Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra Initial Review: Triumph of Form and Efficiency

The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra

The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra

Meet the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra

Alcatel Philippines launched their flagship smartphone, the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra, together with a wide range of other devices yesterday. We were able to get considerable time playing with the demo unit on the floor and we walked away impressed with the quality of the build of the phone as well as the over-all design. Alcatel definitely stepped up their game with the One Touch line-up and the Idol Ultra makes for a great showpiece.

Here’s a quick rundown of the specifications of the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra for your reference:

Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra Spec Sheet

  • 1.2GHz Dual-core Processor (Mediatek 6577)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB Internal Storage
  • 4.7-inch AMOLED screen, Corning Gorilla Glass with Oleophobic coating
  • HD 720p display, 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 8.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 1.3-megapixels front-facing camera
  • Can record HD video 720p (front and back)
  • WiFi b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with AGPS support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 1,800mAh Battery
  • 3.5mm jack to micro USB adaptor*
  • SRP: Php14,990

It’s crazy thin and very light

Is it really the world's slimmest smartphone?

Is it really the world’s slimmest smartphone?

The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra measures just 6.45mm thick, making it one of the most (if not the) slimmest and thinnest smartphone in the world. The number actually doesn’t do justice to how thin it is once you see it and hold it in your hands. Despite the form factor, the phone still feels quite solid to hold thanks to the quality of materials they used for the glass panel (Corning Gorilla Glass) and the chassis. It definitely looks and feels like a high-end premium smartphone.

That said it’s pretty cool that you can actually get one of the thinnest smartphones ever that still has competitive internals for just Php14,990. Alcatel definitely deserves props for this one.

Something’s missing… where’s the headphone jack?

The device is impressive but there’s one thing we noticed missing when we were playing around with it. We saw that there wasn’t any audio jack. We asked the promodizer and he told us that in order to achieve the form factor they had to take it out. In lieu of the audio jack, Alcatel included a 3.5mm jack to micro USB converter cable. You connect it to the micro USB port and then connect your headphone to the connector.

If you’re the type that listens to music often on your smartphone then this might be a bit of a hassle since you always need the converter with you. However if you rarely use earphones with your phone then the One Touch Idol Ultra will definitely look like an attractive buy.

Performance: Fast Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Experience

How fast is it? Very.

How fast is it? Very.

The Alcatel One Touch Ultra Idol is all about efficiency when it comes to its internals. It runs a dual-core processor paired with 1GB RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. That set-up has enough power to give you a fluid and smooth Android experience. We encountered minimal lags and delays throughout our hands-on and playtime. Apps didn’t load as fast as the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD but it was still okay.

Initial Verdict: Form over function but it still packs quite a punch

The Alcatel One Touch Idol is a triumph of form, efficiency, and practicality. It has the looks and style of a premium high-end device with a mid-range price tag and optimized internal specifications. If you’re in the market for a sexy device that delivers all the core services well but might not be that great for hardcore gaming, then the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra should be in your list.

We’ll try to secure a review unit soon.

PS: Click here to read our initial review of Alcatel’s quad-core 5-inch HD phablet, the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD!

Alcatel One Touch Idol — smaller brother of the One Touch Idol Ultra

One Touch Idol and One Touch Idol Ultra

One Touch Idol and One Touch Idol Ultra

If you want a toned down and more affordable alternative you might want to check out the Alcatel One Touch Idol. It sells for Php11,990 and has a 4.7-inch qHD screen (Dragontrail glass). It also packs an 8-megapixel shooter, a dual-core processor, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It’s thicker though at 7.9mm which puts it at the same size as most smartphones.

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