Hands on: Alcatel One Touch Idol review

The world's lightest smartphone… apparently

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The One Touch Idol doesn't blow us away, nor does it completely disappoint - it's a middle of the road smartphone which will struggle to stand out in the crowded mobile market, even with its array of nine colour options.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 16 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Decent screen
  • Jelly Bean
  • Lightweight


  • Feels cheap
  • Slow at times
  • Little storage

The Alcatel One Touch Idol is one of a trio of new smartphones from the once-French firm which are pushing towards the top end of the mobile market.

A less powerful understudy to the One Touch Idol Ultra, the Idol slides in with a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 8MP camera and Android Jelly Bean.

This is all squeezed into a slender 7.9mm chassis and Alcatel is claiming the One Touch Idol is the lightest smartphone in the world in its category, tipping the scales at 110g.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

We're not too sure what category Alcatel is referring to, but we can confirm that the handset does feel very light – shocker.

It also feels pretty cheap thanks to the low quality plastic which has been used to keep the weight down, and that detracts from the experience. It's like having a toy in your hand.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

On the right side there's a volume rocker switch and a microSIM port, while on the flip side there's a slot for a microSD card to build on the lack lustre 4GB inside the One Touch Idol.

Up top you'll find a headphone jack and the power/lock key which required quite a bit of pressure to register our prod, meaning we had to grip the One Touch Idol tightly to stop it popping out of our hand.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

Android 4.1.1 looks good on the 4.7-inch, 540 x 900 display and while it's not HD it is bright and colourful - although Alcatel has tweaked the icons to its own design which we're not big fans of.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to offer a fluid or laggy user experience with Android running smoothly most of the time, but broken up by short periods of unexplained slow down - making it all a bit jarring.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

Thankfully Alcatel hasn't stuck its own keyboard on the One Touch Idol, opting to stick with the default Android offering. It's a decent input method, especially with the responsive touchscreen on the phone.

Round the back of the Idol you'll find the raised 8MP camera with single LED flash which will allow you to record full HD video.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

The One Touch Idol sports the stock Android Jelly Bean camera app complete with panorama and photo sphere modes, allowing you to have some fun.

Shutter speed is good and we were able to snap photos in quick succession without issue. Image quality is acceptable, but the results won't blow you away.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

There's a non-removable 1,820mAh battery inside the One Touch Idol which should offer a reasonable amount of life, but we reckon heavy users will still be reaching for the charger before the day is out – we'll find out in our full review.

Alcatel was not forthcoming on the One Touch Idol release date or price, but we were told that it would be available worldwide when it does finally launch sometime this year.

Alcatel One Touch Idol review

Early Verdict

It's difficult to tell how much exposure the Alcatel One Touch Idol will get in various regions and it could well fall under many people's radar.

The One Touch Idol doesn't blow us away, nor does it completely disappoint - it's a middle of the road smartphone which will struggle to stand out in the crowded mobile market, even with its array of nine colour options.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyIdol Ultra
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameALCATEL onetouch
Battery Talk Time16 Hour
Screen Size11.9 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)115 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerMediaTek
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density316 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.3 Megapixel
Height134.4 mm
Width68.5 mm
Depth6.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time400 Hour
Product NameIdol Ultra Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Product LineIdol Ultra
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part Number6030D-2BALDE1
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.tclcom.com
Package Contents
  • Idol Ultra Smartphone
  • Slim Charger Head
  • Micro USB Cable
  • In-Ear Stereo Headset
  • Micro USB to 3.5 Jack Adaptor
  • Quick Guide