Alcatel One Touch Idol Hands-on Preview

Like much of Alcatel’s 2013 One Touch lineup, the One Touch Idol is positioned as a great value-for-money smartphone with competitive specs. It’s one of the lightest phones in its class and it sports a premium-looking design and finish as well. Does the performance measure up to its looks? Here is my hands-on preview of the Alcatel One Touch Idol prior to a full review that I’ll be doing for NoypiGeeks.

Build Quality and Design

The Alcatel One Touch Idol is fairly light and compact, considering it has a Dragontrail glass-protected 4.7 inch screen, measuring just 133 x 67.5 x 7.9mm. The Cherry Mobile Blaze sported a similarly-sized screen but was nowhere near this thin and light. The finish is also quite impressive, featuring an almost jet black front when the screen is turned off. The effect is similar to the LG Optimus G’s own jet black screen, but at a fraction of the price. The back on the other hand has a brushed metal finish, although the battery cover itself is made of plastic. The overall effect is a premium-looking body that is deceptively light.

Performance, Software and User Interface

The One Touch Idol is powered by a dual core 1GHz MediaTek MT6577 processor and PowerVR SGX531 GPU. This is a popular SoC found on many entry to mid-level smartphones these days. It’s not the most powerful solution, but in most cases, it’s perfectly serviceable.

One thing about the One Touch Idol that was a pleasant surprise was that navigation through the UI was fluid most of the time. Not quite as buttery smooth as the higher end devices out there, but fast and fluid enough to give you a satisfying user experience. I had expected that it would be a bit sluggish since the MT6577 SoC is usually found on phones with WVGA or FWVGA screens where there are fewer pixels to push compared to the One Touch Idol’s qHD screen, but perhaps Jelly Bean’s Project Butter optimizations were being showcased here.

The Display

The Alcatel One Touch Idol sports a fairly bright and vivid 4.7 inch qHD IPS panel. It’s protected by Dragontrail glass, which is a special hardened glass similar to Corning’s Gorilla Glass, so you can forgo a screen protector without having to worry about cracking or scratching the screen.

Alcatel One Touch Idol Featured Image

Being an IPS panel, color reproduction is excellent. It certainly helps that the One Touch Idol has good color calibration. It’s also quite sharp. Sure, qHD isn’t top of the line anymore, but a 540 x 960 screen with a clarity of 234ppi isn’t going to have anyone complaining about pixellation.


A full connectivity suite is a must if you’re going to spend more than Php5k on a smartphone, and the One Touch Idol doesn’t disappoint. Wired connectivity starts with the microUSB port and 3.5mm jack. Then there are wireless connectivity options that start with Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and up to 3G data.


The Alcatel One Touch Idol is a great buy if you’re looking to maximize your budget without compromising on looks. A lot of times, smartphones in this price range will compromise on looks in order to cram in as much functionality and features into that limited price point, but not the One Touch Idol. You get a premium-looking handset with just enough performance to back it up. It’s pretty affordable at PHp11,990, but it’s going to have a tough time on its hands going up against the local brands.

One Touch Idol Build Quality and Design

Alcatel One Touch Idol Specs

  • 4.7” qHD (540 x 960 pixels) IPS display with Dragontrail Glass
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1
  • Dual Core 1GHz CPU
  • 4GB EMMC + 512MB RAM
  • Micro SD support up to 32Gb
  • 8-megapixel autofocus primary camera
  • 2-megapixel secondary front camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS with AGPS
  • microUSB
  • UMTS 900/2100 and 850/1900, 850/2100
  • 3G data up to 7.2Mbps DL and 5.76Mbps UL
  • Micro USB
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • Dimensions:  133 x 67.5 x 7.9mm
  • 1,800mAh battery
  • Price: Php11,990

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