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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

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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.

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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.

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