 4,7", 1280 x 720 p (312 ppi), touch, multi-touch up to 5 touches, protective glass

RAM

1 GB

Permanent memory

16 GB

Card-reader

-

Interfaces

1 x micro-USB

1 x Micro-SIM

Multimedia

Speaker system

Mono

Microphone

Stereo

FM-radio

+

Other

wide-range sound (HD Voice)

Camera

Main

13 Мp, autofocus, electronic regulation, HDR, face and smile detection, LED-flash, video recording in format 1080p (30 FPS)

Front

1,3 Мp, video recording in format 720p

Communication

Wi-Fi

802.11 b/g/n (Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Display)

Bluetooth

4.0 (A2DP)

GPS/A-GPS

+/+

NFC

IrLED

DLNA

+

Sensors

Proximity sensor, illumination sensor, LED-indicator, G-sensor

Battery

Lithium-ion cell: 2200 mАh

Charging device

Input: 100~240V AC at 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC 1 А

Dimensions

138 x 66,6 x 7, 5 mm

Weight

117 g

Color

Black

OS

Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean+ proprietary shell

Warranty

12 month

Website

TCL Communication

Set of delivery

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

The novelty is in a very unusual and quite original packaging, which is made of anodized aluminum in the form of tube. The name of brand and model are applied by print. The smartphone and supplied items are securely placed in a cylindrical plastic box, which is protected by a soft black velor. Thus, the package of ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA combines original design and good protection properties of the product.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

The set includes the following accessories:

  • user's Guide
  • warranty card;
  • charger 1W (5V, 1A);
  • cable micro-USB↔USB;
  • adapter micro-USB↔mini-jack 3,5 mm;
  • clip for tray of SIM-card;
  • headset with headphones of vacuum design.

Design and elements layout

Recently, the manufacturers of smartphone stopped to amaze customers by really interesting and unusual design innovations, trying to draw attention to their devices by improving the performance and the software component. Basically, we have classic monoblocks of rectangular shape with sharp or rounded ends. But we cannot say the same about the hero of this review.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA is an interesting design solution with an attractive and memorable look. This is possible through the use of unusual transparent elements with integrated lighting and an aluminum frame with diamond-machining edges. Smartphone looks pretty good and expensive, especially in the golden option (beige, according to the terminology of the manufacturer), where the back cover and polished frame have corresponding color. For testing we have gray-blue model (black, according to the manufacturer's terminology).

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

The metal frame that surrounds a smartphone over the entire contour consists of two parts. Metal is treated with very high quality: during testing any chips or abrasion spots have not appeared. The device is assembled pretty good, but, unfortunately, is not ideal.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

So, between the main plastic case and aluminum frame we could notice minor gaps which may eventually become covered with dust. The rest have no complaints. Case is characterized by excellent stiffness. There is no backlash or scratches in case of moderate torsional and glass is not pressed.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

The front side is made in dark colors and almost completely covered with protective glass (the name is not reported), which is protected by the seal placed next to the aluminum frame. It is lifted a little above the screen to protect it when placing the smartphone on the table by display down. Frames around the display are quite thin. Any logos are missing which is typical for this manufacturer. At the top you can see a transparent plastic insert, which has a white backlight and is used an indicator. It can be controlled or completely shut down, using the settings "Lighting". Above the display there are: front camera, speaker grill, proximity/light sensors.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

Below there is a main microphone and three touch-sensitive buttons that are mirrored on the “stock” Android-design: "Back", "Home" (hold for Google Now) and the "Menu" (hold for "Manager of applications"). The buttons are located below the display and their designations are located on the bottom transparent insert.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

On the right side is the volume rocker and power/lock button, which have a short travel. On the left side is a tray SIM-card of format Micro-SIM and micro-USB port. The upper and lower ends are empty. "And where is the universal audio jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm)"? It is absent. To connect the headset you need to use an adapter micro-USB↔mini-jack 3,5 mm. This solution is not very practical, especially if the adapter is broken or lost. Alternatively, you could equip a complete headset by jack micro-USB. Note that even an ultra-thin (6.18 mm) Huawei Ascend P6 has a place for mini-jack 3,5 mm.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

The rear side one-piece is made of matte plastic gray-blue color with a "spark" nicely shimmering depending on the lighting conditions. Plastic easily is not soiled and is quite pleasant to the touch. On top there are: one-section LED-flash (flashlight is present); hole of main camera; optional microphone. Below is the logo «ALCATEL ONETOUCH» (the first part of which is coated with paint, and the second is represented by a chrome insert). At the bottom are a large information sticker and wide perforated area of multimedia speaker with small bounds around the edges.

Overall ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA is characterized by a rather fresh and interesting look, which leaves a pleasant impression. And thanks to the modest size (138 x 66,6 mm) and small thickness (7.5 mm) smartphone fits comfortably in the average sized hand. However, due to the thinness of it is not so easy to pick up from the table. A distinctive feature of novelty is its pretty light weight (117 g), the effect of which is further enhanced by transparent elements. As a result the smartphone seems as weightless.

Display

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA is equipped with 4.7-inch touchscreen IPS-display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Pixel density in this case is 312 ppi, which is quite high. The resulting picture is characterized by good detailing, but with a strong desire, you can see the individual pixels that are in real conditions are completely invisible.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

Color rendition is pretty good, though subjectively it seems that some colors are saturated. In this case, the white balance looks right, and the contrast is high. Display is protected by tempered glass with a good anti-reflective and quite simple oleophobic (grease repellent) coating (fingerprints appear quickly, but are easy removed by microfiber cloth). Finger slide across the display is quite easy and enjoyable.

The screen brightness can be adjusted manually or use automatic adjustment. Maximum brightness is not enough in the sunny day, so the image fades little bit. But the minimum level of brightness is quite comfortable to work in the dark. Proximity sensor locks the screen when bringing the smartphone to ear.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL ALPHA

Multi-touch technology provides up to 5 simultaneous touches. It has a pretty good sensitivity, but does not respond to clicking in gloves. Sometimes there are faulty operations or performance of procedures needs to be pressed one more time. This occurs rarely, and is probably if the feature of the test sample. Note that the novelty has no setting of color temperature, which we met in the flagship model модели ALCATEL ONETOUCH IDOL X+.

In general, there is a quite high-quality IPS-display with excellent viewing angles and good color reproduction, but a few individual oversaturated colors.


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