Although sometimes the limits are somewhat fuzzy, in the world of smartphones we understand traditional way with ranges and in fact since about a year ago talking about the mid – range premium, with a number of terminals that features are not located in high but they have some plus the difference. It is where it fits one of the latest handsets of Alcatel, the Idol 4s, which does not come alone.
The terminal was presented in February at the last MWC with his little brother, the Idol 4 as the flagship of the manufacturer. But come accompanied not come by this shared launch, but by the fact that taking advantage of the boom was born and still live in virtual reality by making a VR set.
Thus, Alcatel bet for a target more demanding is this terminal is not in the league of the most powerful, but it offers superior characteristics to Idol 4 and the other terminals of the brand. Including a design that includes metal, as is characteristic of those located in the “super midrange” and with special attention to the sound system mounted four speakers.
|ALCATEL IDOL 4S|
|SCREEN||AMOLED 5.5-inch 1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution (about 534 dpi)|
|KERNELS||4 x 1.8 GHz A72 + 4 x 1.4 GHz A53|
|STORAGE||32 (expandable to 256 GB via microSD)|
|SOFTWARE VERSION||Android 6.0|
|CONNECTIVITY||LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac|
|REAR CAMERA||16 megapixels, f / 2.0, autofocus, dual-LED flash / 4K Video|
|FRONTAL CAMERA||8-megapixel, f / 2.4 / Video 1080p|
|OTHERS||Fast charging (USB 2.0), radio FM|
|PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS||153.9 x 75.4 x 6.99 mm and 149 grams|
Without leaving the glass and not forgetting the metal
As mentioned in the introduction, it seems that the metal is a must feature as going up steps in the competition of smartphones, and in the case of Idol 4s has chosen the edges of metal being the rear faces and front glass. A combination that is not new or anything but that, as is done here presents a first drawback, or rather something as scrupulous as you own will or not a headache: the edge and glass are not continued, being a groove in which it is easy to dirt accumulates.
Leaving this aside, the terminal is comfortable in hand and light enough, but the edges will not continue (as seen on iPhones or Galaxy S7) this does not bother to hold. That’s right: the curious combination of buttons requires at least some “training”, since in this case besides the location vary in number and kind to have the button Boom, located right in the middle of the right edge (much like traditional power button protruding from Xperia).
It is correct the position of the buttons? This will depend primarily on the relative size between terminal and hands, because if we are rather short fingers are we going to do quite uncomfortable managing to get the buttons at the top of both sides: if we hold with the left lock / unlock we will be difficult, and if we hold to the right spend anything like the volume buttons. Here in fact we had quite accidental touches after the initial phase, especially when playing screen locks or take pictures or press the boom involuntarily.
It is a fairly high end, partly because the edge stands to accommodate speakers (front and rear). But his favor is the use of front by the screen, being about 72%.Against: the location of the buttons, the choice of glass (if we bother fingerprints) and warm up very easily and immediately perceived. The metal edges here do disservice driving this heat, but becomes annoying rarely (my very demanding as video playback, video or camera for a while).
Display: Here could outshine
Alcatel was one of many who has also opted for a diagonal screen size of 5.5 inches, in this case a panel with a resolution AMOLED QHD. In this respect no complaints, the level of detail is more than enough and we found a good calibration for temperature and saturation.
Of course, we miss something more brightness when the terminal took a walk in the hours in which the light falls more directly and more intensity, with a maximum brightness of 372.9 nits. A full day experience is much improved, costing quite differentiate the elements of the screen. The automatic brightness adjustment works well, it has rarely been slightly something when we were indoors or had less light (it did not look bad, but it is always better than the brightness is snug by consumption).
A detail of Alcatel’s own software, which relates to visualization is the fact that automatically fades the background by bringing our hand. Thus, the proximity sensors detect when our finger go to any of the icons we see that the background is blurred highlighting more icons.
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Strong points: The audio and autonomy
Although consumption determines the autonomy of a terminal, the milliamps per hour of battery are always indicative and in this case we have 3,000 mAh. Idol 4s here is pretty good, and the average consumption gave us almost a whole day(about 23 hours). This means that depending on the intensity of use and networks, we came up (or late) or 4-5 hours passed it.
Practically we have not agreed on the Outer Banks, and this adds fast charging that has enabled the terminal (with charger and cable with any microUSB). Thus, charging the battery achieves zero to 100% in about one hour and half.
As for multimedia use, we have a total of four speakers occupying the upper and lower edges on both sides of the terminal, with holes in the base of the metal edge. The quality is very good and to test the volume we have reached 117 decibels. Also it has installed the app MaxxAudio series to configure the sound for those seeking more detail this setting (the interface we saw earlier, speaking of the software).
The best feeling we have holding mobile hand (normal grip, not the gaming type) to not cover any out and be exposed four equally, but the remarkable thing is that the quality is maintained even at high volumes. In fact, the attenuation is less than support in other cases, may the minimum separation distance remaining to the surface but we support.
Adjusting too cameras
The Idol 4s rear camera mounts a Sony IMX 298 sensor, the same as other terminals including the Asus Zenfone 3, the OnePlus 3 or Xiaomi Mi5, 16 megapixel camera with f / 2.0 and dual flash. Speaking of the front we have a 8 megapixel sensor with f / 2.4. But beyond the numbers we have an app that also offers manual controls some curious feature.
In addition to auto, panoramic, manual and video, which can be created with the app series are photos with 3D effect, with Fyuse, so that we can “move” within it.Something that is not new but the slow motion micro videos or added to the user account. That’s right: we can only “play” with photos of Fyuse on mobile, they cannot be exported.
As for navigating the interface it is simple and quite comfortable, although the configuration options are fair (mute the shot, grid, etc.). Manual controls (ISO, shutter speed, white balance and focus) are of sliding, but handling is a basic problem that prevents making the desired use of the same: the fact that there is some lag in its application or directly not see it (for example, by varying the shutter speed directly see the change in the result, unable to adjust).
As for the results with cameras, talking about the back starts and runs with an average fluency, with a very obedient focus even in low light. The best results have when the amount of light is abundant, pulling well defined and good color snapshots, getting a good macro.
Things change quite as light decreases a little, finding enough noise indoors with plenty of light or afternoon with the sun and putting. Night obviously this is accentuated, although in favor is the possibility of shooting manually and try night mode (as will best situation one way or another). It is missing also some saturation and contrast in many scenarios, and loss of sharpness is seen when there is still enough sunlight.
The front camera also responds with an average flow and has the setting of “beauty”, being the typical makeup that are long in effect apps by some manufacturers. As usual, these front lenses are afflicting more indoors and in low light, but what have we here a fairly marked deformity due to the lens at the edges (more than usual).
A light coat and good performance, but some details to check
In Idol 4s 6.0.1 we Android on which layer runs customization manufacturer. This is fairly light and not aggressive, and do not notice just different aspects except for some own functions such as setting MaxxAudio on the curtain of shortcuts, drawer apps with favorite and vertically or some pre-installed apps (which are not always able remove).
Another peculiarity is the key boom. A button as explained at the beginning is half of the right edge and to configure some features that we activate only the clicking, such as making a catch or activate an application. It also has Ambient Display (displays notifications on lock screen automatically), double tap to activate configurable screen and quick access from the lock screen.
We talked for a phone with a Snapdragon 652 processor and 3GB of RAM, the same as one of the versions of the BQ Aquaris X5 Plus and 1GB of RAM unless the Oppo R9 Plus or Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (with the same processor). The feeling after use is generally good, although we found some minor flaws in a timely manner.
The navigation system is fluid, finding punctually some small lag when opening any app or navigates sections (in DropBox, for example). Belatedly also on the keyboard (the standard Google) and if we use a more demanding (as Swiftkey), and rarely have had the sudden closure of any app.
Despite this, we were able to run both games graphics load and other demanding apps like viewing multimedia, Pokémon Go or Snapchat smoothly (in the chaos of the latter, without adding others that already have the app per se). Moreover, apps for virtual reality also move smoothly; Alcatel brings series here a couple so we can test the kit (VR Lamper, a game, and Titans of Space, a guided walk through space).
To whom it may concern tests of the benchmarks, then we have the results of this terminal and catches and their comparison with other smartphones of similar configuration. Also some more pictures in detail VR kit included with the phone.