Alcatel Idol 4 and Idol 4S officially announced: here’s what you need to know

by: Jimmy WestenbergFebruary 20, 2016

alcatel onetouch idol 4s aa 1

Alcatel’s Idol 3 was one of the best budget smartphones of last year, and now the company, which has been rebranded from Alcatel OneTouch to just Alcatel, has released two new successors here at MWC 2016. The Alcatel Idol 4 is more of a successor to the 4.7-inch Idol 3, while the new Idol 4S is more of a flagship offering this time around. Both phone feature similar designs for the most part, with the specifications being what primarily sets them apart.

Alcatel Idol 4S

Starting off with the higher-end of the two, the Idol 4S aims to offer some killer specs for an affordable price point. It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD display of the AMOLED variety, powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM and a 3000mAh battery, which Alcatel says will get you 420 hours of standby time on a single charge. It also comes with Quick Charging capabilities, which is definitely a plus. There’s only one storage option – 32GB – which can be expanded via microSD for up to 512 extra gigabytes of room. There’s also a 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, and it’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with just a few user interface tweaks, as well.

Alcatel Idol 4

The more affordable option here is the Idol 4. It sports a 5.2-inch Full HD LCD display, a Snapdragon 617 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion up to 512GB. The Idol 4 comes with a 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, a 2610mAh battery, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, just like its bigger brother.

For a full rundown of specs, check out the table attached below:

 Alcatel Idol 4Alcatel Idol 4S
Display5.2-inch IPS LTPS display
1920 x 1080
5.5-inch AMOLED display
1440 x 2560
ProcessorOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processorOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor
Storage16GB of on-board storage32GB of on-board storage
MicroSD expansionYes, up to 512GBYes, up to 512GB
Cameras13MP rear camera
8MP front camera
16MP rear camera
8MP front camera
SIM typeNano SIMNano SIM
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC,
Micro USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct,
NFC, Micro USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2
SoftwareAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions147 x 72.5 x 7.1mm153.9 x 75.4 x 6.99mm

alcatel onetouch idol 4s aa 12

That’s not all – the Idol 4 and 4S come with a few tricks up their sleeves that are quite innovative. The first of which is called the Boom Key. This physical button is located on the side of each device and offers users custom-made actions for taking photos, listening to music and more. Let me explain.

The Boom Key can be used to take photos in standby mode, and holding the button will put the camera into burst mode for taking multiple photos. Pressing the Boom Key in the gallery will shuffle your photos for instant sharing as a photo collage or a slideshow. Pressing the button while watching a video will add special effects to your existing media, while pressing it in when you’re actively recording a video will immediately broadcast the video live. You can also use the Boom Key in games like Asphalt to release Nitro, and you’ll even be able to create a 3D-like parallax UI effect when you press the Boom Key on your home screen.

Alcatel teamed up with JBL and Waves to bring a high quality audio experience to these phones, too. Both devices feature two 3.6 watt speakers. In addition, the 4 and 4S are reversible from left to right, so stereo sound will always be on the correct side, even when your phone is flipped upside down. Alcatel has also brought back the handy feature that allows the UI to flip when the device is picked up upside down.

alcatel onetouch idol 4s idol 4 aa 9

Oh, and the Idol 4S’s packaging transforms into a pair of VR goggles. You can download virtual reality content from the Onetouch VR Store, which is pre-loaded on all 4 and 4S handsets.

The Idol 4 and Idol 4S will be available in Gold, Dark Gray, Rose Gold and Metal Silver color options, though no pricing information has been given at this time. What are your thoughts? If the price is right, do you think one of these Alcatel phones could find their way to your pocket anytime soon? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Check out all of our MWC 2016 coverage
  • patstar5

    If only they added a fingerprint scanner…

    • If only you actually need a fingerprint scanner. :(

      • Jonatan Gomez


      • cristoux


  • scott whitt

    I was just about to but an Idol 3 but I’m glad I waited for the conference. If it stays in $250 range I’m all over it. I need a phone that is loud and miss the old HTC with Beats

  • Kyng

    Can’t wait to see the 652’s benchmarks

    • Captain

      These benchmarks are already available in gsmarenain their Galaxy A9 review

    • zevral

      It’s about as fast as the Snapdragon 810, but single core performance is a bit higher. So pretty damn good, especially for midrage phones! The new A72 cores are blazing. Geekbench single core score 1400 and Antutu score 73000.

      • asdadsad

        Probably has less throttling too

      • Hartfrid Lovejoy

        with improved drivers, the 652 is about 15% faster than then 810 and 30-40% more power efficient

  • cristoux

    Price & availability? It’d be nice to see the Idol 4 at 200$ competing with the Xiaomi Mi4c.

  • Andrew M

    I believe $249 for the 4 and $325 for the 4S. I’ll get the 4 for sure as long as its no more than $275 tops.

    • Joey Gibson

      The 4 is $310 and the 4s is $500

      • Refman

        That’s too bad. I got the larger Idol 3 last November for $250 as a Christmas present for my father. Idol 3 was a great price point but at $500 for the 4s, that is the level of a Galaxy S6 or Note 5.

      • Marc Perrusquia

        That’s a direct translation of euros to dollars. Phones in Europe never translate directly to U.S. dollars, I’m expecting $400.

      • Hartfrid Lovejoy

        that’s wrong, there is only speculation about the price and that is $260 for the Idol 4 and $400 for the idol 4s

  • Prime

    I wish TCL would just drop the Alcatel name altogether since they have noting to do with the real Alcatel-Lucent(Nokia) other than a branding partnership that was ended years ago.

  • Jesper Tranekær Rydder

    What kind of glass is it on these phones? Gorilla glass 3? Or 4?

  • Sandcat

    Any word on the expandable storage slot also being a second sim?

  • drago10029

    The pricing on this will literally make or break it. I’m hoping for 299$ that way they can still keep the idol 3 $249

    • Steve Pruyn

      If Alcatel were smart that would drop the Idol 3 to $200

      • drago10029

        i agree, but it probably won’t happen. they aren’t a big company anyway so i’m sure they need all the money they can get.

  • JaredTheGeek

    Pricing rumors put the 4S at $400 in the US from what I have read.

  • Ronnie Brewer

    I love the 4s

  • Lauren Tester

    When is the release date?

  • Colorado_Al

    When are these going to go on sale and for how much $ ?

  • Ivance

    what about the 615’s benchmarks???

  • Jeremy

    I have the idol 3 now. I bought it for like $130 at Cricket. I will continue to stick with alcatel for now on. It’s been a really great phone. I sold off my Note 4 after I started using this one.

  • KP

    Do anyone know when Alcatel Idol 4 will be in the market for people to order? It’s April and still now news of US release date.

  • Mark Burley

    Was leaning to the mi5 but as I don’t game much on mobile the extra grunt there isn’t needed. The screen and speakers sound great on this phone(4s) like my idol 3 media consumption and browsing will be great. Can’t wait for this phone to land!

  • Badelhas

    When will it be available in Europe and how much would the Alcatel 4 cost?

  • Adam

    when will these phones come out?

  • sean watkins

    Hooray! Alcatel didn’t make the mistakes that Moto G & Microsoft Lumia 640 did by offering less for more money. I’m a proud owner of the Cricket wireless version of the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 great phone. I like the Alcatel business model. Therefore I have no problem giving them my hard-earned cash.


    Does the cameras have ois ?

  • Veni Vidi Vici

    Idol 4 screen is to large at 5.2″
    2 other features I need are water resistance and dual sim.