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“A solid taste of the high-end life for less than $300”

Idol 3 Specs

  • Android – 5.0.2
  • Network – GSM / 4G LTE
  • Display – 5.5” 1080×1920 IPS LCD ~401ppi
  • CPU – Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
    • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 405
  • Battery – 2910mAh
  • microSD – up to 128GB
  • Storage – 16GB, 2GB RAM
  • Camera – 13MP Rear / 8MP Front
  • Video – 1080p 30fps Front / 1080p 15fps rear
  • Weight – 141g (4.97oz)

Build Quality

The Idol 3 has all plastic build and completely devoid of any real weight. To many, it’ll feel like toy but that’s not a bad thing for a phone. Especially if you’re someone who takes tons of calls or is a heavy user, the lightweight Idol 3 might be a god send.

Rounded corners with a foo aluminum edge are definitely the trendy and expected look but the back was slightly different. Its plastic but out the box it had a rough feel to it…for first the few days. I guess, the intent was to give the phone some grip which it did but after a few days in your oily hands the phone is slippery as heck, leaving you longing for a case.

However, due to how good it feels in my hands, I can’t bring myself to put one on it.


The display is 5.5” IPS LCD display and it looks good. I’ve always owned budget phones, not high-end so I can’t compare it to any of the big phones currently out right now. I will say compared to other budget phones, this display is among the best for the price easily. It has great colors and viewing angles. Thankfully, the phone does get quite bright and is easy to see in daylight.

Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 front display on


For my 1st Lollipop device, the experience has been overall positive with a few irritations. The reversible screen is a great convenience in many cases and even though it’s not my 1st time having a phone that the OS can be completely reversible in both portrait and landscape (had that back on my rooted MyTouch years ago), it’s definitely the 1st time, the phone itself was reversible with mics on both ends.

For all you benchmark people here you go:

Now for the performance that matters, the Idol 3 flies thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core inside clocked at 1.5Ghz & 1Ghz respectively along with 2GB RAM. Multitasking between apps and games in Android 5.0 is definitely better than in Kit Kat (still not as smooth as I would like) except for the button to clear all running apps is inconveniently placed in the middle of the screen right where your finger slides when scrolling through your open apps so you hit the darn thing accidentally pretty easily (fault of Lollipop not the phone).


The JBL enhanced audio setting works wonders for the dual front facing speakers but it wasn’t my taste for the headphones. I found without the audio enhancement on the JBL headphones had harsh highs and weak bass. With it on, the headphones were too bassy and had a lot of reverb or echo effect on all the audio. Yeah, not exactly pleasant. The strange thing is without the JBL effect, the phone is plenty loud from all speakers including the earpiece and the headphone jack. I just leave it off and the sound is GREAT.


The battery life is decent for a 2910mAh( that’s an odd number btw) battery. If you’re a casual user you can get through a full day with this phone. I get about 4hrs screen on time before I’m below 30% and hunting for a charger. My daily tasks consists of heavy texting, about hour or to an hour and a half of YouTube, about 30min to an hour of games, a few calls, and reading some articles from Feedly news feed  every weekday. This phone does heat up a bit during normal use (not including when charging). This is with the brightness @ 50% which is where it’s set out of the box. If you want slightly better battery life out of this phone keep the brightness around 30% or so.


You have a 13MP rear and a 8MP front on this phone. Both are capable of recording at 1080p.  Unlike with the previous couple of phones I used, the manual controls really will bring out some good shots with this camera but ultimately it’s the same story as those previous phones. Good in daylight, struggling in low light. That goes for both the front and rear camera. In auto, the camera hunts for exposure quite a lot and on many times it had trouble focusing. If you really want to get the best out of it, there’s a thread over at XDA that will help you get the most out of the Alcatel Idol 3 camera. It’s a pretty neat thread.


Overall, I REALLY like this phone. The price,  sound experience, performance, and display is awesome. It looks and feels great in the hand as well, weighing next to nothing. Without a doubt, the budget market is finally a true threat to high end phones this year. I hope this trend continues and budget market stays no less than one step behind the latest high end phones. All this for less than $300 is amazing!

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