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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

A mid-price, high spec smartphone

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review
Slim and featured packed

Our Verdict

The Idol X gives a surprisingly strong showing from a firm not known for its high-end smartphones. While it doesn't match the high flying Samsung, LG and HTC handsets, this is a solid Android smartphone.


  • Super slim design
  • Decent camera
  • Good HD display
  • Snappy processor


  • No expandable storage
  • No 4G or NFC
  • No update from Android 4.2
  • Lack of app draw

On paper the Alcatel One Touch Idol X looks amazing value for money, but in reality can it hold its ground when compared to its rivals? Will it party with the stars or is it more likely to fall into the pile of devices which fail to hit the mark? We've put the Idol X through its paces to find out.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X manages to pack a lot of features into a slender body. In terms of screen size it's comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S4, is slightly larger than the HTC One, but smaller than the LG G2.

The Idol X also includes an impressive 13.1MP camera, and you should be able to pick up the One Touch Idol X for under £300 (around $350, AU$280), which makes it cheaper than its direct rivals at Samsung, LG and HTC.

For your money the Alcatel One Touch Idol X comes with: Android 4.2 - unfortunately not stock as there is a slight UI tweak from Alcatel, a 5-inch full HD screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera and a 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 2BG RAM.

Measuring in at a svelte 140.4 x 67.5 x 6.9mm, the Idol X is the easiest 5-inch screen device to hold with one hand currently on the market, and at 120g it's one of the lightest too.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

There is no micro SD card slot on the dual-SIM version of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X, so you're limited to the 16GB of internal storage, and after all the vital hardware is installed on the device; out of the box you will only be able to access 12.7GB.

If you manage to find the single-SIM variant then you do get a microSD slot, but you'll have to make do with just 8GB of internal storage, of while just 5.5GB is actually available.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Although for some users this will be enough space, the majority of perspective customers may find this amount of storage too small, and in our opinion this is a big deal as there are not any other storage size options for the handset.

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X is extremely thin and light, and boasts a zero bezel feature which is not quite zero as quoted but it's still rather slender.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The Idol X has a titanium frame, which extends to form the band around the device. The band has a brushed metal appearance and runs as a single piece around the edge with the exception of the SIM card slots, volume controls, sleep wake button, headphone port and microUSB connection.

The headphone socket is located on the top left of the device and the Sleep/Wake/Power button is on the top right and can be quite fiddly to reach whilst holding the device with one hand.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The back cover is made from plastic and has a smooth finish, which we found could be quite slippery if you again hold the device with one hand.

It's worth noting that the back cover is not removable, which we believe is how Alcatel managed to make the Idol X so thin. Although we felt Alcatel had missed a trick with the back plastic cover as it's the only external feature which makes the device feel less premium and unfortunately more cheap and tacky.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

We would have liked the back cover to be made from a more textured or rubberized material so the device has more grip, and then undoubtedly the feeling that it is easy to drop would disappear.

On the plus side, if you fancy 'personalizing' your device and enjoy bright colors you can pick up the Idol X in a variety of hues including; black, red, yellow, blue, green and pink. This seems to be a trend that's happening with major manufactures at the moment, with even Apple following in Nokia's footsteps of offering devices in a variety of different colors.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The battery inside the One Touch Idol X is a 2000mAh offering and promises up to 340 hours on standby and up to 7 hours talk time whilst connected via 3G. The lack of 4G makes the battery specification look alright on paper, but without superfast data speeds the Idol X has one big mark against it when compared to its rivals.

There's a row of buttons comprising of back, home and menu beneath the touch screen and these illuminate when the screen is awake.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

We found that SIM cards were very difficult to inset into their slots, as you have to push them in really deep in order for them to engage the lock and stay in the device.

It was almost impossible to add or remove a SIM without using a makeshift tool to enable the SIM card to be pushed in deeply enough to catch the latch. It can be very frustrating if you are swapping the SIM, but lets be honest - how many users regularly swap their SIM card?