Alcatel Idol 5 review
Stylish aluminium and advanced photography
The Idol 5 has the same great looks as the Idol 5S but it has a more affordable pricing point. Basically, the Alcatel Idol 5 has the looks of a Ferrari, while the engine inside isn’t maxed out to the extreme. For that, read our Alcatel Idol 5S review.
There is nothing that screams out premium more than the look and feel of aluminium. The Alcatel Idol 5 has a full aluminium body with a light chrome diamond cut finish. Accents on the edges and around the fingerprint sensor all add to the very pleasing aesthetics.
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The Alcatel Idol 5 can be purchased in the UK in either Matt Black or Metal Silver. This Alcatel phone is pretty slim at 7.5mm and it isn’t heavy at 155g.
The Alcatel Idol 5 has a 5.2” IPS display with the same Full HD resolution as that on the Idol 5S. This equates to 1920 x 1080 pixels, which works out to 423 pixels per inch. Again, just like its more expensive counterpart, there is toughened and scratch resistant 2.5D Dragontrail glass on the front and an oleophobic coating to help resist against fingerprint smudges.
Attaining that cheaper price point is done through using a MediaTek octa-core 1.3GHz processor with 3GB RAM and by using a 1.2W speaker with Dirac audio optimisation. Both are less powerful but this really shouldn’t be a concern to anyone shopping at this pricing point.
Phone Set Up
Fingerprint sensor and transferring content
The Alcatel Idol 5 has a fingerprint sensor for securing the lock screen. A fingerprint can also be used to access Private Mode, where private files and photos can be stored.
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Owners can transfer content over from an old smartphone onto the internal memory of 16GB. This is less memory, compared to its counterpart, but there is a microSD memory card slot that can be used to boost the memory, by up to 128GB.
Android Nougat and Joy UI
The Android Nougat operating system gets paired up with Alcatel’s Joy User Interface, which creates a unique look. Google’s OS brings with it features like the Google Assistant and Maps.
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The Joy UI brings colourful and vibrant icons, a selection of wallpapers and easier managements of folders and apps. Two of the more interesting features includes:
- App Cloner - This feature lets you create multiple instances of social apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These extra icons mean that you can be logged into more than one account at a time, which is great for those who have personal and work social media accounts.
- Now Key - This virtual rotating dial can be personalised with your own commands. Icons can be added to the dial to open up your favourite apps, launch the Google Assistant, call a specific friend or take a selfie.
Camera & Video
Interloped camera resolution
‘Interpolated’ may not be a term that you have come across before when looking at smartphone cameras. In the case of the Alcatel Idol 5, the camera has a 13MP resolution and this has been interpolated to 16MP.
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This means that the 13MP photo is upgraded to a 16MP resolution. To do this the camera adds new pixels to the image and it then decides on the colour of these pixels, based upon the pixels surrounding it.
The camera makes use of other clever pieces of technology as well, such as Phase Detect Auto Focus and Contrast Auto Focus. Include a wide aperture and large pixel size and the camera can capture good results under any lighting condition.
Further camera features include a dual tone flash, Burst Shot, HDR, Night Mode, Photo Collage, Panorama, Zero Shutter Lag, Super Resolution, Time Lapse and real-time photo filters. The Alcatel Idol 5 can also capture 1080p video with Electronic Image Stabilisation.
Showing off your photographic prowess is important and the Video Story feature helps with this. When Video Story is used, the feature combines your best photos and videos and makes them into a short clip, for sharing.
The 5MP selfie camera has been interloped to 8MP and there is a 84° wide angle lens for capturing more of the scene. Selfie features include a selfie flash, Face Beauty and Face Show animation.