There was a time when the lesser-known brands would be looking at
offering low-cost offerings to capture the price sensitive customers.
Though some brands (read the Intex and Karbonns of the world) are still
running after the same target group, there are also some brands that are
looking at bringing in premium looking smartphones, which have a slight
edge over their rivals.
The latest to join this bandwagon is TCL
Communications (the company that makes and markets Alcatel One Touch
mobiles) with its Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra smartphone.
smartphone measures a mere 6.45 mm thick and is being touted as "the
slimmest smartphone in its category. Let's find out how this smartphone
performs on the other parameters.
notable thing about Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra is its design. The
smartphone is very thin and lightweight, which makes it easy to grip and
slide into the pocket. The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra comes with a
rubberised back finish, which adds to its overall look and feel.
of the front is taken up by the 4.7-inch display. It also has
well-rounded borders. As per the company, this smartphone comes with
Oleophobic Coating, which helps keeping the finger prints at bay.
However, it is not as effective as we had hoped.
Touch Idol Ultra is a unibody smartphone, which means that one cannot
access the battery of the smartphone. The SIM slot is situated on the
right panel of the smartphone. You need to have a micro-SIM for the
Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra and inserting the SIM in this slim device
is not a child's play. We tried a couple of times before finally
managing to secure the SIM perfectly in its place.
standby button is situated at the top left of the smartphone. Most
smartphones that have the power button on the top house it on the top
right. and hence one has to get used to this placement. On the top right
is a USB/ charging slot, which is elegantly covered by a flap.
of the major disappointments in terms of design of this smartphone
comes from the fact that it has no 3.5mm jack. The company has bundled
in a USB to 3.5mm jack in the pack but it is a little inconvenient to
carry the small jack at all times.
We have seen that most slim
smartphones come with a protruding camera lens. Though Alcatel One Touch
Idol Ultra is no exception in this regards but its camera lens is not
as protruding as the other recent smartphones.
One Touch Idol Ultra sports a 4.7-inch 720x1280 pixels AMOLED screen
with 16 million colours. The smartphone packs-in 312 pixels per inch.
The text looks crisp on this smartphone however the colours appear to be
saturated. For example, in the popular game Temple Run 2 the golden and
green colours look overly bright and very unreal.
and videos look very artificial on the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra. The
touch response of the smartphone is acceptable.
The display is not very reflective and under sun visibility is great. The viewing angles on the phone are decent.
One Touch Idol Ultra runs on Android 4.1.1. The smartphone has been
lightly skinned by Alcatel. The traditional ring shaped lock screen has
been replaced by four rectangular tiles. On the lock screen you have the
choice of going to the home screen, launch the message inbox, start the
camera or head to the calling application. For launching any of these
functions, you need to pull the corresponding tile downwards. The
company has opted for a sharp blue colour for its menu.
One Touch Idol Ultra comes with three capacitive buttons - Back, Home
and Menu. The Menu button also doubles up as an app switcher on long
press, while long pressing Home button launches the Google Now.
The smartphone can have a maximum of five home screens that you can fill with widgets and apps.
One Touch Idol Ultra comes pre-installed with plenty of apps such as
Avast Anti-Virus, Barcode scanner, Evernote, OfficeSuite, Shazam, Skype,
Shark Dash (a game), Facebook, Twitter and Weather.
also has a tie up with Idea Cellular for data bundling and hence apps
such Idea Fresh, IdeaTV and IdeaMail are also pre-loaded on this
Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra features an
8-megapixel auto-focus camera with features like Face detection and
Smile detection. You can click the pictures by pressing either of the
volume keys or by using the click button on the screen. The camera is
able to take decent images during daylight. The colours look slightly
brighter than the actual objects. However, the images clicked indoors
have a lot of noise.
You can also capture unlimited pictures in
the burst mode. For doing the same, all you need to is keep pressing the
trigger and release it when you are done. The rear camera can also
capture 720p videos, which are nothing to rave about.
clicked with the 1.3-megapixel front camera are very grainy. The camera
user interface is like that most stock Android smartphones. Overall, on
the camera front, this smartphone leaves a lot to be desired.
that Alcatel is asking for over Rs. 20,000 for this smartphone, you
really expect the smartphone to perform well without lags and jerks.
Thankfully, the smartphones does not let you down on this front.
One Touch Idol Ultra is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core processor along
with 1GB of RAM. One is easily able to launch applications on the
smartphone and play popular games such as Fruit Ninja, Temple Run and
Angry Birds without any hiccups.
The smartphone comes with 16GB
of internal storage, of which 13.3 GB is user accessible. However, one
cannot expand the storage any further and that might be bummer for some
This smartphone can natively play popular video files such
as AVI and MKV without any glitch, but it was unable to play 1080p video
files. The audio quality of the smartphone is good both through
speakers and headphones.
This smartphone comes with the native Android browser along with Chrome. The web pages render well on both these browsers.
phone comes with a 1,800mAh battery, and based on our experience, it
will just about last you a full day. We charged the smartphone first
thing in the morning and with medium to heavy usage, including 1-1.5
hours of phone calls, one Gmail account with push notifications, screen
at maximum brightness, Twitter and Facebook notifications and WhatsApp
chats, the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra lasted good 11-12 hours. It's
also worth pointing out that we had turned on Wi-Fi and switched off
auto-brightness. Altering these settings might help in running the phone
for a longer duration, depending on your usage pattern.
One Touch Idol Ultra is a nice looking smartphone, which has almost all
the design elements that most premium smartphone offer. The overall
build quality of the smartphone is good. However, the display is not
really what you would expect from a top line smartphone. The primary
colours look brighter than usual.
On the plus side, the smartphone delivers a good battery backup.
people looking for alternatives should perhaps look at Samsung Galaxy
Grand Duos (Review | Pictures) and Xolo X1000 (Review | Pictures).
comparison to Alcatel's offering, Galaxy Grand Duos seems pretty thick
and at 162 grams feels quite bulky. However, it has a slightly large
5-inch screen and it offers dual-SIM capability. The display of Samsung
Galaxy Grand Duos is not the best in league but the camera performance
is much better than Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra. Galaxy Grand Duos also
packs in a larger 2,100mAh battery.
At the same price point,
Xolo is also offering its Xolo X1000, which comes with a 2GHz processor.
This smartphone too has great looks and a zippy performance but it is
running on the dated Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Price: Rs. 21,000
- Slim design and good build quality
- Good battery back-up
- Colours look saturated
- Camera performance sub-par
- No 3.5mm jack
Ratings (Out of 5)
Battery Life: 3.5
Value for Money: 2.5