Alcatel has seen some success with its Idol line of smartphones both here and abroad, so it’s not surprising to hear the TCL-owned company trying to continue its mastery over cheap-but-good devices with the announcement of the Idol 4 and Idol 4S.
Except that this year, it’s obvious that a great deal of effort has been put into making the new Idol phones more pleasant to look at and hold and less plasticky than their predecessors. Metal and curved-edge glass dominate the exterior of both devices, while the rounded edges make for easier manipulation of the side buttons.
The “S” probably stands for “special” or “super,” as the more expensive of the two options carries a larger and sharper display and faster innards. But regardless of which one you go for, you’ll find what Alcatel calls a physical “Boom Key,” which offers quick access to different functions based on the app currently being used, built onto the side of each phone. That, plus Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with a mostly stock Android feel.
Alcatel’s Idol 4, as you may have gathered, shares the same DNA as the Idol 4S but is geared towards budget users who don’t really want a more pricey, big-screen phone, and would much rather have something that’s likely to work just as well and is easier to operate one-handed. Core specs include a 5.2-inch 1080p display, an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and a 13-megapixel rear camera.
The phones will ship in gold, rose gold, gray, and silver color options, with a retail price of $250 for the Idol 4 and $400 for the Idol 4S. Shelling out $150 extra for the spec bump also gets you a hard-plastic packaging that doubles as a virtual reality headset. How’s that for value?
LG G5 Hands-On
LG puts the fun back in function with the announcement of its latest flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress, the LG G5. It has everything a 2016 flagship is expected to have: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, Quick Charge 3.0 that promises 83% of battery after 30 minutes of charging, a fingerprint scanner, quad HD display, USB Type C, Android Marshmallow, and great cameras.
Sony Xperia X Hands-On
In a surprise announcement at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony said goodbye to its top of the line Xperia Z smartphone, unveiling in its place a trio of new smartphones collectively referred to as Xperia X.
Specs-wise the new Xperia X line isn’t going to be the most high end smartphone release of 2016 but Sony’s left just enough for the phones to be desirable. (more…)
Sony Xperia’s Reality
It’s been a full month since the biggest tech coverage of my life to date. Having finished Legal Management in college, and then eventually making a career in Creatives, never did I think I’d be in Spain, as a journalist, covering one of the world’s biggest tech events.
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