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Alcatel Idol 4S and 4 hands-on review | MWC 2016

Hands-on review of Alcatel’s Idol 4S and 4 phones at Mobile World Congress. Both of Alcatel’s new mid-range Android phones promise premium polish and power. 

Both of Alcatel’s Idol 4 phones feature polished glass front and back covers which are bordered with a thin metal trim, Samsung Galaxy S6-style

Both devices also come with two JBL speakers which promise decent (read: not tinny) audio playback, thanks to something else which Alcatel’s calling the Boom Key. 

This multi-function key, which looks a lot like the power button seen on Sony’s phones, will let you optimise the sound across all media, thanks in part to some clever software engineering courtesy of audio wizards Waves. Sadly, this is something which we sadly wouldn’t have been able to appreciate at Alcatel’s noisy Mobile World Congress stand. 

Alcatel’s Boom Key also acts as shutter for the camera; pressing once takes one still while holding it down takes a burst of shots. 
Aside from those shared features and design, the main differences between the Alcatel Idol 4S and 4 is size. The Idol 4S features a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2,560×1,440) AMOLED while the Idol 4 rocks a 5.2-inch 1080p Full HD (1920×1080) display. 

The Alcatel Idol 4S also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor while the Idol 4 features a slightly slower Snapdragon 617. While we don’t have information on the radios included in these phones, both of these chips support the same top 4G download speeds, suggesting a comparable browsing experience. 

Hopefully by the time these hit the shelves Alcatel will have worked to improve the 16-megapixel camera of the Idol 4S; as you can see in our hands on video it’s slow to take pictures and the phone’s visibly struggling. That said, this could be entirely down to the fact that the poor phone’s been baking under the hot Mobile World Congress stand lights for the past couple of days, fingered and fondled by a thousand hungry journalists. And experience you’re unlikely to replicate in any day to day scenario. 

We’ll bring you full price and availability information as and when we get it. 


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