Alcatel One Touch Idol X £300

10th Dec 2013 | 10:55

Alcatel One Touch Idol X

A mid-price, high spec smartphone

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

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.

Like:

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

Dislike:

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

Introduction

Ratings in depth

Alcatel Idol One Touch Idol X review
Alcatel Idol One Touch Idol X review
Alcatel Idol One Touch Idol X review
Alcatel Idol One Touch Idol X review
Alcatel Idol One Touch Idol X review

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?

Interface

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X comes running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. There is currently no option to update to Android 4.3 or KitKat, and Alcatel has not revealed whether these upgrades will be available in the future.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel has tinkered slightly with the user interface from the original stock Android, but we found it to be an enjoyable tweak. The only slight annoyance is the removal of the app draw, but organized pages of apps can be just as good.

The large widget on the home page by default displays the time, date and weather in your local area, although you do have the option to add or change the widgets by tapping the options button on the home page.

There is also a 'widget wall' with the option to be disabled if the stack of information is too fussy. If the default widgets are not to your liking there are several different sized preinstalled options. Along with the preinstalled widgets, a lot of apps also add their availability as widgets, so you should'nt run out of options.

Also preinstalled on the Idol X is a rather unnecessary photo wall, the sole purpose of which is to constantly scroll through available photos on your phone. To be honest, we found it slightly pointless.

The Idol X loads apps quickly, and swiping between pages on the home screen is nice and smooth, plus you can group apps together into folders to avoid flicking though pages and pages of apps. As with nearly all Android devices, deep customisation is available, with almost everything from wallpapers to page transitions available to tweak in the settings menu.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The Idol X does not support themes, but the default icons are pleasing enough. The phone came with a few preinstalled apps from Google, including Gmail and YouTube to keep you connected and entertained.

Accessing the notifications area is as easy as swiping down from the top status bar, you will then be presented with a familiar screen of toggles for commonly used settings and notifications of recent activities.

We found that interacting with the interface is enjoyable and intuitive. There are times when the phone will freeze temporarily for up to 5 seconds when exiting apps, but that frustration aside we had a generally smooth experience.

Alcatel have played it relatively safe with the interface as there are not any amazing new must have features, but compared to other devices in a similar price range, you will find it hard to be disappointed.

Contacts, calling and messaging

Contacts

Similar to nearly all the smartphones we have tested, the contacts app for the One Touch Idol X offers everything you have come to expect. Open up the visually obvious app and you will be presented with a list of all your contacts pulled in from any accounts you've logged into on the Idol X.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Along the top of the screen two other tabs are available which look like a group of people and a star, open up the groups and favorites options.

Groups allow you to bundle your contacts together, or find where your contacts came from. For example, we pulled a lot of our contacts from a Gmail account and this was clear to see this in the groups' tab.

The Star symbol, which represents favorites contacts, is a predefined list of your favorite contacts or alternatively displays the people you contact most regularly allowing you to quickly call people you speak to the most.

When adding new contact information you will have the option to fill in the fields for multiple phone numbers, emails addresses, and websites. It is very easy and intuitive to use and if you have installed the Facebook app you will even have the option to sync your phone with all your online contacts.

Calling

Making a call on the Alcatel One Touch Idol X is so easy your grandmother could do it without asking questions (or maybe you have a tech savvy Granny?). The obvious phone icon app opens the dial pad we are all used to. As soon as you start typing a name, or a number, the Idol X will start display suggestions for the information you are inputting.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

This is done in two ways, the software either suggests the number of a corresponding contact, or it uses the letters associated with the number(s) you are inputting, to suggest the name of matching contacts. Its really easy to use and we had no problems locating contacts quickly.

After you have started to type in the contacts information you can swipe down from the suggested contacts to reveal a full page of them. This allows you to simply find the person you want to call quickly and easily.

There are two other tabs along the top of the screen. The middle icon that looks like a clock represents your recent call log, and the icon that looks like a person on the far right is used to view your whole contact list.

Where the dual-SIM Idol X differs slightly from its competitors, is when the phone asks you which SIM you would like to make the call from. Once you select the contact you would like to call a message pops up on the screen asking if you would like to use the 'roaming SIM' or the 'local SIM'. This can be quite confusing if you do not know which is which.

A quick look at the status bar will display which SIM is roaming, allowing you to make the decision of which SIM you would like to continue with. To help make your decision even easier the SIM you inserted on the left hand side of the device is displayed as the left signal icon in the status bar of the screen. Similarly, the signal of the SIM inserted on the right hand side of the device is the right hand icon in the status bar.

Messaging

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X allows you to read and send messages in a variety of ways ad the Google Play store is on hand if you need a few more options.

After we had downloaded a few social messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, to go alongside the pre-installed Gmail and SMS apps we were becoming more and more contactable. A lot of these apps allow you to send and receive calls and messages via Wi-Fi, saving any additional expenditure on your monthly phone contact.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Lets start with the built-in messaging app on the Idol X. We were pleased to find the Google keyboard by default, which avoided us instantly going to settings to enable this option. If you have used a Google keyboard on an Android device before you will know it is a pleasant experience.

When you start typing on the keyboard the software provides three suggestions for the word you are typing above the keys. The Idol X will point out basic errors with a red line, tapping the highlighted word will bring up a list of suggestions to choose from, so your perfectly formed messages should not have any mistakes.

If you were wondering how the dual-SIM aspect of the phone works when it comes the inbox on the Idol X, you'll be shocked to know how simple and uncomplicated it is

After we had set up the default email client on the Idol X, we found it to be a pretty enjoyable experience. Although we ended up using the Gmail client because of its ease of use, and navigation.

The Gmail client was exactly what you would expect on the android device. It was quick to load and simple along with intuitive usability, we didn't have any problems viewing and replying to the emails in our inbox.

Internet

The browsing experience on the Alcatel Idol One Touch X is pretty good. The UI is quick and snappy to load, and there was no lag when bringing up and removing the keyboard.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The top bar for inputting websites also doubles up as a search bar, and the keyboard layout is perfect for this. Everything you need is on the first page of the keyboard and there was no time wasted searching for the '.' symbol. We found it slightly frustrating that the Google keyboard does not include a '.com' button, but this is in no way a major issue.

Apart from that the default browser built into the Idol X, the option to use the Chrome brewers is included straight out of the box, which for some might be the preferred choice of browser.

Over a decent Wi-Fi connection the Idol X is capable of loading pages as quickly as the competition, and we did not encounter any problems whilst using the device day to day.

When using the Idol X over 3G it was what we expected, fast enough for the average user but not capable of the superfast speeds associated with 4G, which this device is not compatible with.

The 1080 x 1920 resolution screen is amazingly bright, clear and crisp with an awesome range of viewing angles, which sometimes are not featured from mid-range handset manufacturers.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

As far as the One Touch Idol X is concerned pixelated text is a thing of the past, and high definition is what it is best at showcasing.

On any web page you are viewing you can scroll up slightly to reveal the app's tool bar, with the input box for websites and searches, along the bottom of the screen the options to move forward or backwards a page, an icon to display the currently open tabs, and a bookmarks icon to open up a list of your saved pages.

If you're looking for a device that supports flash, you are out of luck. Google has phased out the use of the dying format on its platform and this means the Idol X can't handle it.

If you would like something slightly different - some would say improved browsing experience, we would recommend using the Chrome app from Google, if you have used Chrome on a device you will know what to expect with tabbed browsing and the option to enter incognito mode if you don't want your surfing session tracked.

Camera

The camera on the rear of the Alcatel One Touch Idol X looks amazing on paper. An impressive 13MP framed into the slender body of the Idol X is certainly an impressive feat, and it managed to impress us during the review.

We have to say we started off excited when we got our hands on the device to see what the camera was capable off, and in certain conditions this camera is amazing, in others it can leave you with under exposed with a few blurry shots.

If you can manage to keep the camera completely still and point at a subject with a lot of evenly distributed light you can get some fantastic photos. Although, in low light or moving object situations this camera failed to excite us and pictures came out with little definition.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Open up the built in camera app and everything is pretty self-explanatory, the circular camera icon takes the photos when tapped and Alcatel has also added the volume buttons as additional shutter options. Next to this is the switch to flip between camera and video mode.

A quick look to the other side of the screen to find three icons with the option to flip between the cameras, turn the flash on/off/auto and open up settings. The flash is extremely bright and can over expose objects at close range, but generally does a good job of illuminating a scene.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

In the settings mode you can select the size of the viewfinder with the 'Full Screen' toggle. Turn it off to add letterboxing to the top and bottom of the screen.

Choosing the 'Tap Shooting' option allows you to tap the view finder to focus, and take a photo immediately afterwards, which can be handy because as mentioned before, to get the best images out of the Idol X you have to keep it really still.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The other two modes; HDR and Panorama are also activated in the setting window. The HDR function takes several different images with several different exposures, combining them at the end to produce an image, which should show a lot of definition in the light and dark parts of the photo.

Again the catch is that you have to keep the Idol X really still to get an image without any blurring, as the smallest of movements can ruin a beautiful picture. The panorama feature is less likely to be used as often, but the fact that it is included out of the box is a massive plus.

The likes of Apple's iOS 7 and Samsung Galaxy S4 both include a panorama feature so we expected it to be included. Once you activate the panorama mode a cross appears on the screen prompting you to pick a direction in which to start the panorama feature.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

You can choose to pan either left, right, up or down. Do not expect to be that proud of the finished product, as again the pictures turn out either over or under focused, the separate images the panorama is made from do not match up, and the image is generally overall poor and of poor quality.

The color reproduction in the photos we took were extremely vibrant which enhanced the majority of subjects we shot. The digital zoom worked well, but again there was noise all over the picture from the software-produced image.

The Idol X keeps it simple, there are not tons of different settings that you might find on other Android devices. The Idol X will not provided you with different Scene modes, let you adjust the ISO or the exposure. There is not even a grid to help you line up those all important shots, but there is something nice about the simplicity of the overall process, and will not leave many users scratching their heads about how to use the features.

There are not any filters provided in the Idol X's default camera app either, but a quick look in the Gallery app will enable you to add or edit the picture with filters. Alternatively, the Google play store will reveal a shed load of apps to customize and edit your photos, including popular apps such was Instagram.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

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Video

The default video functions on the Alcatel One Touch Idol X are simple to use and actually worked rather well. When comparing the camera and video quality on the Idol X, the video features on the device win hands down.

With smooth high definition footage with an ever present auto focus and exposure, shooting on the Idol X is easy peasy - that is until the Idol X starts auto focusing on objects you do not want it to, but in our tests that didn't happen too often.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The flash works well when recording in a dark and it did not have any trouble illuminating a small room. However, if you point the Idol X and anything too far away, as with all devices there comes a point when the flash can become pretty useless.

The single LED located next to the lens faired well in our tests and didn't seem to struggle to illuminate when testing. Although the user has to decide if the flash is required before shooting, as there is no option to change this setting whilst recording.

The 1080p High Definition footage at 30fps is quite amazing when played back. And it is also worth considering that hardly any sacrifices were made in the camera department, especially when you consider that a 13MP camera has been packed into a slender physical frame.

Media

Music

As soon as you get the Alcatel One Touch Idol X it should be able to cater for all your needs. The device arrives bundled with a selection of software for you to play back your files. For audio files there is a dedicated Music app and alongside this is Google's' own 'Play Music' app.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

While testing the device we connected the Idol X to our Mac via its micro USB connected, but were disappointed to find that the device was not recognized. We reluctantly opted to download 'Android file transfer' from the Android website, which then put us in a position to copy some media to the device.

We sent over several MP3's to the internal storage of the device, which could have been done via Bluetooth, but we decided not to on this occasion.

It was then just a case of opening the default Music app to access the files we just sent over. The app coped very well, handling all the formats we chucked at them including MP3, ACC, and WMA.

The 'Play Music' app from Google does an amazing job (as usual) of organizing and playing your content on the Idol X, which in our opinion is a more visually pleasing and generally more pleasant experience. Each app has it's own strengths, the default apps being its built in integration within the device.

Music played from here could not be controlled in the lock screen and there wasn't an obvious way to change this. However, the music controls were present in the notification page once swiped down from the top of the screen and also via the dedicated widget on the widget wall.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Even when music app is closed or quit on the Idol X the music still continues to play in the background, this means that you have to go back into the app to stop the music from continuing to play.

The Google music app was smoother to use, easier to navigate, and had benefits from 'Listen Now', which makes it easier to figure out what to play next. On top of all of this, the app from Google will allow you to access any of the 20,000 songs your allowed to upload to the companies cloud for free.

There are also an 'Instant Mixes' option that will continue to play music forever, choosing songs based on the data embedded in you favourite tracks.

Both apps make it easy to listen to the music you want with playlists, and filters for artists, genres and albums, so you will be spoilt for choice when you come to choose your music playing app.

FM Radio

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel has included an FM Radio on the Idol X. Almost every piece of technology in todays world is digital, and the inclusion of this analogue technology is not very forward thinking, but nether the less we were happy for it to be included and it does the job.

You need to plug in a pair of headphones to act as an antenna, but once up and running you'll have the option to save radio stations frequencies in your favourites list.

There are three dots located at the top right hand side of the screen which opens up options including; Save Channel, Audio Mode (for switching between earphones and the Idol X's rear speaker, Delete, RDS Settings (for channel information and alternative frequencies) and finally Record FM, which allows for live recording of any radio station that you can tune into.

We found that even though we were in central London the chance of picking up a strong signal was slightly hit or miss. However, we managed to pick up all the stations we looked for on this handy app.

Video

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The built in video app on the Alcatel One Touch Idol X is rather underwhelming, but it manages to do the basics. With no option to change the frame rate, most video's stutter upon playback - especially large files like TV shows or films.

The audio reproduction on this device is actually very good, although it must be noted that it still didn't sound that loud even when the volume was at 100%.

For video on the Idol X you only have one option by default installed on the device, the 'Video player' app. The Video player app opens up to show you all available footage on the device from the videos made with the camera app, to any other footage you have decided to transfer over to the Idol X.

The app is simple to use, and rather similar to YouTube in terms of video control. A single play button and video time line means it can be hard to move forward of backwards to a specific part of the video, but if you want to keep it simple this app will do the job.

In our tests the app handled MP4 and MVK file formats when stored locally on the device. Although it could only seem to handle the MP4 format when streaming the file online, so you will be limited by the formats you will be able to playback without downloading the file.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Surprisingly the Play Now app from Google is not installed by default on the device, the app can be found in the Google play store, and provides a gateway to purchase films from the company.

Photos

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X enables viewing images on the device to be very straightforward, and very basic. Navigate yourself to the 'Gallery' app and once opened you should find yourself recognizing the layout, as it is very similar to a lot of Android devices.

You can also choose to use Google G+ Photos that has a much nicer color scheme and is easier to navigate your photos, but for the purpose of the review we decided to stick to the default camera app.

Photos and images are separated into albums by default, but you can change the filter to organize them by location or time. The albums have a tiny number in the bottom right hand corner to indicate how many images are contained in the album.

Once opened, it is a case of scrolling through the images until you find what you are looking for, which we found can be quite a task if you have a lot of pictures. If you just want to sit back and watch through all your content, there is a slideshow feature.

When looking at an image, tapping anywhere in the screen will bring up some additional options. Along the bottom of the screen you will see: Share, Edit, Set as, and Slideshow.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Edit allows you to add a lot of effects straight from the Gallery app. The Edit icon allows you to easily crop, straighten, and rotate the image.

Beauty and Enhance both allow you to control the balance of the image whilst Effects and Frames allow you to add filters or a boarder to the image.

The Bokeh feature mimics a soft focus blur which can either be added radially or horizontally depending on the effect desired.

The Idol X comes with some impressive picture editing features straight from the box, and we doubt you will really need any other photo editing apps for the basics.

The built in tools are comparable to Google's Snapseed and are feature packed, but if you would like to download an alternative camera editing app for your pictures, they will always be accessible via Google Play.

Battery life and connectivity

Battery life

The battery life on the One Touch Idol X was surprisingly good for the 2000mAh lithium battery. Although it is slightly on the small size for a device with a 5-inch screen, the device could potentially last up to two days on one charge with careful and limited usage.

The company states the device provides 20 hours of talk time over 2G and 12 hours via 3G. The quoted standby time from Alcatel for the Idol X is 320 hours over 2G and 240 hours via 3G and this is all rather ambitious.

We didn't come near those times when reviewing the device, but it will last a solid 12 hours with medium use, and had the potential to last even longer on standby if all the additional connections like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi were deactivated.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Regardless of this, you will have to charge the phone every evening if you would like to use the Idol X to its full potential, because the battery will not last two days.

In an effort to keep the Idol X as slender as possible, the back cover of the device cannot be removed, therefore the battery is not accessible for replacement.

There is an 'Ultimate Saver' battery management app, which is also accessible from the notifications window, and the settings page. This app allows you to manage your usage and has been designed to be implemented when you are seriously low on juice.

If you find your battery life is decreasing faster than expected, you can pop over to this app to run a cut down version of the operating system which only will run the Phone, Contact, Message, Calendar, and Alarm features - along with dialling down the screens brightness automatically.

There is also a 'Saving Mode' on the Idol X which can be customized to show which settings will be enabled when the mode is activated, along with which apps are 'White Listed' and allowed to run when this setting is enabled.

If you want to see what is causing your battery to drain quickly, open up the setting app and under the battery management feature you will be able to see in order of percentage usage, which apps are using the most to the least power.

We performed a battery tested with our one and a half hour long MP4 file, which we streamed over Wi-Fi. We started with 100% capacity and left the film to play, upon returning we found the battery life had dropped to 65%.

This is to be expected as the beautiful brightly lit 5-inch screen drained over a third of our battery life in a short space of time, but the likes of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 performed better in this test.

Connectivity

There is an obvious 3G cellular connection on the Idol X, along with Wi-Fi B/G/N, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS as soon as you take the Idol X out of the box, providing you with several different ways to connect the device to the digital world.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

There is no NFC capability bundled with the device, nor is it compatible with 4G. These technologies are relatively new, and although it is not necessarily completely future proof, you wont lose too much sleep without them.

The micro USB connection is the main way to connect the device to a PC. We encountered a problem when using the Idol X with an Apple Mac, as the device was not recognized until we downloaded 'File Transfer' for Android.

Usually it is possible to connect the device as a removable storage disk, but this was not possible. Presumably this was down to the fact that this device operated solely with internal memory, as there is no ability to add additional storage with a micro SD card.

The micro USB connection found at the bottom of the Idol X doubles up as a charger and data transfer port. Once the Android File Transfer software was installed on our PC, it was a doodle to drag and drop files onto the device.

Bundled onto the device is an app called Tcast, which allows for wireless streaming of media from the Idol X to other compatible devices, for example the TV Link V100. Photos and movies can be streamed to these devices for your viewing pleasure.

Maps and apps

Maps

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Google Maps is included on the One Touch Idol X as part of the Google apps bundled with the handset and worked as to be expected - hence the reason for its popularity.

It was quick to load, but was just off correctly showing the direction we were facing after five minutes of usage, but apart from that it held its ground against competitors like HERE maps from Nokia.

Google Maps on the Idol X contains the same features as the Google Maps website which easily allows us to search and find several routes to a desired location, and the app supports directions by foot, car, bike and public transport.

Tapping the icon in the bottom left corner brings ups the options panel enabling us to change the layout of the map to a satellite view. However, 3D maps and points of interest including buildings rendered in 3D, were unavailable without downloading the Google Earth app from the Google Play Store.

Google maps are associated with your Goggle account, so your search history is saved allowing you to simply start to type the first few letters of a recently searched location to bring it to the top of the suggestions list.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

After searching and finding the desired location, the maps app will provide you with reviews from other users along with a street view of the location. The ability to share of favourite destinations is also available in the app.

Other maps and transit service apps are also available from the Google Play Store if Google Maps do not live up to your high standards.

Apps

When you receive the Alcatel One Touch Idol X you will find the device comes with a lot of pre-installed app, some useful and some not so useful.

As you would expect the device includes the basic features such as: clock, which doubles up as an alarm, calculator and calendar.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Because the Idol X can handle so much more than the basics the Google Play Store offers a portal to literally thousands off apps, some free and some paid.

Google have pre installed some of their popular apps like YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Play Music and G+ Photos plus a couple more.

Alcatel offers some useful, but hardly ever used apps like flashlight and compass for those emergency situations on the Android 4.2 device, but none take up too much of the precious 16GB on internal storage, as you will be left with 12.7GB of space to play with from the first day of usage.

The Idol X makes it really simple and easy to organize apps. Hold down on an icon until the apps start to wiggle, then drag and drop the app where you please. To tidy things up when you start to clutter the home screen pages, you can create folders.

Just follow the same process but this time place the app on top of an app you want it to be grouped with, and just like magic, a new folder has been created and is waiting to be renamed.

This can be good to group similar apps together, for example travel apps, so you do not end up flicking through pages of apps to find the one you need.

Hands on gallery

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Official gallery

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Alcatel One Touch Idol X review

Verdict

The Alcatel One Touch Idol X finds itself in the mid to high-end price range and the performance it delivers correlates with that.

Tthe screen is an amazingly sharp and crisp, the 1.5GHz quad-core processor can handle the majority of tasks in a heartbeat and the 13MP camera is of a higher specification than some of the competitors.

It doesn't quick produce the same quality images as its competitor's devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One or the iPhone 5S devices. For a device that sells the camera as one of its major features, the images unfortunately tend to come out blurred.

However for a device in this price range it is hard to grumble about the amount of bang for your buck this phone will deliver.

We liked

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Alcatel has managed to squeeze a dual-SIM handset into a tiny, super light frame for the Idol X. The device is so light you would be mistaken for thinking the battery has not yet been added, and at just 6.9mm thick you could even forget you have the large 5-inch screen in your pocket.

The rear-facing camera on the Idol X can produce some amazing images if the conditions are right, although you just might have to invest in a tripod to get the crispest images possible.

The built in photo editing tools are amazing for the default camera and will leave you not really needing to download many other camera apps.

The screen is super bright and balanced, and not bias towards red or blue, and the 1080 x 1920 display is perfect for watching your HD footage.

We disliked

The lack of expandable memory is a disappointment on the Idol X, we would have liked to see the addition of more storage capabilities, but we have taken into account that the single SIM version of the Idol X does have this option. Its just a shame that only one version includes a microSD slot.

Without 4G will the Idol X be left in the dark ages? Possibly, as the rollout form all the major networks is now underway. Super fast browsing via the carriers over 4G will never be possible on the Idol X.

The lack of app draw feature will leave some die-hard Android users frustrated at the fact that Alcatel have decided to exclude the feature from the Idol X.

The unknown future regarding weather this device will be able to upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat and beyond is slightly worrying, as there is no sure way to find out whether the Idol X will be future proof.

Verdict

Alcatel has managed to design and produce a solid, feature rich device for not a lot of money, and for the price it's hard to complain about the niggling problems we faced.

The slender super light frame can be perceived in one of two ways. Either you think it feels light and cheap, or light and premium - depending on your prospective. The One Touch Idol X certainly feels well built and sturdy, although the cheap plastic rear of the devices does not do itself any favors in terms of premium quality.

The 13MP camera could have done more to impress us, but can produce some fantastic images if the right conditions while the quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM should'nt leave you hanging around for the Idol X to catch up with your fast pace usage.

With no NFC or 4G connections, the Idol X from Alcatel is slightly stunted, but overall a great device for the money from Alcatel.

First reviewed: October 2013

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