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Alcatel Idol 4s hands on: new surprises

Alcatel first showed off the Idol 4S at MWC but now, ahead of its upcoming US release, the company has made some interesting changes. Here's our hands on!

Published onJuly 13, 2016

Almost hard to imagine at this point, but it’s already been over four months since Mobile World Congress 2016. Time surely does go by quickly, in an instant in some cases, but for Alcatel, it has quietly been planning and prepping for the anticipated launch of its newest smartphone over the last couple of months. After a lengthy wait, consumers won’t have to wait much longer as Alcatel has revealed the Idol 4s will be launching officially through the company’s website starting on August 3rd – where it’ll be slapped with a cost of $399.99.

The Alcatel Idol 4s isn’t much of a stranger to us, given that the phone received a Best of MWC award for us for its impressive laundry list of specs, affordability, and a new premium looking design that kind of reminds us of Samsung’s new design language with its flagships. Between the Idol 4s’ announcement back at MWC until now, the company used the time to be more strategic in its plans for release by giving accompanying the phone with a couple of new surprises.

The first, of course, is instantly recognizable as we take peek at the back of the phone. During MWC, the Alcatel Idol 4s units on hand had these stickers slapped right beneath the camera lens. Looking back on it now, they were intentionally placed there because it wasn’t made clear whether or not the phone would indeed have a fingerprint sensor. Well folks, that can be put at rest because there’s one right there at our disposal. It’s flush with the surrounding area and also features the same glass finish, so it’s definitely a treat that solidifies its package.

Meanwhile, the other unexpected treat with the phone’s impending release is the special bundle price that it’ll be flaunting during its pre-order period. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the phone will fetch for $399.99, which includes the phone itself, VR goggles, 2.5D tempered glass screen protector, JBL headphones, and a case for the phone from Alcatel’s accessory partner Incipio. Most people will agree that the $400 cost is already good enough, but Alcatel is sweetening the deal by offering this bundle for $50 less at $349.99 for those who pre-order the phone starting on July 15th! Now that’s more tempting!

Beyond those two things, the addition of the fingerprint sensor and the pre-order bundle price of $349.99, the Alcatel Idol 4s is the same exact phone we first feasted our eyes on back at MWC. Right from the get-go, its glass-meets-metal construction is a standout on its own, exuding that premium feel without the premium cost attached to it.

The specs sheet, too, is something worth drooling over as it includes a 5.5-inch Quad-HD AMOLED screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, microSD slot, 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture lens, 8MP wide-angle front camera, 3000 mAh battery, 3.6 watt JBL certified speakers, NFC and dual-SIM. Best of all, it’s completely unlocked!!

What’s also astounding is the ingenious packaging of the phone, which incorporates the VR goggles to accommodate the phone. Best of all, it’s VR-ready right out of the box – so there’s no unnecessary cost to you. Based on the trends so far, $400 seems to be roughly the sweet spot that many companies have been striving for with their smartphones.

Already, we have the OnePlus 3 at that same price point, but Alcatel’s offering with the Idol 4s doesn’t intend to be forgotten anytime soon – or left in the dust either. We’re itching to see how this smartphone performs, so stay tuned for our full review! What do you think of the new and improved Alcatel Idol 4S, its $349/$399 price tag and the inclusive VR bundle? Let us know your views down below, vote in our poll and check out our original Idol 4S hands on from back at MWC!

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