Last updated on April 24th, 2021 at 02:41 am
The #BloggerLife’s made me a phone guy, blessed with brand partners inviting me to keep on top of the latest devices! One of these is Alcatel, North America’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer, who recently celebrated the Canadian launch of Alcatel Idol 4!
At $300, the Idol 4‘s for those wanting premium smartphone features without the premium smartphone prices. (Remember the days where you could buy a new iPhone without the four-digit sticker shock???)
The Idol’s come a long way, learning from past mistakes to become a stronger competitor in the smartphone market. We get sharper cameras, faster speeds and features galore with every new phone, but where’s the device for people who just want one that works? I’ve blogged a long time and I can tell you—most people don’t want to dig through dozens of menus to find the feature they want!
So with booming bass, solid design, and a Boom key to enhance how you smartphone, let’s take a good look at the Alcatel Idol 4!
If a phone isn’t tough enough, it won’t stand a chance against me. On any given day, I’ll:
- Have tunes on heavy rotation through Apple Music (because no one can ever have too much “24K Magic”)
- Play the Candy Crush Saga to keep my spot in the top 6 of my 1800+ Facebook friends
- Play the Candy Crush Soda Saga when levels get too frustrating in the regular Saga
- Raid away with my Town Hall Level 9 in Clash of Clans—that is, when we’re not knee-deep in war
- Try my hand at Clash Royale, but often feel like throwing my phone across the room when suckered by a sweet attack
- Catch a few local Pokémon in Pokémon Go
- Take countless photos of my kids, blogger swag, events, lunch, city life at its finest…
- Edit said photos in Snapseed, because few photo editors can touch it
- Keep in touch with my peoples via SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts
- Check-in to as many places as possible on Swarm
- Keep on top of my social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Keep my Snapchat streaks alive
- Sometimes even take a call or two!
I treat my phones like miniature computers, pushing them to their limits to see just how much they can take!
But full disclosure—I’m reviewing the Lenovo Moto Z right now, too, so with a current-generation premium smartphone already in my pocket, I might not represent the target market for the Idol 4. But don’t underestimate the Idol 4—with plenty of unique features, it’d be foolish to not give it a fair test spin.
And test it I did.
The Alcatel Idol 4 || The Design.
For the Idol 4, Alcatel combined an all-glass body with a full metal frame, and a 5.2″ full HD screen’s for brilliance even under direct sunlight!
As with previous Idol versions, it’s no tank—my son managed to drop it and it scuffed a bit on its corner. So if you’re rocking one, get a case—it’ll easily take battle damage.
The Alcatel Idol 4 || The Camera.
With a 13 MP camera on its rear and a wide-angle 8 MP camera on its front, the Idol 4’s looking to build legitimacy in what its lenses can capture.
It promises a lot:
- manual, panoramic and HDR modes;
- both a front-facing flash and a dual-tone rear flash; and
- other tricks keeping it relevant for those wanting bigger, better and brighter
I couldn’t get the “interactive 360° photos” or the instant video streaming to work, but I played with the Idol 4’s camera enough to get a feel for it. It’s a tad grainier than what I get with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the LG G4, but doesn’t take bad pictures if you have enough light.
You can see some example shots below:
Its Micro-Video mode also has a near little trick—if you press the Boom key after recording a clip, you can jazz it up with some special effects! It takes practice to get the timing down right, but you can see a bit of the ridiculous my family and I got up to below:
The Alcatel Idol 4 || The Sound.
If dual 3.6-watt multidirectional speakers aren’t enough, the Idol 4’s Waves MaxxAudio interface gives you the most from your music with more customizability than most smartphones. OneTouch Music’s mixer is also nifty, letting you play DJ with the music on your phone, but doesn’t do much if you stream music like me.
Also, for fossils like me (please refer to my post on turning 33), the 3.5″ headphone jack and built-in FM radio let me get tunes when data isn’t an option.
Funny enough, Alcatel buried my favourite feature in a sub-menu—the Samplebox, a beat machine for the budding DJ at work! It has an Experimental Hip-Hop preset by default, but the free downloads offer others from crunk to trap and even Christmas. With a beat machine in such a small package, I can see myself goofing off with the Idol 4 for a good while.
The Alcatel Idol 4 || The Boom Key.
Though my anal retentiveness won’t let me write “boom-ify” in good conscience, the Boom key’s has us rethink how we interact with our phones!
Alcatel starts with some options on how you’d like to use the Boom key. Aside from being an easy way to turn your screen on, you can simply set it to open your favourite application or take a screenshot.
But if you do want to see how Alcatel wants to augment your experience, take a look at the list of Boom effects below:
- Boom my camera: Takes photos on standby mode; pressing and holding the button puts the camera into burst mode.
- Boom my gallery: Randomly shuffles gallery photos for instant sharing as a photo collage or a short slideshow.
- Boom my videos: Generates special effects in existing videos. When a user is recording a video, pressing the Boom Key will immediately broadcast the video live1.
- Boom my view: Creates a more intense 3D effect (parallax UI effect) for the launcher and a stunning live weather display as part of the home screen.
Alcatel put work into a smartphone offering a budget price without a budget feel—because smartphones don’t pay the bills! (I mean, unless they do, in which case you probably have a completely different view on this post—but hey; them’s the breaks!)
The Alcatel Idol 4 || The Budget Smartphone Without the Budget Feel.
It might not be the shiniest or fastest phone on the market, but with the Samplebox alone, the Idol 4’s gonna be a phone I definitely keep around for fun! (And that’s from someone who has access to both Adobe Audition CC and Adobe Logic Pro, two audio applications costing hundreds of dollars ????)
So if you’re looking for a 4K display, waterproof body, or any of the features from the brands looking to lead the pack in 2016, the Idol 4 is not for you. But if you want a phone that does things a little differently—one you can genuinely have fun with… give the Alcatel Idol 4 a try!
If anything, maybe you can make me some hot beats with that Samplebox so I can drop some flows, right?
Until the next,
1 Couldn’t actually get this feature to work, but interested in someone proving me wrong!
Disclaimer: Alcatel provided a complimentary Idol 4 for review so I could write this post. You can buy your own for $300 outright, or on subsidy for $150 with a one-year contract, or $0 with a 2-year.
95 replies on “Alcatel Idol 4 Review”
i got this phone for my m.i.l. and then she lost it. siiiigh
I look for a phone that has the most up to date features.
I look for long battery life and a nice camera. My 12 year old has been begging for a phone and this one sounds like it may be just what he needs to start out with.
I look for feature in a smart phone.
Processor speed is a biggie for me , im impatient lol
I look for a slim design.
I like a long battery life, lots of memory space for apps.
I like a phone to have camera and a long battery life.
I need a phone with a long battery life and a good camera!
I look for battery life, the design, and durability!
I look for a great camera!
Long battery life is a must! I don’t like bulky phones either!
I look for slim,with a long battery life.
When looking for a smartphone I want a long battery life, a great camera, with good quality sound and durability.I want it to have lots of easy to use features with advanced technology.
I look for a phone that is quick to startup and fast processor…
A good camera and decent battery life!
A good volume to it,and camera
I look for easy use, good price, nice camera, lots of memory, good screen and long battery life.
I Look for the Picture Camera feature and great battery life =)
I look for something smaller and lightweight in a smartphone.
Great camera quality is important because I take so many pictures of my kids
I look for a good camera and long lasting battery.
I look for battery life and a good quality camera.
When buying a new smartphone, the features I look for are a long lasting battery, amazing camera (LOVE taking pictures) and durability!
I am looking for a phone that will allow me to text and send pictures. I great camera would be awesome, and to be able to send from the phone directly
I look for a decent camera, speed and memory
A front and rear camera and the ability to provide instant access
for me it may be sad but I look for a good camera, I love to take pictures and well I always have my phone so that’s kinda a must for me
I look for speed and a long battery life!
I look for a phone that is easy to use, good battery life and one that fits into the budget.
I always look for a good battery, syncing ability and ease of use when I buy a new phone.
What I look for in a smartphone is durability.
I look for a phone with a great camera, easy to use and I brand that I trust, and if it is free when signing a contract
It would be terrific to win an Alcatel Idol 4 smartphone.
In response to your question of
When buying a new smartphone, what features do you look for?
I look for Durability, Storage Space, Battery Life and a Quality Camera.
Thank you for having this giveaway.
I need a phone thats easy to use
The most important feature for me is a good camera.
lots of storage and a good mp3 player software
Size is important, I want something small, portable and lightweight, with really good battery life and an amazing camera.
A good camera is nice. and one with durability.
A long battery life and Gb space to hold lots of apps.
I like a big screen, and a keyboard that’s easy to use.
A keyboard that’s easy to use.
I look for speed, battery life, and space.
one that charges fast and whose battery lasts more than one day
I look to be able to send texts with ease and a great camera for family pictures
I like the features of a good battery life, big screen and great camera.
Needs to be EASY to use – thanks.
I look for a phone with a long battery life and a good camera.
I want a dual SIM card phone, for traveling. Also a decent camera for quick shots.
I look for a secure phone
I look for ease of use!
Battery life is one of the most important issues I look for in a phone.
I look for a phone that is user friendly and equipped with a good camera.
I look for a big bright screen.
I look for slim,with a long battery life.
Hey Casey P, I look for a stellar camera, easy to navigate features and the largest font possible because I’m not getting any younger!! 🙂
I look for specs close to the flagship phones but at less than half the price.
I like a fast processor and a good camera.
I look for good battery life, great camera and nice design.
looking for long battery life and a good camera
Long battery life and a great camera is what i look for in a smart phone 🙂
Most importantly, long battery life. A great cam is a bonus!
I look for what features the phone has
I look for long Battery life and a good camera.
I look for a long battery life and a good camera.
I like a good camera, long battery life, and good touch screen
I look for a large screen
The biggest thing I look for in a phone is, is it tough enough to stand up to a young child
Because the young child’s the primary user, or because children are generally harbingers of doom for any piece of technology?
I look for a good battery and a great camera.
I look for long life battery and up to date features. Also lots of photo storage and easy to use and understand.
I want a long lasting battery. I also like it to be light weight and compact.
I like a good camera.
I think this would be a good intro phone for my teen daughter. She wants a phone that she can keep up with her friends with on apps like Snapchat & Twitter. Oh & she needs a good camera as well! Thanks for the chance to win!
I like to have a good battery and a decent camera!
I look for long battery life.
I’d like to have a smartphone with a lot of storage space and a battery that charges fast.
I dont have a smartphone because PRICE is my biggest consideration BUT if it wasn’t. .Battery life & Storage would be!
I look for long battery life
For myself it has to have a great camera and even better battery life!
I look for battery life,
I look for long battery life and a great camera.
I have been using the same BB 9900 for the last 6 years because I loved the keyboard, but now my OS is outdated. My next phone will have an android OS and a better camera. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway, good luck everyone!
I look for processor speed, battery life, and good cameras.
I look for clear calls and easy texting.
A great camera
I look for easibility!
Easy to use and a long battery life
easy to use, reliable, long battery life. thanks
I look for a phone with a really good camera.
I am all about a phone with a great camera and good battery life! This is so important when I attend events and travel. Those picture perfect moments are like gold to me! Great post. 🙂
LONG battery life & a large screen.
It must have good battery life
I look for a phone with a good camera.