Alcatel Idol 5S review
A decent refresh
Our Alcatel Idol 5S review find a decent refresh of last year’s hit phone, the Alcatel Idol 4. In comparison, the Idol 5S has a more powerful processor, a new OS, a bigger memory and a higher capacity battery.
However, if you find yourself out priced, the Alcatel Idol 4 deals are great value and as a bonus, a VR headset is included.
Dragontrail glass and aluminium
The Alcatel Idol 5S has a front and back made from toughened 2.5D Dragontrail glass. These two pieces or durable glass are fixed onto an aluminium metal frame. Together, they really offer a quality feel that you will never get tired of touching.
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There is a 77.6% screen to body ratio and this Alcatel phone is coloured in Crystal Black, apart from the aluminium frame, which is silver / grey. Looking at the Alcatel Idol 5S from the front, the aluminium frame pokes into view, at the top and bottom, where the speaker grills are visible.
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The phone is pretty light at 149g and pleasantly thin at 7.4mm. If you like a visual clue as to whether or not a notification event has taken place, then the LED indicator offers this.
The Alcatel Idol 5S has a large 5.2” Full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels). The screen is clearly visible, even under direct sunlight. In the evening, the display can be used in Night Mode, where blues are filtered out and the brightness is dimmed, in order to reduce eye strain.
A fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 2GHz octa-core processor with 3GB RAM powers the experience. This processor really can handle just about anything that you throw at it, from gaming to multitasking.
|Alcatel Idol 4 review|
Audio on the Alcatel Idol 5S is supreme and offered through dual 3.6 watt forward facing speakers. These are coupled up to a powerful amplifier, producing deep rich bass sounds and clear highs.
Phone Set Up
The Alcatel Idol 5S has an ample 32GB internal memory. This provides plenty of space for transferring content over from an old smartphone or iPhone. If more memory is needed, then the microSD card slot accepts memory cards with a value of up to 512GB.
A fingerprint sensor is positioned on the rear and a simple touch of this will unlock the phone.
A fingerprint can also be used for securing files and photos, through the Private Mode.
The Alcatel Idol 5S runs Google’s Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. If you have been using an older version of Android then there are a few new features that will impress:
- Split Screen View - Here two apps can be run side-by-side. This is really useful when you want to watch a video while flicking through your social stream.
- Google Assistant - The Google Assistant lets you perform tasks using your voice. There are many things that the Google Assistant can do, including sending messages, shuffling your playlist or scheduling appointments.
The Alcatel Idol 5S is also VR ready and has access to a dedicated virtual reality content store. This is a nice touch, should you go down the route of purchasing a VR headset.
Camera & Video
Camera features galore
The Alcatel Idol 5S has a 12MP camera with a dual tone flash, for capturing more natural colour tones when the environment is poorly lit. There are simply tons of camera features to enjoy:
- Colour Filters - Here you can apply colour filters in the viewfinder before you shoot.
- 360-degree Photos - Capture a full 360-degrees and then pan around the captured result.
- Cinemagraph - Capture still images with elements or subjects that have subtle motion when viewed.
In addition to these features, there is a Light Trace Mode, Pano (Panorama), Instant Collage feature and 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
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There is also a Micro-video feature that gives you one click video editing.
The 8MP selfie camera has its own flash and can shoot Panorama Selfies or touch up your complexion, through Face Beauty.
The 2,620mAh battery isn’t huge but it does perform well. The battery can give up to 20 hours of talk time or up to 31 days standby.
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If the battery gets low, then the notification LED flashes and the battery can be charged through the symmetrical USB Type-C port.
Next: Alcatel A3 review
Written by: Michael Brown