We’re still a day and a half from the official start of MWC 2016, but Alcatel is kicking things off early with a couple of big new Android phones.
Alcatel — formerly Alcatel OneTouch — has announced the Idol 4S and Idol 4, follow-ups to last year’s popular Idol 3 phones. Both phones include Alcatel’s Boom Key, a feature that aims to improve the experience of using the phones. For example, you can use the Boom Key to pressing and holding it to launch the camera and take burst mode photos, all while in standby. The Boom Key can also enhance the bass, loudness, and clarity of audio, add a parallax UI effect and live weather display to the home screen, or it can be used as a boost button in Asphalt, a racing game.
Both the Idol 4 and Idol 4S also use the same reversible design found on the Idol 3, meaning that the UI will orient itself correctly whether you’re using your phone right side up or upside-down. Alcatel is taking that feature even farther in the Idol 4 series, though, by making sure that the stereo speakers will always be playing sounds out of the correct sides. Finally, the speaker placement on the Idol 4 series will ensure that it’s never covered up, no matter if your phone is facing up or turned over.
In terms of raw specs, the Idol 4S is the higher-end of Alcatel’s new phones. It boasts a 5.5-inch 2560x1440 AMOLED display, 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens and flash. Packed inside of its 6.99mm-thick metal and glass body is an octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor, 32GB of storage (25GB available to the user), a microSD slot for adding up to 512GB more storage, 3GB of RAM, and a 3000mAh battery. Rounding out the Idol 4S’s feature set is Android 6.0, NFC, Quick Charge support, microUSB, FM radio, and dual stereo speakers.
One other big feature of the Idol 4S actually involves its packaging. The box can be used as a pair of virtual reality goggles that work with the Idol 4S, letting you watch VR content that can be downloaded from the Onetouch VR Store app that’s built-in to the 4S.
The other member of the Idol 4 family is the Idol 4, which while not as high-end as the Idol 4S, still has a respectable feature set. It’s packing a 5.2-inch 1920x1080 IPS display, 13-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera with flash, 16GB of storage (10GB available to the user), and a microSD slot for adding up to 512GB of additional storage. Powering the Idol 4 is a combination of an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 2610mAh battery. This 7.1mm-thick slab of metal and glass also includes Android 6.0, FM radio, NFC, microUSB, Quick Charge, and dual stereo speakers.
The Idol 4 series phones are expected to launch this summer. They’ll be offered with Gold, Rose Gold, Dark Gray, and Metal Silver metal frame options.
Alcatel’s Idol 4 devices look like solid successors to the Idol 3 devices that got a lot of praise from reviewers and users last year. With the Idol 4 phones, Alcatel is using premium glass bodies and throwing in some beefed up specs, like a Quad HD display on the Idol 4S and 3GB of RAM in both phones. We’ll have to wait to see if Alcatel decides to price the Idol 4 series as competitively as it did the Idol 3 models, but for now, the Idol 4S and Idol 4 look to be solid additions to Alcatel’s lineup.
Alcatel also announced today that its ditching the “OneTouch” part of its name that it used in past years. The company says that, with its business growing, it felt the time was right for a brand change. Alcatel aims to target millennials by “simplifying its name, simplifying their messages, and streamlining their devices.”